From Dundas to Hermès, couture week also means pre-collections and resort
If it’s the first week of July and you are in fashion, then it’s time for Paris couture, right? Not quite this season, where Sunday saw shows by Hermès and Peter Dundas that were both clearly ready-to wear.
The latter was making his debut as an independent house, and he chose a remarkably beautiful space – a brilliantly restored 18th-century apartment hidden in the back of a 1st arrondissement passage – to unveil a resort collection.
Dundas is a highly experienced designer whose signature style is high-octane, endless-legs glamour. He turned Pucci into a red carpet powerhouse, sandwiched between reputable tenures at Emanuel Ungaro and Roberto Cavalli.
He stayed completely true to his style in this collection with mesh Art Deco columns exposing acres of flesh; sapphire sequined jumpsuits; bright rose sequined sweatshirts covered in wild birds and the lettering Starship Soul. Transparency ruled in a gutsy collection that recalled Studio 54, while disappointing however, by sticking too closely to Dundas’ tried and test formula.
Chez Hermès, the clothes were all relatively charming in a saccharine sort of way. Though the mood, and the setting, was confused. A team of tiny workers obsessively brushed the pebble catwalk on the 2nd floor of Hermès elegant flagship into neat Zen-line lines. Then, the cast proceeded to dash about like models late for an Easy Jet flight, scrambling to catch their DJ boyfriend’s rave party in Ibiza. In the end, what was left was a light pebble catwalk after 30 lanky women had raced over it; only to end up looking more like cat litter, which we would not have necessarily associated with Hermès, quite frankly.
As for the clothes, the house showcase some elegant tops and handkerchief cocktails in soft silks with key and heraldic prints; one rather wonderful sherbet cashmere town-coat and a great Galway Bay blue alligator sheath. All told, a perfectly fine collection. However, this was also merely a presentation of clean and commercial clothing with no strong fashion statement, which did not quite seem right during couture.
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