May 16, 2013

Discover “Le Savoir-Faire Hermès”, At The Festival Des Métiers

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Will you by any chance happen to be in London sometime between May 21st and May 27th? If not, you should run out right now to buy a travel ticket, because the Saatchi Gallery on King’s Road, will be offering the unique opportunity of stepping into the fantastical world of Hermès, through its upcoming Festival des Métiers exhibition.

If there’s a specific atelier that you absolutely have to visit during your lifetime, it’s definitely the Hermès workshop – the craftsmanship of the house’s artisans is legendary after all.

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Founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès, the house started its business by introducing leather riding accessories, quickly establishing a reputation as a provider for the elite and being honoured with numerous awards.

Charles-Émile Hermès, Thierry’s son, was the one who, in 1880, moved the company’s headquarters from the Grands Boulevards quarter to its current 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré address, a location that has since become iconic. The business quickly expanded to the rest of Europe, North Africa, Russia, Asia and America, where it provided leather goods for the riding elite.

In 1900, the house introduced Haut à Courroies – a leather bag designed to hold riders’ accessories. Later on, after Émile-Maurice, the founder’s grandson, was granted exclusivity in employing the latest, most innovative feature of the time – the zipper – in his designs, the first zippered leather clothing piece was created – a golf jacket, offered to the Prince of Wales. The closing mechanism was dubbed fermeture Hermès, as a nod to its exclusivity on the French market).

Émile-Maurice was also the one to create the first leather handbag in 1922, going on to deign an entire handbag collection, after his wife was disappointed about not finding one to her liking anywhere in Paris.

1929 marked the introduction fo the first couture clothing collection, showcased in Paris, while during the Thirties, the house of Hermès gave birth to some of its most popular items, which, up to this day, are the objects of desire for women worldwide – le Sac à dépêches, the bag later renamed Kelly, after Grace Kelly was photographed wearing it in 1935, followed by the introduction of the iconic carré silk scarves two years later and the Chaîne d’ancre bracelet in 1938.

The house stands true to its philosophy to this day – “Leather, sport, and a tradition of refined elegance.” Currently, the brand offers leather goods, perfumery, prêt-à-porter clothing collections, watches, as well as an extensive list of luxury lifestyle goods.

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The Festival des Métiers exhibition, hosted by the Saatchi Gallery, offers an exclusive glimpse into the fascinating world of the Hermès ateliers. Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the artisans of one of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world, as the work to create iconic pieces, such as silk scarves, watches, jewelry and bags. The visitors are encouraged to interact with the artisans as work, in order to experience first-hand the fine savoir-faire français that the house if known for. Bonus: entrance is free to the public.

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Photos courtesy of: habituallychic.blogspot.com, manilafashionobserver.com, covermagazine.hk, aprilfrancis.com, foodmakespeoplehappy.blogspot.com, thefashionstyle.com