What must it be like to be man who has the means to only dress in Hermes? A man so self confident - and so well off -that he no longer craves anything resembling ostentatious adornments that would draw unsolicited attention in his wardrobe. His fundamental desire being to wear only the finest fabrics, the premium pelts and the most exquisite knits.
The concept of understated luxe style is one that designer Véronique Nichanian knows like the back of her hand. Where the evolution of her menswear aesthetic is much like drops of water plinking rhythmically onto a stone over the years. The change is almost imperceptible from season to season. You can only truly appreciate it after an extended period of time.
It’s a technique that has served the designer well. Seeing as the menswear ready to wear collection saw a double-digit growth last year.
For her next chapter in her sartorial narrative, Nichanian took the Hermes man to an even more restrained place. Banishing any vibrant colors from the catwalk, other than in a handful of accessories. Instead, she explored the allure of layering dark tone on tone textiles and generating sartorial momentum via a play between matte and shine fabrics.
One of the most interesting ways she did this was via a bonding technique that saw a two button wool jacket or a navy pea coat meld into glossy black leather at the hem. Also tastefully done were her subtly shaded suits that paired lustrous dark khaki jackets with matte brown trousers. The way the almost imperceptible differences in the chosen tints worked so seamlessly together showed the designer to be a master colorist.
But this sober collection did have its more light hearted moments which was expressed through the knitwear. There the designer blended an embroidered spider web and swinging spider down the shoulder of a khaki cashmere turtleneck. And a hand knit sweater that moved randomly from ribbed to cable stitch had a quirky elegance to it.
After more then twenty-five years at the helm of the brand’s menswear collections, Nichanian is now just like the Hermes man, she has nothing left to prove to the world of fashion. The only person she still has to satisfy each season is herself. Thankfully, she is something of a perfectionist.