Hermes @ Saatchi


There have been at least four Hermes exhibitions since I started Gallery Girl (less than four years ago). You would think that the prestigious French fashion house, famed for it’s luxury accessories, would have tired of displaying their wares in an art environment in London. However, less than a year after their display at the Saatchi Gallery last May, they have returned to Chelsea for yet another extravagant display of their finery.

Unlike last year’s exhibition, which focused on illustrating the high level of craftsmanship that contributes to the Hermes wares and included craftsmen and women who work for the brand, this year’s show was a little different. The exhibition is titled ‘Hermes Wanderland’ and transports the viewer to another world – one that seems to have been highly influenced by the surrealists.

The display, which has been set in Paris and embodies the spirit of the ‘flaneur’ consists of eleven rooms and has 4,000 Hermes items on show. The exhibition is inconsistent, but in a good way. Each room is different, meaning that the viewer is constantly in a state of enforced ‘wander.’ One minute you find yourself in a bright and light room, then you find yourself walking through a white wardrobe and you land not in Narnia, but in a space of complete darkness.

The exhibition is not aimed just at women. In fact, the handbags and scarves that Hermes is most famous for appear to have taken a backseat in favour of walking sticks, pocket watches and umbrellas. These are displayed in such settings as isolated bars and cafes, as well as shop windows that have been filled with giant elephants, porcelain and china.

The show is a delight and must be enjoyed before it wanders elsewhere!

Hermes Wanderland is on display at Saatchi Gallery until 2 May and will then be relocated to Paris and Milan

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer with a special interest in contemporary Middle Eastern Art. She has a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She runs the Gallery Girl blog and has written for After Nyne, Arteviste, Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine and Reorient.

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