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Season of elegance Audrey Simon loves the way pure designs with less fuss are making a big statement in men’s fashion


For a bit of zest, add some apple green

Sleeveless cardigans look good on a welltoned body

he fashion world has not been spared the effects of the economic crisis. Designers in the midst of creating their spring/summer 2010 collections when it hit in 2008 were cautious, and the resulting showcases at all the major fashion shows last year were obviously pared down. Not just the women’s collections but also the men’s. Reflecting the uncertain times was Hugo Boss, which took its men’s ready-to-wear (RTW) line down a notch with a safe collection that consisted of classic lines and clean silhouettes in subdued palettes, from sky blue to earth tones. Also showing off a sombre men’s RTW collection was Jil Sander. Gone are the opulent suits with complicated stitching; instead, a minimalist collection greeted the fashion audience at its runway show. The theme that stitched the various fashion houses together was the suit collection. Men are encouraged to suit up this season and for this, Hermès does it best, as evidenced by the well-proportioned, well-tailored suits on the runway at the Convent des Cordeliers in Paris last year. Designer Véronique Nichanian’s look is imbued with the Bohemian

The Bohemian spirit is captured in grey suits with dashes of colour

No granddad look here; cardigans come with a contemporary twist

spirit — the grey or chocolate-coloured suits have accents of apple green and white. The suits feature uncomplicated two-button or doublebreasted jackets, cardigans are given a contemporary twist with buttoned up collars, while tank tops are in for the well-toned man. Shirts stay safe with small, round collars or are collarless, with topstitched shirt fronts. The trousers are straight-cut and narrow

Cherry wood panelling and plush furniture make this a welcoming place

or wide with an elastic waist, while Bermudas make for a perfect weekend look. Fabrics for the RTW spring/summer 2010 are numerous, including linen, nubuck lambskin, leather, jersey, cashmere, silk and twill. Of course, your look will not be complete without accessories — have a peek at Hermès’ range of belts, scarves, ties, silver bracelets and leather necklaces for some ideas. In search of the total look? Take your cue from hairstyles that are big this season and seen on most runway shows — the schoolboy look (think Harry Potter, the later years) or punk rocker (think Adam Lambert, runner-up of last year’s American Idol).

The first floor showcases shirts, ties, perfumes and small leather goods

What men want The Hermès Man Store on 62nd Street and Madison Avenue in New York City

If you are travelling to New York any time soon, make a pilgrimage to the Hermès Man Store on stylish 62nd Street and Madison Avenue in New York City. It is the first Hermès store solely dedicated to men — all 2,450 sq ft of it. Get excited about the four levels that meet every sartorial need. The first floor showcases shirts, ties, perfumes and small leather goods. Taking pride of place on the mezzanine level are

the knitwear, sportswear, luggage, watches, belts and hats. The third floor is devoted to formal items — suits, shoes and briefcases — while the topmost floor is where you can order made-tomeasure suits. The store exudes a masculine charm, from the brown brick exterior to the cherry wood panelling inside. Plush furniture also makes this a welcoming place.