Veronique Nichanian is a designer who thrives on gentle juxtapositions. At Hermès, where she has designed menswear for 33 years, she quietly finds ways to update men’s classics with a self-assured elegance that makes her a master of her craft (at a house renowned for its masterful craft). There’s a steadiness in her approach to creating clothes perfectly fit for purpose yet that feel extraordinary in their luxurious cashmere, satin, shearling and leather constructions.
Taking place inside the UNESCO building, she described her latest outing as “sweet and sharp”, where proportions were tweaked and abbreviated to usher in a subtle, sensual edge. Like leather trousers which were cut wide or pulled tight – earlier that morning at Loewe, Jonathan Anderson said that simply wearing the material forces you to “have an attitude” – or cropped jackets that reveal a slither of the silky shirt worn underneath.
In a palette described as “gravier, aquarium and fog”, Nichanian proposed ways in which the essential components of our wardrobes can be zhuzhed up but done through a whisper, not a shout. Whether that translates to fuzzy duffle coats, buttery blousons, cleverly stitched Irish cable knits, or donkey jackets accented with leather patches, each season she skips the faff and lets her clothing speak for itself. When you’re as talented as someone like Nichanian, gimmicks are redundant.
Photography courtesy of Hermès.