Watching the Men’s spring/ summer 2021 collection by Hermès via video streaming from Paris gives me the best seat in the house. With the laptop hooked up to the TV and a glass of wine in hand, I could clearly see every exquisite detail on the clothes.

This year’s collection — titled HorsChamp or off-camera — captures a collection that embodies a carefree expression of lightness and simplicity. The collection was designed by Hermès’ artistic director Véronique Nichanian and the show was done in collaboration with Cyril Teste. A graduate in visual arts, Teste turned to theatre and attended the Cannes Regional School of Acting, then the Paris National Drama Academy. He then co-founded Collectif MxM, a creative and changeable core of artists and technicians with light designer Julien Boizard and composer Nihil Bordures in 2000, eventually becoming its artistic director.

In a press statement put out by Hermes, Teste says, “We don’t want to create a fashion show or an absolutely finite performance. We want it to be an event: the process of creation experienced; a live sculpture as it were; an object generated at the very moment it appears — something that can only be achieved through precise stage directions, which take time and repetition to master.

This collective process opens the door to chance, which is in truth quite a precise thing. Naturally, this is a risky proposition. I hope that our playful approach freed our endeavour from a “making of” vibe that was never our intention. The idea was rather to film what was off-camera”. This he did in a very interesting way of presenting a fashion show — it came across as a short film with models seen getting ready for a show. It is that crucial moment where models try the clothes and are given accessories to go with each ensemble. It is like the attendees are privy to a behind-the-scenes look moments before a show.

The collection features fabrics that are fresh and light as jackets and blouson shirts get a striped treatment. A play of striped shirts gains linings, panels and double closure. Blousons get interesting with details such as a removable collar, sweatshirts with hood and zipped sweatshirts. Zipped shirt-blousons with short sleeves and buttoned high collar, shirts with gusset collar, large shirts with double sleeves, large collarless shirts with striped detail. Also on display are one-pleat trousers, elastic waist and patch pockets, one-pleat trousers and belts in braided strap canvas and wide trousers with patch pockets.

Suits come with a three-button jacket and secret pocket, one-pleat trousers and belt in braided strap canvas. Straight jackets with double front and shirt-jackets with patch pockets feature prominently while pullovers with boat neck, sleeveless pullovers with V-neck, pullovers with polo neck and short-sleeved pullovers. Colours take on the various shades of blue such Mediterranean blue, storm blue, almond green, stone, gravel, off-white, rope and white. The use of fluorescent yellow also keeps up with the summer time mood.

Fabrics used include deerskin, metis goatskin with striped print and sketched links, technical calfskin with reversible fluorescent water-repellent Plume canvas. Striped cotton poplin and sketched links or with inlaid shirt stripes, mini-armoured cotton. Also used are linen and cotton flamed canvas. and striped cotton poplin with end-on-end rhythmical stripes, inlaid shirt stripes or with open-work links and crispy technical canvas with English ribbing embroidered in leather and mouliné cotton