"L’Epopée d’Hermès", shawl in cashmere and silk, 140 x 140 cm
This carré is dedicated to the Hermès 2021 theme “Odyssée”. It’s a game in type of “snakes and ladders” (but without snakes - no steps backwards) illustrating rich adventures in Hermès universe. There is 184 fields - the same number of years that Hermès exist. If you are in a field with ladder you can go directly to connected place in next circle. You move on the board game playing dice. The first person reaching the last field wins.
Every circle is devoted to the one family generation. Odyssey starts on the 1st field where Thierry Hermès is going on foot from Krefeld to Paris. The founder, placed at the center of this joyous carnival, is surrounded by characters who have marked the history of the house: artisans, Charles Emile Hermes, Adolf & Emile Hermès, Julie Hermès, women sewing silk jockeys jackets, suffragists of the 20s and 30s, Robert Dumas, scenography creations of Annie Beaumel and Leïla Menchari, fashion models, Jean-Louis Dumas, Jane Birkin, Axel Dumas and Pierre-Alexis Dumas. Every element is referring or is inspired by the Hermès rich heritage, sac haut a courroies, rocabar, chaine d’ancre, Birkin bag, collier de chien, pixel Kelly bag, objects from Emile Hermes collection, references to fashion shows, advertisments, symbols and anecdotes. Artificier is joker character appearing through the whole story playing different roles. Last 184 field is a place where Hermès space shuttle take off to the future beyond the Earth.
This work was a big challenge and a great opportunity for me to discover Hermès universe much more. I have spent a lot of time on research at Hermès officies, Émile Hermès collection and in the labyrinth of the Hermès building in 24 Faubourg. It was great adventure and pleasure to consult the project, learn and spend time with many different people from maison: Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Ménéhould de Bazelaire, Bali Barret, Christine Duvigneau, Cosima Balsan and Adrien Barrot.