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Ponchos, tender leather mark Hermes show
Ponchos, tender leather and styles for all ages grace Hermes fall-winter catwalk
By The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) ' In his third collection for Hermes, the house of the jet-setting fashion buyer, Christophe Lemaire flew business-class to Argentina, where he reworked the iconic Gaucho look in an accomplished fall-winter display.

The first piece introduced gentle, hanging silhouettes: a long fringed cape in navy blue was worn like a South American poncho.

While wide low-slung pleated gaucho pants mixed with sumptuous nude leathers ' the house's signature material ' that were so soft, they moved as if they were living and breathing.

True enough: as the models walked past there was a distinct aroma of polished hide.

There were nods to the season's must-have, the boxy-jacket, with one charcoal number reworked on a high white collar, in the style of Spanish equestrian garb.

But Hermes, in typical style, was all about comfort.

The relaxed look was perfected with subtle contrasting pieces: a coat was so cool it hung from one shoulder, yet also had the fierceness of a matador cape.

Lemaire's interest in orientalism is nothing new. But Sunday saw the theme restyled in a series of pajama-inspired dresses with intricate Persian prints that could be worn by women of all ages. And indeed the show saw models in their 40s walk down the runway.

Speaking backstage, Lemaire laughed: "We are timeless. Hermes is for individual women, whatever their age." At which point, he was cut off by 65-year-old fashion icon Jane Birkin, who came to give him a kiss.

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