63 posts tagged "Hermes"
These are not the first bicycles ever to bear the Hermès name: The luxury house has clad many others in leather before. But that was just dressing, and generally by special order. In Paris this morning, Hermès quietly unveiled a bicycle called Le Flâneur, a name that evokes the image of strolling. It is the first mode of transport the house has ever developed, designed, and produced itself. “The idea was to create a real bicycle that people would use for pleasure’s sake, not as a decorative object,” explained François Doré, general director of Hermès Horizons. “It had to be light, comfortable, slightly retro, but with modern technology.” Le Flâneur’s frame is made entirely of carbon fiber (twenty-five molds were developed for building the frame alone), with judiciously placed taurillon leather details on the handles, grip, seat, and luggage rack. The deliberately unisex 8-speed checks in at 11 kilos, or 24 pounds, half the weight of Paris’ popular Vélib city bike. Weight considerations aside, other design and technology features convey a thoroughbred mindset, from integrated gearshift and hydraulic disk breaks to a sleek belt in lieu of a chain (hence no slippage and no grease). That spirit ratchets up a notch on the 12-speed “urban racing bike,” Le Flâneur Sportif, in white or black and possibly another color or two, due out in early January. So does Hermès plan to sell the kind of lock Le Flâneur will certainly require? “We’re looking closely at accessories for next year,” said Doré. Starting at 8,100 euros, Le Flâneur will glide into Hermès stores worldwide in November.
Thanks to a pretty significant headgear fetish, this editor has lost countless hours in front of the mirror, trying to tie scarves into the perfect turban. So you can imagine my surprise, delight, and quasi frustration when I discovered Hermès’ brand-new iPhone app, Silk Knots—a program complete with videos, diagrams, and photos that show you how to fashion the ultimate head scarf. The app also details how to transform your scarf into a belt, a top, or a dress, as well as unexpected new ways to achieve an ideal drape around your neck. The app is free on iTunes—the Hermès scarf, however, is not.
Fashion folk are a curious bunch, and we’ve found that they tend to collect equally curious things. In our new “Take Five” feature, we get the lowdown on our favorite industry personalities’ most treasured trinkets.
Best known for the eerie, expressive fashion illustrations he’s done for the likes of Martine Sitbon, John Galliano, Lanvin, Hermès, and Maison Michel, Cédric Rivrain lives in a Paris flat filled with curiosities. Among them are piles of anatomical figures, containers filled with unusual drawing tools, and stacks of Hermès boxes. But most intriguing is his collection of over fifty vintage medical instruments—some of which date back to the early nineteenth century—which are displayed proudly on his glass coffee table. “Some people are scared of them, but they know that I’m not a mean person, so it’s fine,” said Rivrain. “And everybody is always trying to guess what they were used for. I actually don’t even know myself!”
He doesn’t really want to know, either. Left to Rivrain by his late father—a general practitioner who had a large practice in Brittany—the drills and breathing masks look more like implements of torture than a doctor’s paraphernalia. “I was obsessed with them as a kid,” remembers Rivrain, who, along with his brother, would play with the unsettling antiques when his parents were out. “That’s why I never really wanted to know what they were used for. In my memories, they were never for medicine. They were for magic and fun.”
Here, Rivrain, who divulged that he’ll be launching his first T-shirt collaboration this fall, discusses his favorite contraptions with Style.com.
1. “This one is a total mystery to me, but I think it’s a weird old mechanism for cutting. I know it was for surgery, and you’re supposed to fix different instruments to it, and then it rotates. I used to play with it and pretend it was a pistol.”
2. “This is a mask that was used for anesthesia. It’s quite rare to still have the bubble attached. I think it’s made of something awful, like a dried organ—but not a human organ, of course. I wasn’t allowed to play with this one when I was a kid, because it’s super fragile, but it goes over your mouth and nose.”
3. “This is a little spoon with a hole. I have no idea what it’s for. I have a few of them, and I love the big handle. When [my brother and I] would play, in our heads, it was a spoon for magic potions.”
4. “This is a knee hammer, for testing reflexes. When we were kids, we’d pretend to have trials, and we’d use this for a judge’s gavel.”
5. “I always thought this one was really scary. It’s a very complex syringe of some sort. It’s made of glass and leather and steel. I never played with this as a kid, because I was so afraid of it, but now I think it’s such a beautiful object.”
The menswear shows wrapped in Paris last weekend, and while Couture is already well under way, we’d like to briefly revisit the boys’ runways to highlight a noteworthy new trend: the gentleman’s jumpsuit. The unexpected, utilitarian outfits popped up left and right in Paris, providing a sharp contrast to the season’s explosive floral prints. At Hermès, Véronique Nichanian (who is celebrating her twenty-fifth year at the house) offered a collared steel-gray onesie—complete with a matching skinny belt and cargo pockets on the chest. A.P.C.‘s Jean Touitou also submitted a slate-dyed jumpsuit, though his option looked tougher—a more macho spin on the silhouette.
At his eponymous label, Raf Simons afforded his spin on the look: a male romper. In hues of plum, malachite, and black, the wares—some of which were complemented by barbershop-stripe belts—were quintessentially the designer’s own, and artfully challenging.
And finally, Olivier Rousteing turned out multiple hard-edged takes on the jumpsuit—in denim, leather, and jersey—for his naval-inspired Balmain collection. The style might take some getting used to, but some of these one-pieces have the potential to be pretty darn masculine (“Greased Lightning,” anyone?). And, given the industry clout of the above, the term “suiting” might have a whole new meaning by the time Spring rolls around.
Paris’ Grand Palais may be synonymous with Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel spectacles, but—little-known fact—one of the venue’s original purposes was to showcase the equestrian arts. This past weekend, Hermès and some four-legged friends gave the Kaiser a run for his money by doing just that. The storied house hosted its fourth annual Saut Hermès—a top-level, gasp-inducing show-jumping competition with about $600,000 in prize money up for grabs.
Hermès used the occasion to officially launch its Cavale saddle—an advanced design crafted collaboratively between artisan, rider, and veterinarian. Hermès, which was once as well known for its horse gear as its Birkins and Kellys, aims to regain its footing as the premiere source for professional show-jumping equipment. “It is my dream for Hermès to become top of mind to riders worldwide,” said Marion Bardet, director of the label’s equestrian program. It would seem that the brand is well on its way. In addition to saddles, Hermès also offers an equestrian apparel line. Tasked with designing the uniforms for France’s show-jumping team at the London 2012 Olympics, the house seeks to combine practical elements with its famed artistry. “Their clothes are obviously beautiful, but technical as well,” said Nick Dello Joio, one of a select few brand-sponsored riders. “I use everything Hermès.”