Hermes takes it easy this summer

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 April, 1996, 12:00am

Summertime . . . when living is easy. That's the theme of Hermes men's ready-to-wear collection, according to the French company's fashion consultant, Daniel Ward.

Mr Ward acts as the buffer between Hermes designer Veronique Nichanian and the man in the street.

At the Hermes boutique in Central to launch the latest look, Mr Ward was working in his dual role of marketing manager and image guru, offering tips to Hong Kong men looking for a bit of style this summer.

'Asian males are slowly but surely moving away from the corporate style of dress that has dominated men's fashion in most countries of Southeast Asia,' Mr Ward said.

'But we at Hermes like to think our latest collection will be a departure point, allowing men the chance to obtain a wardrobe that is elegant yet sporty, of top quality and, most of all, full of vitality.' Mr Ward said emphasis this year was on materials and colours. Soft, light and versatile fabrics had produced clothes that felt as good as they looked.

'The clothes are hand-stitched . . . we've also introduced something that separates our designs from others - small, fine details that signal quality,' Mr Ward said.

Detailing includes working cuffs on jackets - a tradition abandoned with the advent of mass production. Hand-stitched seams are also part of the Hermes' philosophy that clothes should exude stylish quality.

At the core of the spring/summer collection is the shirt-jacket, styled with simplicity in mind but yet elegant and modern. It can be very casual or classical, depending on the cut. There are collarless, unstructured versions or more tailored styles. They can be teamed with either pleated linen trousers, or the new crisp, narrow trousers with riding pockets and no pleats.

The Hermes suit puckers up in seersucker, while country suits rough it with herringbone and rustic linen. Beach and sportswear comes in loose drawstring-waisted trousers, either in terry towelling or a deck-chair striped linen mix; these cool trousers can be worn with matching or contrasting high-buttoned waistcoats.

Linen tops the fabrics in the latest collection. Linen crepe, herringbone linen, wool and linen, cotton and linen and silk and linen are examples of the refreshing fusions.

Traditional 'Khadi' from Ahmedabad in India has been worked into fresh tie-dyed patterns on waistcoats, in electric blues and grassy greens. The freshness continues with the knitwear, which is available in a variety of stitches; fine, raised and cable-stitch, with two-tone combinations in shirts and zipped polos.

Colours range from earthy browns to country naturals. A brighter note is struck with fresh greens. For evening, off-white, navy, brown and black complete the range.