For over two weeks I saw huge trucks deliver various building blocks to PMQ. Over time a large shipping container seemed to form with the faintest hue of Hermes orange peeking out from under the scaffolding. Was an Hermes ark being built where all the fabulous people of Hong Kong would be shuffled in two by two? And who would be on that list? Turns out it wasn’t a ship built to save us from a watery destruction but instead a remarkable leather exhibit erected to show us just how glorious the world of Hermes truly is. In a sense they were saving us but it was more from horrible handbags than from total annihilation. Either way I made the list.
My better half and I got all gussied up to attend the opening night party. We walked in and were presented with the most fabulous silly bandz you could ever want- little orange “H”‘s. If I have to wear a rubber bracelet then let it be this! The first room we wandered into was filled with skins floor to ceiling with a background photo of the real warehouse where the luxe skins are stored. To one side sat a lovely French woman endlessly toiling away on some sort of leather good. Upon further inspection I saw that it was a coveted Kelly that she was crafting. I asked if this bag would be for sale at the end of the exhibit but it turns out that it will either be destroyed or sit on a shelf in some vast warehouse as it can not be sold as it was not “Made in France”. I asked if they could stamp it with “Made in Hong Kong” instead and everyone had a bit of a chuckle but clearly wasn’t as amused as I was.
We soon learned that this was just the start of the adventure as room after room was to unfold before us each with its own theme, lighting scheme, music and… dare I say it…scent! The rich leather aroma hung in the air and sometimes the actual leather was doing the hanging around!
This work may have been instagrammed more than any other. A collection of this many Birkins and Kelly’s set to form an alter of sorts. There are those that worship these bags so it wouldn’t surprise me that this is what greets the devotees.
It may have done this lighting installation more justice if I had stood next to it as it was around 6 ft tall! I gladly would have traded all the lamps in my flat and used this as the sole lighting for my entire apartment. Dinner parties just got far more interesting!
After walking at a snails pace through the exhibit to capture in all the details we wandered to the 5th floor where the party was taking place. Models with paper horse masks showed us the way in a very Eyes Wide Shut fashion. The party was like stumbling into a friends home and we moved from room to room to discover new foods, drinks, and activities. There were sketch artists hiding in the corners quickly drawing your face and presenting you with the keepsake. There was a magician wowing the crowd with his close up illusions. There was a horse pulled sleigh you could pose with (and I did just that- hello Christmas card!). The cigarette girls were a big hit but instead of toting smokes they had a horse puzzle and if you put it together correctly then you got a prize. I now have a tiny cactus in the corner courtesy of Hermes. All in all it was a fabulous yet intimate event. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening! The only thing that could have topped this luxuriousness was if they had been giving out Birkins as parting gifts!
Without a doubt stop by PMQ and wander through the Hermes Leather Forever exhibit. You are guaranteed to learn a thing or two and I promise you will be amazed by what the brand has concocted. From games and rides, to lighting installations and even dancing handbags, you will smile and you will be gasp and you will certainly want to own a piece of the history. Perhaps a gift shop at the end may be a good idea for the next stop for this exhibit!