Hermes Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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It took him a few seasons but Christophe Lemaire finally got there. He found his way to the essence of Hermès and its chic French clothing that stands the test of time not just in quality but quiet elegance.

Already the set up for the show felt more in keeping with the stealth wealth style of Hermès. First you had to earn it, climbing a few flights of stairs to get to the to of the top of the Lycée Henri-IV. There the school’s tiled floor library was transformed into a vast living room filled with a mix and match, but harmonious, assortment of stylish yet comfortable chairs, benches and couches. Waiters walked around serving a variety of elegant cocktails and guests milled about casually chatting with colleagues in no rush for the show to begin.

Now that is the Hermès universe.

When the show finally got under way it was Hermès at its best. Beautiful fabrics, in nonthreatening shades cut in flattering silhouettes that a woman could buy now and wear for the rest of her life. Never having to worry about trends or fashion because the pieces she invests in from this collection transcended all that. It resided in that rarified air where very few luxury brands are able to breath easy for long.

But let’s be clear. Refined elegance does not equal unexciting and safe attire. In actuality to get it right there has to be a bit of daring or something distinctive about the design.

This season Lemaire accomplished this though the way he incorporated fur into the luxe leather and supple cashmere pieces. A perfect example would be a classic lean coat that featured brushed fur lapels and bands of shaved mink or pony skin in shades of red and black circling the center. Something as simple as adding a camel colored fur vest under a slim black wool suit transformed one ensemble. And a midnight blue coat with black leather accents and black fur sleeves finishing above fabric cuffs paired with a white linen shirt and brick red suede skirt was both original and eternally sophisticated.

It was a collection that was worth the wait.

- Jessica Michault
 

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