As the sun rose in all its golden glory on the desert sand that was the Hermès
runway, the same fiery ball set on four weeks in four separate cities of the international collections for Spring/Summer 2015.
It was also the end of tenure of designer Christophe Lemaire, who left Hermès on a high note with a graceful, even noble, collection.
The desert — with its sun-bleached colours, brightening to yellow and orange or darkening to mustard, rust and ultimately black — seemed to suit the designer. He put his energy into changing surfaces, such as a basket-weave jacket or a rippled cotton dress, adding just a touch of pattern either as a tracery of ajourée stitching or as a sudden display of digital-print tribal art.
It must be hard for designers to absorb the strength of Hermès, which does not really “do” fashion. As with the bags (of which there were few on this runway), the clothes have a certain serenity. You know that any women who invests in such grace and quality is not going to throw away a peach satin top or a white tunic at the end of the season.
Christophe Lemaire has not been thrown out either. Pierre-Alexis Dumas of the Hermès family rose to his feet to applaud him. Next up is Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, who has recently been working in the US at The Row, another whisper-quiet brand.
The endless game of fashion musical chairs, which must have been playing for a quarter of a century, has a few more surprises. It was announced on the last day of Paris Fashion Week that British designer Peter Copping, who has been five years at Nina Ricci, is leaving the house. The fashion world expects imminently the announcement that he will join Oscar de la Renta in New York.
This leaves a vacancy at Ricci…