PARIS -- Hermès, which reopened its Rodeo Drive store in Beverly Hills with such fanfare last year, closed out Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday afternoon with a quietly elegant show.
As it was on so many runways this season, outerwear was the big story in designer Christophe Lemaire's collection. The first look was an oatmeal cream double face cashmere coat so thick and blanket-like, it looked as if it would be able to stand on its own. The next coat came in a camel color, folded just so in the front. Meanwhile, a long, sleeveless shearling with a scarf print silk back spoke to the collection's more feminine side.
Dresses and skirts were aggressively simple, save for some subtle color-blocking and arty prints, and worn with what will no doubt be some of most expensive ankle socks known to womankind--rolled down over chunky-heeled sandals.
When it came to jackets and trousers, the silhouette was baggy or even oversized. The most memorable look? A sober gray pantsuit, not in flannel but rippling broadtail fur!
That's really what Hermès is all about. Over-the-top understatement. And Lemaire has mastered the formula.