"I don't do fashion, I do clothes," Hermès menswear designer Véronique Nichanian told the French newspaper Libération today.
It's such modesty that makes her collections so seemingly unprepossessing, but, paradoxically, so desirable.
The most flattering, straightforward clothes in the best fabrics money can buy: Why make things any more complicated? That's where Nichanian's skill as a designer comes into play.
Sure, she makes clothes, but she adds just enough fashion to seduce—and reassure.
This season's color palette was dark, earthy shades of taupe, slate, bronze, and a deep greenish shade she called "verdigris," which Nichanian showed in seersucker as well as calfskin.
They were sophisticated hues, but they weren't scary.
(That function was filled by the hit of apple green in a big cashmere pullover or a shirt layered under a bronze leather overshirt.)
The designer also adjusted proportions—slightly cropping pants, upping the volume of jackets and knitwear—to emphasize stylish ease.
And she showed her dressiest looks—suits in black and bronze linen—with sandals.
Maybe that look is a bare necessity in Nichanian's eyes, but the guy who wears it will be looking mighty fashionable come next summer.