Hermès unveiled the latest offering from menswear artistic director Veronique Nichanian today via a digital experience.
The show which was broadcast online was a collaboration with French filmmaker and theatre director Cyril Teste, who created a “live performance” that gave an insight into the creation of the collection.
In a ‘behind the scenes’ style film, male models got ready for a would-be show wearing the latest designs. The presentation gave credit to all those that work behind the scenes at the French fashion house and explained the “build-up” moment that usually takes place just before the show starts.
Veronique Nichanian said ahead of the presentation: “This collection is smaller than usual because we were cut off from our usual means of production. I also selected eighteen silhouettes where I normally select around forty, partly due to the nature of the performance. I said to Cyril: “Here is my collection, do with it what you will.” I brought him my work, he did his work, and together we created this moment.”
The collection is a carefree expression of lightness and simplicity, demonstrated through light materials, relaxed silhouettes and streamlined styles. Soft, and summer shapes that are light and easy to wear will make the perfect holiday wardrobe. The pieces were brought to life by Cyril Teste in his own unique manner at the Hermes workshop.
“In times such as these, it is necessary to assign more value to the process. We don’t want to create a fashion show or an absolutely finite performance. We want it to be an event: the process of creation experienced; a live sculpture as it were; an object generated at the very moment it appears — something that can only be achieved through precise stage directions, which take time and repetition to master. This collective process opens the door to chance, which is in truth quite a precise thing. Naturally, this is a risky proposition. I hope that our playful approach freed our endeavour from a “making of” vibe that was never our intention. The idea was rather to film what was off-camera.” Explained Cyril Teste.
The colour palette evoked the sense of summer and being swept away to warm blue Mediterranean seas with a colour palette of pastel tones and a hint of bolt colour. Refreshing blues, pure stone tones and almond greens were accented by fluorescent streaks of bold colour. Stripes were key throughout – in soft pastel colours, combined with white.
Adaptability was key throughout this collection. Blousons replaces the traditional shirt and featured removable colours. Suits had secretive pockets, and trousers featured elasticated waists and patch pockets. One pleat trousers have a soft relaxed feel.
The choice of fabrics reflected the mood of the collection, with many technical fabrics in play. Soft cotton poplin, linen and water-repellent Plume canvas led the way would technical canvas was created with stripes.
When it came to accessories they too evoked the sense of vacation. The Haut à courroies Cargo bag in H canvas and Evercalf calfskin, brought elegance while for a more relaxed mood the sports bag in Evercolor calfskin and Togo calfskin was the perfect addition.
The Slim d’Hermès watch came with a case in stainless steel and strap in Barénia calfskin while Mr Farrier scarves were seen in cotton and silk. Shoes came in the form of sandals in calfskin.
While the world is still trying to recover from the global pandemic, Nichanian reflects on how we can move forward after this time; “recent events and their damaging effects on the fashion world have not gotten me down. Quite the opposite in fact; I feel like the current situation is one from which we can all extract new wisdom and a new momentum. I have always believed it takes time to create clothes that last, that age well, that are more than merely functional and for which we feel real affection. My work has always focused on form, material, and colour. The frantic aspect of fashion does not interest me in the slightest. Here at Hermès we use an equestrian phrase that seems particularly apt in this day and age: “Straight ahead, calm, and poised”.