Hermes: Fashion with Stature
Sun Jan 25, 2:00 PM EST
Godfrey Deeny

Paris – If you want to know how the smartly dressed success story guy is going to look this fall then check out the latest collection by Hermes, where understated elegance rarely looked more right than in these troubled times.

Using fabrics more associated with haute couture - double face cashmere, etriviere mink and Toilbright - Hermes menswear designer Veronique Nichanian whipped up her latest classy take on gentlemanly dressing Saturday.

For fall 2009, Nichanian also went for a new, more angular silhouette, part of the whole austere mood we're seeing in European men's fashion. What's great about Nichanian's Hermes is the way her clothes flatter, such as a charcoal wool suit with the shadow of the lapel and pocket faded over.

There was an electric color burst, from traffic stopping yellow nylon parkas and peg leg pants to a burnished vermillion red flight jacket, and again magnificent expressions of haute gamme - a cognac nubuck crocodile trench of cool gravitas.

Boots had worn toes, and trench's had a World War II air, one of the few Paris collections to have military motifs. Overall, the clothes looked just a bit more lived in, a general mood in Europe where designers seemed to have decided that for this year, it might not be quite good form to be seen in brand new clothes.

Which is why, Hermes' whispered quality might be just right for now.

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