Christophe Lemaire is settling rather well at Hermès. He is definitely making a few changes and asserting his sportswear voice, or hand, so to speak, with a line-up that reflects what Hermès has stood for forever: Polite and Luxurious. Mr. Lemaire adds a slight twist to freshen and excite with his gaucho looks. The menswear inspired collection is very much on par with the Martin Margiela years when understated luxury reigned supreme. Being impeccable in all aspects of design and material choices is Hermès’ legacy. The outerwear is exemplary; the various skins and furs are a delight for the senses.
The John Galliano label, since the “Dear John” letter from LVMH, is fairing well without him. The Galliano vocabulary is actually not as complex as commonly perceived, and in this instance the team proved they could effectively continue the legacy of Mr. Galliano’s iconic design perspective. Of course, the styling screamed Galliano with its vampy makeup, high laced-boots and that Lucas Cranach hat that was sported obliquely. Then came the outerwear composed of reworked patterns (John loved to rework 1930’s patterns, military uniforms, he even reworked a Maasai warrior’s beaded corset once). But when all was done, the pieces remained beautifully cut and unusually versatile.
Kenzo, the label that loves multicultural references, is being reinvigorated lately and making new fans in the process. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim pushed the envelope for their fall 2012 collection which looked closer to a period style than various cultural nods. Colors were on the menu, of course, with bursts of “happiness” throughout the line-up. This label is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of sportswear separates, all injected with enough quirks and twists to bring a smile to people’s faces. The look is young, but more than a few pieces, especially the outerwear, would complement many wardrobes. This time around, the duo creatively applied fur details as trims focusing around the face area.
Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy is becoming a global phenomenon. This collection might not exactly be called the horsewomen of the apocalypse; still, ‘vampy’ equestrian nods were definitely leading the line-up. Tisci loves his sleek darkness; this time he hyped-up skins to produce fascinating tailored pieces that defied expectations. From pony (really calf/vachette) to satin thin black leather, he constructed a new chapter in his Givenchy reinvention. This time, there were notes of brown and red to offset/complement the black. Our favorite piece was the star studded black mink cropped jacket. Talk about a statement piece!