Of all the luxury fashion houses, it does seem like Hermès has evolved the most during the pandemic. The storied maison went through a digitalisation like never before, adapting to what used to be the 'new normal' and coming out with a renewed sense of being. But one that still made perfect sense for Hermès.
The men's spring/summer 2022 runway show was shown in front of a live audience on day five of Paris Fashion Week Men's. While the return to a live runway show was welcomed, it was by no means a return to the old pre-pandemic ways where it was just any typical show. With the knowledge gained and partnership cemented in the past two seasons, it was a marked update that combined the traditional format with theatre director Cyril Teste's off-the-cuff filming and editing practice.
In Teste's own words: "Here there will be no generalised arrangement for all the models to follow but rather individualised arrangements for each and every model, with cameras capturing faces, movement, detail—on the fly, as it were. Other screens will have larger, quasi-cinematic formats. Each model will be filmed in a unique, customised style."
What that basically meant was that every individual outfit detail was captured differently for every outfit. So that no matter where the audience was—at home or right in front of the action—there was a clear, unobstructed view of the craftmanship behind the outfits. With that being such an important factor in Hermès's ethos, it was a welcomed evolution that brought us closer to the ideas and concepts.
Look and feel: What Hermès does exceptionally well is that it never tries to be anything that it's not. Contemporary stylings and visions are constantly being distilled into elements that make sense for the maison without drastically changing its makeup. Artistic director Véronique Nichanian conceptualised a menswear collection that expressed a duality of spirit—light and free but still with elements of formality.
There was the continued hybridisation of garments. They were neither too formal nor too casual, and comfortably sat in the middle to fit our ever-changing lifestyles. The Hermès men's spring/summer 2022 collection was grounded with a muted palette of beige, whites, browns and blacks and then amped up (but in less jarring ways than what we've seen thus far for spring/summer 2022) with sun-washed tones of teal, pink, yellow, and green.
What felt incredibly refreshing—and something Nichanian is adept at—was the way that nothing felt constrained and forced. Even the most tailored offerings of the collection felt breezy despite the somewhat traditional silhouette and treatment. There was no pretentious need to be trendy. It was what Hermès has always been—chic, timely, and effortless.
Favourite looks: The Hermès shirts for the season were some of our favourites the maison has ever done. Look 10's pale blue iteration was done in a sort of three-dimensional print in white that gave such a lightness to the entire look—paired splendidly with roomy trousers and casual sneakers. Another variation was look 8's pale mint oversized shirt that was perforated with classic Hermès motifs, and this time worn with drawstring trousers for the perfect balance of sportswear sophistication.
Look 22's print-on-print combination was simply a masterclass in summer layering. The heavily printed top combination was balanced with loose-cut off-white trousers and topped off with suede brogues for that expression of elegant duality once again. A similar approach was seen in look 28—a knit cardigan and jumper combo that were both executed in an almost dip-dyed effect. Stunning.
Favourite accessories: One thing that stood out the most was the almost exclusively used cord belts. They were fastened with a snap hook closure and according to Nichanian, was inspired by sailing and captured the collective desire to get away and travel once again. The belts were seen in various hues and we love that they're Hermès's take on quite a streetwear trope (ridiculously long belts) but done in such a tasteful manner.
We also feel the need to highlight the Hermès Bolide bags that have been reimagined in quite a brilliant way for spring/summer 2022. Instead of the usual all-round leather craftsmanship, the season's Bolide Skate bags (looks 10, 14 and 20) featured a wooden skateboard base sans wheels. It's just another detail that captured the need to escape and interpreted in a playful way that the maison is known for.