Mood board: Véronique Nichanian joined Hermès as artistic director of its men’s ready-to-wear in 1988 and boy, have things changed since then. Nichanian has watched the evolution of menswear and the interest in it grow exponentially since she first began. She has created the language of Hermès menswear with a steady, elegant precision; with a finesse that many misinterpret as too quiet. So many labels have started to copy silhouettes or designs created by marketing executives – after all, none of us are immune to the pull of social media. The extreme shoulder pads which debuted at Balenciaga last year have appeared across most of the collections in various iterations, but not at Hermès.
Best in show: Our relationship to luxury is stultified by the constant teasing of the virtual world but every season Nichanian packs a quiet punch with her extremely focused work. Her S/S 2018 collection was upbeat, beautiful and buoyant with a focus on what she called a ‘sophisticated letting go’. The silhouette was playful: trackpants in water-repellent Toilbright technical fabric were wide and languid, jackets had exposed stitching and shirts were hooded. Standout was the closing look of a classic three-button suit in stretch linen and canvas worn with a zip up technical fabric blouson. It was rich and recreational.
Finishing touchest: Pierre Hardy has worked with Hermès for over 25 years designing its illustrious, elegant footwear. In collaboration with Nichanian for the men’s collection, he has developed the Partner sneaker in technical canvas and leather with rubber sole, and a standout origami-style sandal in black calfskin, which neatly folds down. Flat-pack fashion.