The past inspires the future

24/10/2019 10:36

THIS OCTOBER, HERMÈS WILL BRING ITS “HERMÈS HERITAGE - IN MOTION” EXHIBITION TO HANOI, FEATURING OBJECTS FROM THE COLLECTION OF ÉMILE HERMÈS AND OTHER ARTIFACTS THAT TELL THE STORY OF THE CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION BEHIND THIS HOUSE.

HERITAGE FASHIONCHATTED WITH MENEHOULD DE BAZELAIRE DU CHATELLE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE CULTURAL PATRIMONY OF HERMÈS ABOUT THE EXHIBITION AND THE INSPIRATION THAT CONTINUES TO BE DRAWN FROM THE ÉMILE HERMÈS COLLECTION


Heritage Fashion:As the curator of the Émile Hermès collection, could you tell us about the collection and how it continues to inspire Hermès’ creative directors?

Ms. Menehould: The collection started in the late 19th century when Émile Hermès was only 12 years old. The first object he bought was a charming walking stick containing a little parasol, which is still in the collection in Paris. He was interested in this antique because it was an innovation at that time, an accessory that could be used by both men and women. And the 12-year-old boy spent all of his money to buy it. He never stopped collecting until he died in 1951 at the age of 80. He collected antiques all over world during his travels and there were many beautiful stories behind the antiques. His collection has been kept by three generations of the family after him. But it is not only preserved and cherished. We continue to enrich the collection. For us, this collection is important because it leads the way for creativity. We cannot innovate without the past. Memories are an important part of imagination.

It’s said that the Hermès logo was inspired by an object in the collection. What is it?

The logo was inspired by an old painting that Émile Hermès bought in 1922 for his collection. The logo represents a carriage drawn by a pair of horses - not a single horse as many people might think - of exactly the same size, age and coat color. The name of that type of carriage was Duc, from the Latin meaning “to move forward.” Both men and women could control this carriage as it was very elegant and sporty. In front of the horses there is a boy waiting for the carriage to arrive.

This painting was the perfect symbol for Hermès: past and future. If we look at the details, there are two horses which are the symbol of two sources of strength combined. It is a symbol of perfect balance: memory and imagination, our heritage and our mission to create the future. The logo is also a motto - always ready to start, always moving forward

The collection is normally not open to the public. Why did Hermès decide to bring a part of the collection to display in Vietnam at this time?

That’s right, the collection is like a secret garden or a forest of memories. The collection was really such a source of pride for Émile Hermès. It’s a treasure as there are objects collected from all civilizations around the world, and each country has different traditions and beautiful craftsmanship. It’s meant to be shared with people who want to know more about the secrets of Hermès. During the Hermès Heritage - In Motion exhibition, we will entertain customers with an experience of augmented reality around a number of objects. It’s like a tour to the past, but also very inspiring for the future.


What will be the most interesting objects to discover in Hanoi?

A good example would be the first Hermès scarf, created in 1937. We call it a carré (square scarf), but actually it’s a perfect combination of circles and squares. I’m sure in Vietnam you have the same symbols. The circle stands for heaven and the square is a symbol of earth, where people live.

The design of the scarf was inspired by a popular game in France in the 19th century, named “Jeu des omnibus et dames blanches.” This game is also in the Émile Hermès collection and reflects the origins of Hermès as a leather harness workshop. As a collector, he loved acquiring objects related to horse-drawn carriages. Hermès found an inspiration in this old game to create a printed scarf for women. In 1937, this kind of scarf was quite new as women didn’t wear printed scarves before; they were only worn by men, mainly by soldiers. It was a kind of revolution in the life of women at the  time.

Vietnam and France share a long history and have a close relationship. Have you ever thought of creating something that shows the relationship between the two countries?

Why not? It could be very interesting. We have a saddle made of silver and lacquer from Indochina in the Émile Hermès collection. Its design is very beautiful and it dates back to the 19th century. It might not have been bought by Émile himself but by one of his salesmen. And as you say, we have a very close relationship with Vietnam so it could be an inspiration for a scarf.

 An Nhien



Bình luận