It’s a tricky thing, fashion, when it comes to a stealth luxury house like Hermes. On the one hand, what you want from this brand is The Most beautiful kind of anonymity; a cashmere coat in The Most beautiful cut, that one can slip on without it necessarily screaming a brand. It should be something that every onlooker wants to know where it’s from because put quite simply, it just looks so good; so expensive-looking. Aside from the coveted Birkin and Kelly bags – and now, in the midst of much fanfare the hugely desirable Apple Watch Hermes collection, with three varying strap styles including the single tour, double tour and cuff – most of what goes on at Hermes doesn’t and shouldn’t slap you in the face. That’s what’s so good about it. After all, Hermes isn’t where you go for bells and whistles. So what happens when the house stages a fashion show? Yes, there were lots of lovely pieces here crafted in no doubt the very best of the best fabrics, but proceedings fell a little, well, flat.
The crux of it is that one should long to be the Hermes woman, ache to be that woman, even, but the models didn’t help to that end. One sort of wants the girls to look like the horses; sleek and chic thoroughbreds with honeyed limbs and glossy shiny hair and yet, seemingly without a scrap of make-up, they looked tired and quite un-polished.
There were some great ideas here, like the new trainer, which mixed luxe with utility in a completely Hermes way, and lots of other pieces too – another thing about Hermes is that you don’t have to muck around with it too much for it to appeal. Those leather, pleated skirts spliced with silk scarf printed inserts were entirely wearable, so too a calfskin trench coat, and the opening series of double cashmere navy suiting with a wider cropped trouser shape (referred to as “banana trousers”) but there was nothing to obsessively pour and lust over, and this house, almost more than any other should be worthy of that.