PARIS — Hermès has turned window purchasing for purses and saddles and suitcases into excessive artwork.
On Nov. eight, the posh design home opened a free exhibition on the Grand Palais museum to have a good time the pastime of taking a look at — however not shopping for — items in retailer home windows.
The exhibition consists of eight fantasy store window shows created by Leïla Menchari, the Tunisian-born queen of design who reigned over the image home windows on the Hermès flagship on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré from 1978 to 2013.
“Hermès wouldn’t be Hermès with out Leïla,” Axel Dumas, the C.E.O. of the posh home, mentioned on the opening.
“Hermès à Tire d’Aile: Les Mondes de Leïla Menchari” (Hermès Takes Flight: The Worlds of Leïla Menchari) was sponsored by the model, and it comes similtaneously the disclosing of the annual Christmas window shows on the grand department shops: Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché, Printemps. It additionally echoes an analogous exhibition of Ms. Menchari’s window shows at L’Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris in 2010.
But Mr. Dumas dismissed ideas that this exhibition was a industrial promotion. “Her home windows had been accessible and free for anybody who handed by,” he mentioned. “The exhibition is free.”
Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the creative director of Hermès, mentioned, “Greater than anything, we wished to pay homage to Leïla and her work for Hermès. We couldn't omit our model, as a result of we can't separate Leïla and her profession from our home.”
The Hermès items within the exhibit are one-of-a-form artistic endeavors and never on the market. (The identical was true when Ms. Menchari was creating her home windows: Many of the items that Hermès artisans had been assigned to make for them had been by no means accessible for buy.)
Every show within the exhibition is constructed like an intimate, open stage, on a bigger scale than an precise Hermès window, however and not using a barrier of glass that may have created distance from the viewer.
One show, based mostly on a window in 2011, incorporates a horse sculpture of chrome steel and tawny brown leather-based items by the French sculptor Christian Renonciat; it's flanked by matching silver and brown leather-based-trimmed suitcases.
One other show in shades of white and pale cream evokes India, with an elaborate vintage carved picket display and a marble fountain from Rajasthan, two marble panels from Jaipur exhibiting Indian ladies holding lotus flowers and 7 Hermès purses of various sizes. It's impressed by a window from 2008.
A 3rd show consists of a number of intricately hand-carved animal heads from Indonesia towards a woven Tunisian backdrop. Unique dried pods and leaves spill onto the ground. A saddle was embroidered with silk threads and pearls to look as if it had been made with leopard pores and skin; different items had been made to resemble wild animal skins.
The exhibition coincides with the discharge of “Leïla Menchari, Queen of Enchantment,” a ebook printed in French and English by Actes Sud and Hermès. Illustrated with 137 window shows, it traces Ms. Menchari’s life and work, from her beginning roughly 90 years in the past right into a household of rich landowners to her high quality arts research in Tunis and Paris, her arrival as a window show assistant at Hermès in 1961 and the extraordinary profession that adopted. (Hermès declined to reveal her precise age.)
“Once I got here to Hermès, I didn’t know I might come into probably the most lovely lure of my life,” Ms. Menchari mentioned on the exhibit, evaluating every of her home windows to a tiny theater set during which the position of each object should carry out superbly. “It's a must to seduce, completely. Issues which can be made nicely by no means depart you detached.”