Hermès sets sail for the great outdoors
With windswept hair and bare legs strapped into Spartan sandals, Hermès' models left footprints in the white sand as they walked down the Longchamp Racecourse, following a mirrored wall which was tilted to reflect the endless sky, while the notes of the delicate adagio from Mozart's piano concerto no. 23 were carried away by the wind. Indeed, the Parisian label offered up one of the most beautiful shows of the weekend on Saturday, presenting a magical pageant blending a futuristic concept with a celebration of the house's heritage.
For its Spring/Summer 2019 collection, the luxury house fused its history as a saddler with the world of maritime adventures, creating a sporty, graphic wardrobe for lovers of nature and the great outdoors, where a leather saddle was transformed into the collar of a large white t-shirt and a groom's apron metamorphosed into a black summer dress. The palette focused on natural shades of desert, sand, off-white, sienna and slate, punctuated with intense flashes of red, orange and turquoise.
The collection's maritime element came to the fore in a little white trapeze dress which looked as though it had been cut from a sail, as well as in a chocolate leather parka which transformed into a shell jacket and was paired with matching shorts. Ropes cropped up everywhere: crossed over the collar of a leather dress that was slit up the front, in the drawstrings of a playsuit allowing the piece to be cinched in at the waist, and as a black trim on a turquoise tunic. Elsewhere, carabiners were used as buckles.
Tunics were held up by ropes and ribbons passed through metal rings at the models' shoulders, like the sails of a schooner, and the nautical wardrobe was rounded off with tight surfer bodysuits worn under skirts or perforated leather mini-dresses.
The focus was on leather, the brand's star material. It could be seen in structured hooded shell jackets, natural-leather gilets, a large skirt woven from aniline lambskin and a wraparound maxi skirt in ultra soft leather held up by braces worn over a cable-knit tube top, as well as in some imposing armour-like sea-blue coats with gigantic pockets.
An original finishing touch came in the form of the buttons on some of the single and double-breasted jackets created by Laurence Owen, which looked as though they had been rusted by the sea spray.
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