I am loving that fashion exhibitions are all the rage, I loved discovering Dior at Harrods, I adored checking out the ballgowns at the V&A, was completely memsormised by the exquiste Valentino gowns when his exhibition opened at Somerset House, and was blown away by the over-sized props at the Tim Walker Story Teller exhibit.
Well now is the turn of French fashion house Hermès, who have brought their Festival des Métiers to London, so you can watch their artisans create some of their iconic pieces. If you have every wondered how Hermès make their luxury pieces that you have admired this is the exhibit for you, and I think you will be surprised by how the pieces come together and appreciate their luxury price tags a little more when you see the hand craftsmanship that goes into each item.
The exhibition is all about showcasing the traditions and values of Hermès and the Saatchi Gallery has been transformed into a make-shift workshop. It isn’t a huge exhibit but there is a lot to see as the fashion house is showcasing 10 different crafts from its leather work to the creation of its fashion pieces and even its jewellery.
You can watch the artisans make pieces from scratch and you are encouraged to ask them questions and find out more about their work. I watch all the ten different crafts from the intricate work of putting a watch together, I have no idea how she knew where to put what piece, to seeing a silk tie made entirely by hand. It was fascinating to watch the artisan pinning the fabric and hand-sewing it together, she did it with ease, with precision and total care.
It was also interesting to find out how long it takes to make these pieces, for instance this tie takes 20 minutes, but what was refreshing to hear was that that Hermès is all about quality over quantity, for instance if a scarf doesn’t come out perfect they are shredded up and used to stuff cushions.
I was also blown away by the detailing that goes into one of their famous silk scarves – from the mixing of the unique colours to the numerous layers of printing to the embroidery work, and all done on the finest silk, and it was fascinated to see how much work is done to the leather to produce the famous Birkin handbag, it is cut, trim, treated and then fitted together – it was incredible.
It is rare to have an inside look into a major fashion house and I couldn’t recommend this exhibition more, especially if you are fascinated by how designer pieces are put together.
You have to be quick though as this free exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea is only on until May 27, but what better way to spend a Bank Holiday weekend. Plus when you are done you can go for a spot of shopping, or in my case window shopping at all the fantastic floral displays in honour of the Chelsea Flower Show that is on down the road.
For more pictures of the exhibition head on over to my Facebook page, I have a new camera so I took a lot!!!
[Pics: All taken by me, Fashionista Barbie - please don't use without crediting]