Tag Archives: Hermes

Focus: Fred Allard Bridges Fashion, Art

French artist Fred Allard says, “Art is the way I express my feelings.” Allard’s style is creating art pieces surrounding fashion using different textures, colors and pictures that express his artistic voice. As a result, Allard revolutionizes the way we look at the bag as a fun, characterful and quirky object.

His recent project ‘Vide son bag’, features a series of bag designs that combine the ordinary with luxury: Campbell soup cans with Chanel handbags, Coke cans with Louis Vuitton bags, Chup-a-chup lollipops with Cartier paper bags – resulting in a style that is funky, unique and fresh. The bags of ‘Vide son bag’, fall in three different categories: the IT Bag, the Basket Bag and the Shopping Paper Bag. With each of these types of bag, he questions our way of using them – the shopping bag does not contain luxury articles but is amongst the most practical; the basket bag, an epitome of practicality and function; and the IT bag, authentic high fashion bags that he fills with everyday products to show the place of the luxury in our everyday lives.

With a background in fashion, Allard has a keen sense of textiles and colors and how they shape imprints, iconographies and culture. He is deeply inspired by street art, pop art, and music and finds food for thought in magazines and department stores. He finds value from observing the street, mixing the array of colors and materials from everyday life in his pieces and weaving commonplace objects into his works. The Allard style is an enthusiasm for materials, words and colors. He manifests his style onto his bags, which he seems to treat as sculptures of the humanistic desire for material wealth: the bag is a symbol of the lives we carry with us – it is both an intimate and personal object.

Beyond just the commonplace, at the heart of Allard’s works is the desire to portray the zeitgeist of the modern society: how our consumerist attitudes and need for status symbols blinds the simple joy of living in the ordinary. His works capture the “everyday objects, like uniting two opposites, the contradiction and the mix,” says Allard. By aligning Hello Kitty next to Hermes, he highlights the contradiction by “combining high end shopping bags and filling them in with products that can be bought from the supermarket, a perfect combination which perfectly blends together to create a unique object.”

Allard studio mirrors that of his works – spray cans lying around, graffiti all over the walls, machinery to create his sculptures of bags, as well as his artist tools: sand, boards, buckets, masks, clamps, brushes, hammer, screws. His studio has the same wealth of textures as his bags have colours. It is no wonder that his studio in the south of France is the incubator for his expressive thoughts.

“Luxury becomes popular and what’s popular become precious”, says Allard. ‘Vide son bag’ juxtaposes the ordinary with the luxury to bring out the fun contradiction of everyday living.

*For more information, please visit www.galeries-bartoux.com.

This story first appeared in Art Republik.

Slim d’Hermès Mille Fleurs du Mexique

A thousand flowers from Mexico – one could easily imagine this to be the title of a follow-up book to Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude, but it is the name of a new Hermès timepiece dedicated to the natural beauty of Mexico, the country in which Márquez lived until he passed away in 2014. Away from the sleek, fashion-forward streets of Paris, Hermès ventured into the lush forests of Mexico to find the inspiration for this dial, housed in the recently introduced Slim d’Hermès case.

Hermès Carré scarf

Hermès Carré scarf

The French maison, however, didn’t do it alone; it had the help of Mexican graphic designer Laetitia Bianchi, who had earlier created a design for an Hermès Carré scarf. Bianchi’s design embraced the Mexican tradition of using bright bold colours to form a tapestry of leaves and flowers reminiscent of the 15th and 16th century artistic style, hence the name Mille Fleurs.Slim-d-Hermes-mxique-article

Of course, as a nod to Hermès’s equestrian heritage, the designer made sure to feature amid the rich foliage, a horse – most probably an Azteca horse, which is a breed that’s indigenous to Mexico. But no one except Bianchi knows for sure because the original artwork is skewed a little more towards the abstract rather than figurative. What is certain is that it is made up of a profusion of feathers, flowers, leaves, and animals native to the land, transforming and disappearing or appearing depending on one’s perspective. With the Slim d’Hermès Mille Fleurs du Mexique, the scene had been miniaturised and replicated on a mother-of-pearl dial by an enamellist.Slim-d-Hermes-mxique-article-2

Work on this six-piece limited edition timepiece begins when the enamellist creates a sketch of Bianchi’s artwork on the natural mother-of-pearl dial. He then etches more vividly the lines that define the scene and prepares the colours required to fill them. Using extremely fine paintbrushes, some as fine as a strand of hair, he applies the colours to the dial in layers as many as 20, each of which is followed by a round of firing in the oven at 90 degrees Celsius. The enamellist’s proficiency is apparent in how he manages to balance the precision of each stroke with variations in colour tonality, emphasising the handcraftsmanship behind the artwork. The selection of colours, as well, was tastefully put together to coax the eye towards the prancing horse without taking attention away from the dazzling verdure.

