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Timeless elegance at French luxury leader Hermes

Friday Jan 29, 2010

Hermes stepped back from the fashion fray on Saturday by delivering a collection of timeless pieces that willfully snubbed trendiness.

The storied label's menswear offerings for fall-winter 2010-2011 made nearly no concessions to the fads that have swept other Paris catwalks, including proposing slouchy longjohns as a stand-in for pants and relieving blazers of their sleeves.

Hermes' menswear designer, Veronique Nichanian, served up to-die-for suits with straight-leg pants remarkable only for their perfect cut and sweaters that retired French soccer international Lilian Thuram - a front row guest - said he was already coveting.

"For me, what's important is to have clothes that last and age gracefully," Nichanian told The Associated Press in a post-show interview. "Season after season, I tell the same story - of quality and effortless chic - and the wardrobe of the (Hermes) man gets richer with each season."


Nichanian’s sole nods to ever-shifting street-style were the neon orange lining on some of the blazers, a zip-front jacket in crocodile that looked like the world’s most expensive hoodie and the bad boy chains dangling from the belts (albeit sterling silver chains).

The rest of the pieces - which included slim overcoats worn with leather belts, velvet jackets in slate and mauve and cashmere V-neck sweaters - were timeless in a manner befitting a house that has been forging a reputation for handmade excellence since its start as a saddlemaker in 1837.

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