MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

Hermès brings lightness

2024.06.24

Text by Francesca Fontanesi

Inside the Palais d’Iéna, an Art Deco jewel designed by architect Auguste Perret for the 1937 Universal Exhibition, the Hermès boys celebrate the beginning of summer with nubuck calfskin shirts and cotton piqué tank tops.

The Hermès SS25 Men’s Collection blends with urban landscapes. The clothes intentionally reflect sensations of libertine charm: the garments transform from day to evening – and choosing them means giving them one, two, three lives – while natural or technical materials play with shapes, lines, and volumes, elongating the silhouette or anchoring it to the ground. Opening the show is a lambskin crewneck sweatshirt with an equestrian jacquard; followed by a sleeveless bomber in white leather and a knotted collar that closes a shirt with a removable scarf. The evocations on the printed carrés disperse like footprints in the sand swept away by the tide, from which aquatic colors are drawn: turquoise blue, ocean, and aquamarine. The collection’s palette aligns with its materials: pink, matcha, lychee, biscuit, and chocolate colors dialogue with ecru, evoking the imagery of a sweet summer, as defined by Véronique Nichanian, who has been overseeing Hermès’ men’s line since 1988. Following are an Oxford jacket in embroidered cotton with a rubber thread, a mid-length trench coat, and a neo-forestry jacket. Stealing the scene are a pair of top-stitched pants. The collection is both firm and concrete: the bombers are sleeveless or straight with zippers, while sweatshirts, shirts, and T-shirts in nubuck calfskin with equestrian print alternate with loose shirts featuring a removable scarf collar. The models wear tank tops in compact cotton poplin, batiste, spinnaker canvas, light twill, coton piqué or printed silk twill, short-sleeved knit shirts and polo shirts in perforated knit, with contrasting collars and stripes; and ribbed sleeveless sweaters in English cashmere.

In a delicate dissolve, the passing day slips into a night on the beach: designs extend onto the body. The sun sets and rises, rises and sets. An eternity in every instant.

The style is transformist, not predictable. Inside the Palais d’Iéna, an Art Deco jewel designed by architect Auguste Perret for the 1937 Universal Exhibition, the boys walk with leather sandals with ankle straps and wide-leg pants cut at mid-calf, flexing the weight of a bag that from afar might appear simply like a beach bag: the Haut à Courroies, which is anything but straw. The fact that Nichanian managed to do this so elegantly is proof of the Maison’s skill in playing with leather, which in this collection appears at first glance as soft and sensitive as silk. The legs are tattooed to give a sense of delight. For the Hermès man who takes dressing seriously, the collection presents various options such as the Sac à dessin bag in Barénia calfskin, the Haut à Courroies in denim canvas and Togo calfskin, and the Garden Party Voyage bags, also in denim and Negonda calfskin. As in an intermezzo, Fourre-tout Étrivière bags in H canvas and Fourre-tout Trotting bags in Barénia Faubourg or Togo calfskin alternate with Bolide Relax bags in Volupto. The bare arms are accessorized with Clou d’H bracelets, hoop earrings, and double rings in silver, some with Ex-Libris seal in silver and rose gold, and Chaîne d’ancre bracelets in silver. The necklaces peeking out from under the zippers are in horn and shells in metal with a palladium finish, like the pendants. The looks are completed with Docker caps in cotton serge and hand-painted hats in woven raffia with the design Le Chant des cigales. Summer is torrid, the sun is shining, and it almost seems as if you can hear the song of the cicadas.

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