Paired with a posh forest-green alligator strap, which needless to say was handcrafted at the Hermès leather workshop, the Slim d’Hermès Mille Fleurs du Mexique adds a bright blast of colour to any ensemble. And collectors with a penchant for abstract art might be tempted to express their artistic inclinations with this vivacious timepiece.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 39.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre H1950
  • Material: 39.5mm in white gold
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Smooth green alligator leather with white gold pin buckle

Story Credits

Text by Celine Yap

This story was first published in World of Watches.

4 Dress Watches Balancing Fire, Elegance

A confluence of European and African culture, Tango brings ballroom formality and elegance to a boil, marrying the primal urgency of a mating ritual into the discipline of dance. A watch to suitably balance the twin pillars of tango should then bear the elegance of dress watch, yet carry an undercurrent of athleticism, precision, and passion.

Bulgari Octo FinissimoBulgari-Octo-Finissimo-wow

In a tux? Then there’s hardly a more fitting extension of sharp tailoring than in the Octo Finissimo’s marvellous angles and ultra-thin side profile. It’s also a feat of engineering, as Bulgari has squeezed a tourbillon into a movement that’s just 1.95mm thick, a
world record.

Girard-Perregaux 1966Girard-Perregaux-1966-wow

Tango isn’t a solo sport; that would be like playing air guitar. Hence, it is most gratifying that this iteration of the 1966 is not only accented by a beautiful guilloché dial; it also comes in an adequately sized ladies’ version with a ring of diamonds on the bezel – for the power couple.

Hermès Arceau AutomatiqueHermes-arceau-automatique-wow

There is such a visual affinity between the equestrian-inspired Arceau Automatique and tango, we couldn’t resist. One can find a correlation between the dignified canter of a show horse and the controlled steps of the tango; then there is the wild swirl of numerals on the dial like a dancer’s skirt.    

Omega GlobemasterOmega-Globemaster-wow

Funky design details like the pie pan dial, fluted bezel, and sleekly bevelled case make for a standout dress watch, available in steel, platinum, or Sedna gold. In addition, the “Master Chronometer” label on the dial says the Globemaster has passed through very rigorous rounds of testing for reliability, resistance to magnetic fields, and precision. So tango.

Story Credits

Text by Yeo Suan Futt

Photography by GreenPlasticSoldierS

Styling by  Ong Weisheng

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Apple Watch Hermès – Bands Sold Separately

One of the best traits about the Apple Watch is its ridiculously easy-to-swap out band. It seems that specially designed bands, as well as band adapters, have turned into their own kind of market. Easily interchangeable straps have are nothing new so it is not surprising to learn that the Apple Watch Hermès has special edition wristbands to be made available for purchase from Apple and Hermès stores, as well as select luxury retail locations.

The whole package for the watch and strap retails between $1,100 (38mm watch, single tour band) and $1,500 (42mm watch, wide cuff), but the strap alone will go for $340 (single tour), $490 (double tour), or $690 (wide cuff). A range of new colors will also be introduced, with peacock blue, sapphire blue, orange, and white joining denim blue, brown, gray, black, and red.

For more information on the product, you can check out Apple’s site over here.

Guide: Hermès Watch Straps

There are the typical parts of a watch where watchmakers show the world what they are made of (and capable of doing): the movement, complications and beyond, the case, be it jeweled or not, and the dial – the more artistic, the better. These days, in a bid to outperform each other, manufacturers are less prone to giving anything beyond the lugs of a ticker more attention than what is on or within. Not many brands would say as much about a bracelet as opposed to a retrograde hour, 600 snow-set diamonds on a pink gold case, or a dial decked out in sculpted gems. Our friends at L’Officiel Singapore take a look at one brand that does.

Every artisan at Hermes’ workshop in Bienne oversees the making of a strap from scratch to finish.

Every artisan at Hermes’ workshop in Bienne oversees the making of a strap from scratch to finish.

Hermès, on the other hand, has a lot to say about its straps. These are, of course, famous (see Apple, for example) which begs the question, why exactly is that?

