Gaultier’s last Hermes Runway : Spring 2011 from Paris Fashion Week

Even writing out the title for this post brought tears to my eyes. Jean Paul Gaultier has been designing for Hermes for seven years now. That’s 14 seasons with the legendary brand, more if you include resort, etc.  I had secretly hoped that we might be able to celebrate a decade of Gaultier at Hermes but all great designers must spread their wings and fly away at some point. Next season we’ll be looking at a designer who comes fresh off the Lacoste train! Gaultier is leaving big shoes to fill for the newbie, especially with the collection that was presented today in Paris.  

For Gaultier’s final catwalk with Hermes, we saw a show like no one has ever seen before.  A stable filled with chandeliers and covered with muddy floors was being racked as guests arrived for the show.  To start things off riders put their dressage horses, yes actual real horses, through a ceremonial dance before models began taking their own steps onto the muddy catwalk. It may all sound so very random but their was nothing at all random about this meshing of elements for the Hermes brand. 

The show itself did not disappoint either.  Of course everyone knows that Hermes is a house renowned for their fine leather. Today we saw fine leather pieced together at its best.  Leather bustiers ruled the catwalk with one even resembling a broken down Birkin bag (genius!). 

Of course no show at Hermes is complete with accessories to drool over.  This season we were presented with fresh ideas on classic Hermes bags and reworked leather bracelets.  There were even beautiful horsebit belts and flat fanny packs for the posh tourist in us all.  

The makeup this year was typical of Hermes – classic and refined. It was all very natural as is the clothing.  The hair was tied back for most into beautiful long braids – perfect for the theme of the show.

This really was a fantastic show and allowed for Jean Paul Gaultier to leave on such a high note after a seven year relationship with the brand.  

Just before I go, I wanted to share what some other big names on the fashion news block had to say about the collection:

Jean Paul Gaultier’s last collection for Hermes was a spot-on parsing of the brand’s identity. So much so that one has to wonder how Hermes could let him go…But Hermes is where Mr. Gaultier’s genius for drama gets toned down to where you can really see his versatility.

Christina Binkley, Wall Street Journal

(will be updated as the reviews come in)

Photos by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty


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