January 29, 2005
The mix of dressy and sporty that has defined Véronique Nichanian's work for Hermès is everywhere for fall, and it's no surprise that she stayed true to that course herself this season. All the familiar elementsthe deluxe fabrications, the classic details, the sumptuous sense of colorwere here. Velvet trousers came in an acid yellow ("sulfur" as the collection notes described it); a luscious chocolate ponyskin jacket was printed in a Prince of Wales pattern. Bright purple and turquoise croc belts added a surreal vitality. What was missing, though, was an ironic component. Fall's best menswear shows have had a nudge-nudge, wink-wink wit that has knocked the stuffing out of luxury, and this collection could have used some of that sass. Still, fans of the label will find plenty to provoke them, including such pairings as a yellow turtleneck topped by a houndstooth tank top, and a macro-houndstooth cardigan with plaid pants.