Hermes’ giant Madras
Hermes’ giant Madras

Hermes’ giant Madras


Resort 2019 collection of Hermes includes a flowy sundress that gives a new spin to Madras checks
It would be ironical to say that the humble Madras checks finds its place in the Resort 2019 collection of Hermes. Madras checks has been anything but humble in global fashion.
Dig deeper into textile history and there are accounts of the utility piece of clothing with checks, called the Real Madras Hand Kerchief (RMHK), being exported to British colonies as early as the 18th and 19th centuries and soon, Madras checks or plaid shirts and dresses were shipped to the West.
While many of us in south India have grown up watching our mothers and grandmothers pull out an heirloom kanjeevaram sari with the check pattern (and perhaps got a little tired of it until fashion came full circle and brought these checks back in vogue) and associate Madras and Chettinad checks with traditional ensembles.
Global brands though have been making golf caps, blazers, skirts and dresses with these Madras checks. Ralph Lauren shirts, Japan-based label Shirl’s caps and hats, French label Berluti’s blazers... the list is long.
Burberry’s new collection unveiled early this year had plenty of checks in their blazers, shirts, caps and bags. These checks are not to be confused with the Scottish plaids.
The Hermes resort wear uses soft and neutral tones of pinks, browns, beige, ivory and off-white to create a flowy sundress cinched at the waist. The rest of the collection uses water repellent calfskin, leather and light deerskin for long dresses, high-waist loose trousers and shirts, while the sundress and skirt in Madras checks use cotton with a satin-y finish and summer cashmere to arrive at flowing garments. On its social media account, Hermes aptly captions these as ‘giant Madras’ to explain their take on the traditional south Indian plaids.



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