06 October 2008

Yee hah - Hermès goes west!

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The scene: In place of a traditional catwalk, Hermès' designer Jean Paul Gaultier had recreated a desert scene with banks of sand complete with scattered oases of cacti. The music could have been the title music to an old-school western; the audience were primed for a cowboy-themed show and JPG didn't disappoint.

The show: As '80s supermodels Stephanie Seymour sashayed down the catwalk in a Stetson hat and fringed wrap skirt, closely followed by a strutting Naomi Campbell wearing a tassel-edged wrap dress over bikini bottoms, the crowd went wild. After weeks staring at stick-thin teenage models wafting up and down catwalks, it was a welcome relief to finally witness the two Amazonian, uber glamorous and still undeniably fabulous 'supers' doing their thing.

The clothes: Who knew Stetson hats and fringed jackets could be so desirable? Given the magical Hermès treatment, they were transformed into lust-worthy items. The collection never strayed into pastiche territory, the cowboy theme translated into grown-up, wearable clothes rather than fancy dress. Standout pieces included butter-soft suede jackets, a floor-sweeping tiered multi-coloured dress worn with a simple cardigan belted over it, tasseled, across-the-body bags and the most perfect riding boots you're ever likely to see. Even Hermès' most famous bag, the Kelly, was given a cowboy makeover and came complete with fringing.

The Finale: JPG took his bow to rapturous applause, wearing a black Stetson and sucking on a huge cigar (which thankfully wasn't lit as he tossed it into the audience along with the hat) and flanked by Naomi and Stephanie. Even the most jaded of fashionistas left the show smiling.


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