The French house would credit its expertise with leather bracelets to its beginnings as a saddler, and as wristwatches progressively replaced pocket timepieces in the early 1900s, it would highlight its role as the brand with a know-how for making exquisite straps. Straps are what make saddles and stirrups work, as this Wikipedia entry illustrates.

In 2006, Hermès opened a workshop in Bienne, Switzerland dedicated to this craft (watch straps that is). Under this roof is an array of supple, precious leathers – spanning from goat and calf to ostrich and alligator – cut, stitched and finished by a team of skilful artisans (where consistency matters, Hermès shares that each employee works on an entire bracelet by himself or herself).

Indents on the strap indicate the exact position of each stitch and the distance between them.

Indents on the strap indicate the exact position of each stitch and the distance between them.

An Hermès watch strap goes through four stages of work. For starters, the leather selection process is rigorous, with scratches, wrinkles and veins strictly avoided. Using a single flaxen thread and two hand-held needles, an artisan creates the brand’s signature saddle stitch on the skins before applying a careful treatment process to ensure all areas on a single strap look perfectly uniform. A furrow is then pressed between the sewing line and the edge of the leather to make the strap suppler than it already is. After loops are meticulously fixed, a finishing stitch (with great attention to detail given despite being invisible to the wearer) forms Hermès’ iconic ‘H’.

As a finishing touch, each strap is authenticated using a letter that shows the year of the leather’s manufacture.

As a finishing touch, each strap is authenticated using a letter that shows the year of the leather’s manufacture.

Interview: Pakho Chau

With gorgeous looks and a buff physique often revealed via Instagram posts of his gym and basketball sessions (he used to represent Hong Kong as a strapping 1.82m player) and shirtless magazines covers, Pakho Chau is afflicted by the same malady that has plagued many of his predecessors: pretty boy syndrome. Our friends at Men’s Folio had a chat with Chau late last year and tried to get beneath the surface while also producing a lovely spread featuring the Cantopop star.

Often labeled with a disclaimer for a perceived character flaw, these good-lookers ironically have an easy start as pop idols but it doesn’t require a lot of range. There are reasons why pretty boys are having it tough when it comes to longevity and credibility. It goes to show that looking like an Adonis cramps your style.

Cases in point: Many hated Aaron Kwok and his floppy hair in the 1990s before his Golden Horse Award wins; Wang Leehom was similarly the subject of vehement verbal abuse in the new millennium despite being able to play different musical instruments; and detractors who remembered Takeshi Kaneshiro as a Taiwan-based pop idol despised him in both decades. It was with great effort that Miuccia Prada and Giorgio Armani (and maybe Biotherm) convinced them otherwise about the latter.

To drive home the point on the international front, I recall lesser male specimens cursing as Brad Pitt sleepwalked through Meet Joe Black and exhibiting the middle finger each time Tom Cruise grinned like a proboscis monkey onscreen. Have you ever watched a Tom Cruise film after Risky Business and Top Gun and be so aware that it’s Mr Cruise on screen in every subsequent film. The man does not inhabit a role. The role has to audition with back-flips and quadruple summersaults. Boy-band bashing is likewise extensive on both sides of the pond. And don’t get haters started on Justin Bieber. That would just be uncivilized.

Louis Vuitton Rope circles denim jacket and pants

Louis Vuitton Rope circles denim jacket and pants

As a counterpoint, female colleagues pointed out that raging heterosexuals did not display a similar disdain when the members of Girls’ Generation sashayed meaninglessly throughout the recent music video of “Party”. Point taken, but hardly a paradigm shift.

The gripe being that many of these handsome male homo sapiens commonly lack that the necessary talent in correlation to their physical attributes, with weedy wannabes that are a dime-a-dozen falling by the wayside. This clearly isn’t the fate that awaits Chau. “I believe that true success requires sacrifice,” he says. “It’s not safe to rest on your laurels because only the hard workers earn the respect they deserve that makes them living legends in their own right.”

Throw Show Luo, the brooding vocals of Eason Chan, and a sprinkling of Hong Kong singer and actor Daniel Chan in a mixer and you’d probably get Pakho Chau. While the 30-year-old is blessed with good looks, he literally got his start at the bottom at film composer Chan Kwong-Wing’s recording studio as a junior engineer. “I had modelling gigs on the side,” recalls the Hong Kong native. “But my time learning music production had the most impact on my career as I learned the tricks of the trade. I learned not just the technical process, but also that success requires time, persistence, and patience to nurture.”

Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Cotton shirt, wool pants, wool coat

Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Cotton shirt, wool pants, wool coat

Just as well, with peepers that resemble Bambi’s, his cheekbones are also dangerously defined, and his wry smile can turn sane females (and the occasional male) into shrieking banshees at the drop of a snapback cap. Chau first caught the attention of Chan, whose claim to fame includes scoring Hong Kong blockbusters The Storm Riders, Infernal Affairs and Bodyguards and Assassins, putting him in good stead. A recording contract with Warner Music in 2007 soon followed.

It helped that he can carry a tune (without the help of Auto-Tune), play the guitar, and write his own songs. His musical inclinations date back to the age of five, when he was already playing the piano. “My dad was an audiophile and used to buy CDs very frequently,” he says. “As a result, I was exposed to Cantopop at a very young age. My mom also fervently encouraged me to attend piano lessons, and that’s how I became infatuated with music.”

Thankfully, there were no heart-thumping dance tracks or an artificial transfusion of street cred courtesy of faux hip-hop posturing in Chau’s music. Instead, we’re treated to forlorn ballads that are lyrically poignant and, every so often, heart wrenching. “There’s always a real-life incident that inspires a song,” he mentions candidly. “However, not one aspect of life completes me. There are notches in our short time here on Earth that is represented lyrically and in the melodies of my composition.”

Dior Homme cotton shirt, wool suit, wool coat

Dior Homme cotton shirt, wool suit, wool coat

This is not intentionally skewed as his latest single “We’ll Be Fine” tells a melancholic tale of loneliness and the desire for emotional fulfillment. The accompanying music video shows Chau driving and walking aimlessly with the ambiguous ending suggesting the death of his beloved. The nimble strumming of guitars in the background showcases his sturdy vocals. “I’m sure everyone affiliates to the emotions that resonate from my songs in some ways,” he says. “And that’s what makes each one of us unique.”

The solo artist is well aware of the steep learning curve, and after seven studio albums, he’s delivered a more polished and sophisticated sound. There is truth in that, in a sea of homogeneous Asian celebrities, he has made efforts to differentiate himself by being true to himself without a regurgitation of a manufactured pop template. The reception from fans so far has been wonderful, even as Chau gives props to those that paved the way for him and his peers.

“Jackie Cheung, Aaron Kwok, Faye Wong, Eason Chan, Joey Yung, Miriam Yeung…” he rattles off a list of Cantopop superstars and crooners that he notes as having been instrumental in shaping his outlook to making music that’s accessible and honest. “They each have facets that I emulate and incorporate into my repertoire. I’m also heavily influenced by [Irish singer-songwriter] Damien Rice’s song writing expertise and his effortless way with the acoustic guitar that’s second to none.”

Louis Vuitton polyester bomber jacket

Louis Vuitton polyester bomber jacket

So sure, he has his singing career. But we’re back to the original Zoolander-inspired conundrum. Is there more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking? The film roles are steadily pouring in with him joining the fray of romantic comedies S for Sex, S for Secret, 12 Golden Ducks, and Love Detective last year alone. “My schedule these days is crazy, so to have opportunities to dabble in film is a godsend,” he says, to which he was quick to point out that “music is still my focus. I don’t ever want to stop making music. Hopefully, fans of my music will like the films I appear in as well.”

It would also seem natural that Chau would be an ambassador of youthful lifestyle giants Watsons, Adidas, Levi Strauss & Co. and Clinique Men’s Skincare, extolling the virtues of grooming elixirs and treatments for men, just like any auntie-killer would. Yet, as an indication of maturity, Montblanc has designated him as the Asian influencer for its luxury timepieces. “I didn’t like watches when I was younger,” he admits. “However, I’m gradually realizing the importance of time and how the amount of it that we’re allocated is finite. I’m a budding collector and Montblanc’s rich heritage is one that has constantly caught my eye over the years.”

Far from fearing the repercussions of overexposure, he is receptive that the additional visibility will only broaden the appeal of his music. And why shouldn’t his mug have its day in the sun? Everything is about making a good first impression these days. Chau gravitated with his best face forward on a grand stage. “I remember my concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum (in 2014) as being the biggest scale performance of my career,” he lets on. “I was extremely nervous and completely in awe when glancing at the sea of faces in the crowd. In my mind, each member of the audience came because of me. That was a very touching moment.”

