Blatant pandering to the exploding middle eastern market that had been identified late in the previous decade or subversive nod to worldly Hermes values? The image of a saharan bedoin woman wearing an Hermes printed scarf as a niqab is as alluring as it is puzzling, and no less politically incorrect. Given the bag and saddle maker’s pristine reputation as the most sacred of French luxury brands and France’s current contentious and strenuous relationship with its North African immigrants, the layers build up fast. Certainly it holds an electric excitement, a feeling for something bold and new if at least politically dubious. But who better than Hermes to take you into a brave new world? Maybe that’s the sprit the labels new women’s designer, Christophe Lemaire, has taken up as his charge.