Hermes plays with depth in Surrealist Paris show

PARIS — Hermes headlined Saturday’s installment of Paris Fashion Week with a cinematic, surrealist runway staging, but the lack of celebrities attending and the patchy drizzle put a slight dampener on the usually high-octane events.

Like Milan before it, Paris is undertaking an unusual fashion season for Spring-Summer 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The nine-day calendar is flitting between 16 ready-to-wear runway collections with masked guests in seated rows, 20 in-person presentations and several dozen completely digital shows streamed online with promotional videos.

Some of Saturday’s highlights:

HERMES

Prints of Greco-Roman goddess sculptures adorned columns marking out Hermes’ labyrinthine show, while mirrors around the set reflected parts of their marble limbs. The creative presentation referenced surrealists Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau, evoking a sense of magic, mystery and depth.

Depth was indeed the key theme for minimalist designer Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, but the magic and mystery were sometimes missing in the clothes. Shimmering metallic mesh came as an outer layer on pared-down undergarments in dark and muted hues.

In one LWD (Little White Dress), the gold meshing resembled kinky chainmail and felt very 1990s. Elsewhere, the play on depth continued as the sides were scooped out of an ethnic-looking brown dress to expose the model’s skin.

It was, on the whole, a low-energy collection. Still, individual garments were high in sophistication, especially those with layered paneling. One coat in old rose had a chic rolled-up collar that riffed on aviation attire.

ALTUZARRA IS SOPHISTICATED

Tailoring, ruching, draping and layering were the winning formula for Paris-born designer Joseph Altuzarra in his refined-looking Spring-Summer fare. A Chinese white tunic-gown that was loose and open-necked had an angelic quality. Delicacy was in evidence in the minimalist black cord that tied the garment’s waist.

A gathered gown in camouflage green had sweeping panels of gathered fabric at the skirt that evoked a goddess in the wind. It was, the house said following the show, inspired by the windswept sci-fi movie “Dune.”

The best looks were also ones in which the designer, who has a Chinese, American and French background, mixed up cultural references. A silver Western trench coat was fashioned in voluminous proportions and layers, and its lower part had the feel of a Samurai hakama (skirt-like pants) with an Obi belt.

Altuzarra has shown versatility in his over ten years of collections that have switched from the bright and joyful, to more refined and couture-infused, designs. On Saturday, it was a mixture of both.

ESTER MANAS LOVES EVERYONE

Ester Manas is a brand that has been making ripples at Paris Fashion Week in recent seaasons with a body positive approach that is, sadly, all too rare. The design duo at the helm — French-born Ester Manas and Belgian-born Balthazar Delepierre — said that their Saturday presentation “has been inspired by real women, regardless of their sizes, colours or shapes.”

The show, entitled “Superhuman,” featured relaxed looks with loose proportions and flashes of design fun. A plus-sized model rocked a vermilion red knit dress with cleavage, split leg and peekaboo holes at a midriff adorned with a large heart. Plus-size is sexy and we love it: The loud and clear message was delivered.

There was also some design flair, such as a loose marigold yellow pantsuit with a gargantuan fun peplum. Wearable was this season’s priority.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, reported 323 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
‘We’re in a danger zone,’ says Hinshaw

The province’s top doctor says “we’re in a danger zone” when it… Continue reading

Mayor Tara Veer pleads with the premier Tuesday to review the decision to move to a consolidated EMS dispatch system, which will be moved to three centres across the province. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
‘Issue of life and death’: mayors plead with government to halt consolidated EMS dispatch

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer calls on premier to overturn consolidated EMS dispatch decision

A $2.3-billion expansion of Alberta’s natural gas transportation system has been approved. “This should provide significant benefits — and we need every little bit of economic boost we can get,” says Reg Warkentin, policy adviser for the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Flickr photo)
Red Deer-area to benefit from $2.3 billion gas pipeline expansion project

Project will add 344 km of new pipeline between RMH and Grande Prairie

Dustin Snider was elected the new board president for Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Earl’s Restaurant manager re-elected Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce president

Dustin Snider has been re-elected president of the Red Deer & Distict… Continue reading

Red Deer singer Kayla Williams hopes listeners fed up with the pandemic are comforted by her new song, Stealing from My Youth, which is digitally available for streaming on Friday. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer singer summarizes universal pandemic feelings in a new single

Kayla Williams releases ‘Stealing From My Youth’ on Friday

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw warms up before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Kershaw, LA stars shine, Dodgers top Rays 8-3 in WS opener

Kershaw, LA stars shine, Dodgers top Rays 8-3 in WS opener

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford leaps over a challenge by PSG's Presnel Kimpembe during the Champions League group H soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout

Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout

Hamilton Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis, right, hugs captain Kyle Bekker following their victory in the Canadian Premier League soccer final against the Calgary Cavalry in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Under Smyrniotis, Forge FC has been the class of the Canadian Premier League. The two-time champions from Hamilton look to mark their internationally this week as they open CONCACAF League play in El Salvador. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ influence on Canadian soccer continues to grow

Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ influence on Canadian soccer continues to grow

Players' sticks are shown during a World Hockey Championships game in Moscow, Russia on Thursday, May 12, 2016. A senior hockey team in a small city in southern Manitoba has changed its name following a push against the use of Indigenous names and caricatures as mascots. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev
Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

Jason Kokrak tees off during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in North Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Long drive champ Berkshire looking to compete in tournaments

Long drive champ Berkshire looking to compete in tournaments

The Los Angeles Dodgers line up during during the national anthem and a fly over before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

Keegan Messing performs in the Gala at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Messing dedicating his Skate America performance to grounded Canadian teammates

Messing dedicating his Skate America performance to grounded Canadian teammates

Most Read