As you know, on Wednesday I attended Hermès' new exhibition, Leather Forever... (click here to see the pictures I took at the show, frankly they don't do the pieces justice but it shows the diversity of the work on display, as well as the beautiful designs, be it handbags, saddles or clothes.
But mostly what this exhibit showcases is the amazing quality of the Hermès craftsmanship: take a handbag, from the leather to the final piece, each is made by one single craftsman, entirely by hand. The exhibit starts with a room where viewers can see, smell and touch the original skins, calf leather, ostrich, alligator and experience first hand the fabulous colours from this season... before moving to the on-sit workshop, where two craftspeople are working on new pieces. I made a mini video for you, the you can see the craftsman polishing the side of what will be a Constance handbag, before the resine is applied to seal the sides.
As the show progresses from room to room, I found myself moving deeper into the dreamy universe that is Hermès, from bespoke pieces such as the winged saddle that you access by walking through a curtain of Barenia leather (in my mind the best-smelling leather in the world!), to a desert of orange sand where travel bags are lined up for an incredible voyage.
My favourite piece? Probably the oversized kelly-shaped display in the dark opera-like room, where one could admire the classic shapes of kelly, birkin, HAC etc.
By the end, I wanted to walk down to the Bond Street flagship to enquire about a number of new goodies that I suddenly feel I want to have, it's a blessing it wasn't open that night! This exhibit is a must for handbag lovers and anyone who loves quality.
Until May 27th 2012
Royal Academy of Arts Galleries
6 Burlington Gardens
(Entrance is free)