“Hermès at Work”

Artisan station.

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There has always been something whimsical about Hermès. Maybe it’s the delicate animal motifs, maybe it’s the iconic silk scarves—maybe it’s the coveted Birkin bag. Maybe it’s the fact that the secrets of its atelier are guarded like Buckingham Palace. The brand’s allure is ever-present, and for a brief few days, Vancouverites can take a very rare and personal look inside its orange heart. From now until Sunday, Hermès is hosting its travelling “Hermès at Work” exhibition at Jack Poole Plaza, allowing the public to view many of the brand’s artisans—who came from the workshop in France—in patient, steadied action.

There is a woman painting animals on porcelain, a man crafting the inside of a watch; there are stations for leather, for scarves, for screen printing, for the horse saddles that started it all. Each artisan is paired with a translator so that spectators can ask questions, making it a truly interactive and educational experience. It is hard not to fall in love with a leather glove when you can see the work that goes into its creation.

The exhibition’s private launch party was a vibrant affair, with bites from Railtown Catering and a palpable buzz in the air as admirers made their way between the postings. Hosted by Hermès Canada president and CEO Jennifer Carter and Hermès executive vice president Guillaume de Seynes (who flew in from France), the evening felt special and intimate, perhaps much like acquiring one’s own first piece of Hermès.


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September 22, 2016