Salone in focus 3: Hermès
Words Mark Hooper
Photographs Sam Walton
The monumental tiled structures built to show off Hermès home collection stole the show at their breathtaking installation…
Part of the thrill of Salone del Mobile is bumping into friends, acquaintances, previous interviewees, colleagues – even ex-colleagues – and picking up the buzz about a specific stand or show. One such example was the Hermès presentation at the Museo della Permanente on Via Turati. It continued once we were already in the building – stopping off at the bar to recover from the sweltering temperatures outside over an ice tea, we saw a friend who immediately started raving about the show. When we said we were looking forward to it, they replied, ‘You haven’t been in yet?’ with incredulity that we could be calmly sipping soft drinks a few feet away from the delights within.
He wasn’t wrong. The sheer theatricality and scale of the display – seven architectural structures entirely covered with Moroccan glazed earthenware Zellige tiles in various hues – was genuinely breathtaking. Conceived by Charlotte Macaux Perelman (co-artistic director of Hermès Maison) and Alexis Fabry (publisher, curator and co-founder of Toluca Editions), these separate rooms, lit subtly as if from skylights in the ceiling towering above us, added huge drama to the individual pieces on show.
The collection itself was as refined as you would expect from Hermès – with every line and detail precise and nothing superfluous in the range of leatherware, ceramics and furniture – including further collaborations with the artist Nigel Peake – that sat on pedestals and recesses or were stacked on vertiginous steps within the spaces.
The opening night saw a spectacular performance of gravity-defying, parkour-style dance by the Austrian choreographer Willi Dorner. But in truth, the silent power and majesty of the buildings – and the perfect combination of form, craftsmanship, colour and lighting – spoke for itself.
Coincidentally, the colour schemes and structures were almost identical to some of the four exclusive covers created by artist Charlotte Taylor for the new, Nest Issue of Hole & Corner – particularly the Evening edition. In fact, the palette used by Taylor throughout the series uncannily predicted some of the key colour trends at Salone. We’ll put it down to a combination of great minds and impeccable taste…