Christophe Lemaire announced, almost two months ago to the day, his upcoming departure as Hermès’s artistic director of womenswear. His motivation? To focus his efforts on his own collection. And yet: it’s amazing how his namesake line feels, in fact, so astonishingly effortless.
Lemaire’s runway show was held below the BnF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), in the deserted no man’s land of the 13th arrondissement—the nearest neighbors are a super-sized movie theater on one side, and a Buffalo Grill on the other. But the luminous corridor beneath the wide pavilion was indeed a fitting place to showcase a cleanly chic, smart array of garments. Light streamed in through the glass wall of the Western wing, accenting the crisp whites, cheery blues, and no-nonsense navy that comprised the principal palette of the collection. Almost all looks were monochrome—except for a lone pretty print—and most pieces were long-sleeved, equipped for a spring season with a little chill in the air. The skirts were calf-length and elegant without being prim, and the separates wearable: breezy trenches left open, classic button-downs fastened to the neck, loose trousers. The hair was stick-straight, parted in the middle and side-swept over the left shoulder, unfussy yet feminine. The footwear was relatively sensible, mostly in the form of ankle-strapped wedges. It’s a style that would’ve done some of the attendees well given the endless stairs and no handrails at the BNF, so hard to clamber down in teetering heels.