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Published by Sugar & Cream, Friday 17 May 2024

Images courtesy of Hermès

The Topography of Material 

Hermès’ collections for the home invite you to step out of time – while keeping your feet on the ground – and to create a dialogue between roots and movement, between materials and know-how. For Milan Design Week 2024, Hermès is presenting its new collections in tandem with pieces from its heritage. This pairing plays on temporal ambiguity, demonstrating that Hermès Objects are unaffected by time and passing trends.

Following a route on the theme of the ground, evoking our relationship with the world around us, the eye is drawn to a composition of raw materials – brick, stone, slate, wood, and compacted earth – depicting a jockey’s silk jersey. A powerful symbol of the house’s cultural heritage, the jockey silk with colourful geometric motifs is an inspiration for leather goods and textiles. Buckets, baskets, and table centrepieces in leather are given form by highly skilled saddler leatherworkers.

Virtuoso craftsmanship is also apparent on blankets in subtle, graduated shades and on large cashmere bedspreads in new sizes, enhanced with graphic lines that are woven, dyed, tailored, quilted, and embroidered. The shape of the new Diapason d’Hermès lounge chair in leather and hammered aluminium is radical and elegant. Ethereal lamps inspired by the codes of equestrian vaulting and the delicate strokes of the Tressages équestres dinner service are the embodiment of lightness and refinement.

All of which confirms Hermès’ original spirit of combining excellence with craftsmanship.

Created in the modernist tradition by Studio Hermès, this lounge chair combines contrasting materials with the power of formal design. Its structured look is composed of two pieces of leather forming the seat and back which are mounted on a hammered aluminium frame.

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Lunge reins, riding crop and show-jumping poles… This new line of lamps has a distinctly equestrian identity with a slender stem in braided two-tone leather, a shade in slub linen with leather piping and a patinated base with a bronze-style finish. Understated and unique, it plays with textures, materials and colours.

For the first time, saddlery and leatherworking know-how have been utilised to create a line of objects. Blanket baskets, buckets and table centrepieces are crafted entirely from leather. The material is used here to explore construction, scale, colour and geometry. Strips of coloured leather on both sides, pierced and stitched by hand, are coiled to form a basket, while table centrepieces in leather marquetry display graphic motifs. All the skills of the house’s artisans are deployed to transform supple leather into solid objects.

A house classic, this watch and jewellery box is made of wood and sheathed in leather on all sides. The painter applies ink to the leather freehand, tracing the myriad lines and dots with light, meticulous gestures.

Symbolising the bond between horse and rider, the twenty-seven pieces of this new dinner service depict the passementerie and braiding on harnesses. The kaolin white of the porcelain highlights Virginie Jamin’s airy, textured designs, with natural leather bows and cotton ties, accented with dashes of mint green, lemon yellow or petrol blue.

Graphic, geometric, hypnotic. A Studio Hermès creation based on a design by Jochen Gerner, this appliqué bedspread reveals a succession of small colourful flags in motifs drawn from jockeys’ silks, conveying the diversity of equestrian motifs in existence. Crafted in silk and cotton twill with tone-on-tone topstitching and a cashmere reverse, this piece of an unexpected size also flies the flag for a singular textile know-how.

This tartan-style bed blanket is crafted from cloud-like, fold-dyed cashmere. The haute couture technique of fold dip-dyeing has been used to create shades of bronze and sunny yellow. Vertical and horizontal bands with a hand-painted look form a giant chequerboard pattern, complete with the resist-dyed H signature.

The last of the sun’s rays, daybreak, elements of nature, chiaroscuro… This cashmere blanket worked in a palette of graduated shades is endlessly comforting. It is hand-spun, hand-woven and hand-dyed in Nepal. The binding is a colourful tie woven in contrasting shades. Each fringe is dyed to halfway along its length, bringing light to the naturally white cashmere.

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