Louis Vuitton wool coat, wool pants

Louis Vuitton wool coat, wool pants

 

Story Credits

By Jason Kwong

Photography Matt Hui / Sugarsugar Production

Styling Tok Wei Lun

Styling assistant Chua Chin Chin / Arm Collective

Makeup Kris Wong

Hair Cliff Chan / Hair Corner

5 Romantic Experiences to Win Your Heart

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, marriage looms large in the minds of many couples. For others, it is the state of the marriage that might benefit from something extra special. Here’s a look at five original spots to pop the question, as they say, or just to take a chance on romance, whatever the date or status of your relationship may be. Seriously though, even if you’ve missed the boat this year (it is quite late in the day after all) all of these experiences can be savored at any time. Yes, the offerings will be different the rest of the year but you can recreate the magic with a little effort – we are sure that all the hotels and establishments listed will be happy to work with you on an exotic escapade. Speaking of which…

An exotic escapade to the Savoy Resort & Spa, Seychelles

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s day than with a romantic trip to a paradise island (pictured top)? Throughout the month of February, the Savoy Resort & Spa is offering a seven-day, five-night package priced at €890. The deal (excluding flights) includes an upgrade to an Ocean View room, a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, breakfast, and a couple’s spa treatment with a saltwater peel, a Dead Sea mud treatment and a massage. This modern hotel is located on the island of Mahé, just ten minutes from the capital, Victoria.

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In a Chantal Thomass room or a Hermès suite at Le Pradey hotel, Paris, France

Chantal Thomass has designed two rooms (above) at Le Pradey, Paris, a four-star hotel right next to the Tuileries gardens, not far from the Louvre. In line with the designer’s typically baroque style, the rooms take guests back to an era of sumptuous cabarets, with a red and black décor complete with frills and velvet. On the fifth floor, the hotel’s suites have been designed by Hermès. Two different ambiances for a memorable proposal on February 14. The hotel is offering a Valentine’s Day package with one night’s stay, breakfast, a bottle of champagne and roses in the room for €320.

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A historical hotel in Verona, Italy

Just steps away from Verona’s Roman amphitheater, the Palazzo Victoria (above) is a five-star hotel built around medieval frescoes and Roman ruins. In the town famously home to Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet, this stylish hotel is offering a two-night Valentine’s Day stay for two adults priced at €215 per person (approx. $230). The package includes two nights in a Deluxe Double room, an American buffet breakfast and access to the hotel’s fitness suite.

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The Michelin-starred restaurant at Le Bristol hotel, Paris, France

The triple Michelin-starred Epicure restaurant (above), run by Chef Eric Frechon, will be serving up a special Valentine’s Day meal for fans of fine dining. The menu includes premium ingredients such as blue lobster, cooked in a bouillon with claws, infused with ginger, lemongrass and coriander. Scallops accompany caviar from Sologne and Bresse pigeon is prepared with duck foie gras. The meal comes priced at €690 per person, excluding drinks. Le Bristol has also teamed up with the Maison Boucheron jewelry house to offer one lucky Valentine’s diner drawn at random a “Reflet” watch.

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A refreshing road trip in Iceland

Travel agency Island Tours has a four-day long weekend in Iceland (above) from February 12-15. This takes couples to the geothermal village of Hveragerdi, where they’ll stay in a luxury hotel located on the lava field. Couples can then relax in the warm waters of the Fontana Spa at Laugarvatn and bathe in the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon. The trip costs €762 per person (excluding flights).

Cavalier Swagger Returns to Paris Catwalks

French fashion is back to its swashbuckling best and the designer leading the charge is a young mixed-race man determined to give post-attacks Paris a new swagger.

“I want to make all men feel like princes again,” Olivier Rousteing declared January 23 after his dashing, unashamedly masculine show for Balmain. Not since the days of the Charge of the Light Brigade has there been such an onrush of braid, breeches and boots.

Rousteing’s models were not the pallid sexless automatons of so many shows. Instead, they were dashing hussars and Cossack officers you half expected would pull cavalry swords from their gorgeous scarlet and leather cummerbunds as they thundered through a Parisian mansion.

Half of them looked like they had come straight from the ball the night before Waterloo in their silk and velvet breeches, with big brass-buttoned greatcoats thrown on their shoulders, and fur and tassels flying. Actually, Rousteing has delivered on this vision before, as seen below. Despite wanting the romanticism of associating the collection with some sort of defiance against terror, the cavalry has clearly been waiting in the wings for Balmain for some time.

HMBalmaination

“Paris is the City of Light and those lights should continue to shine,” the 30-year-old designer, a favorite of pop divas Beyonce and Rihanna, told AFP.

“I want to bring back the dream and beauty that is Paris… and make all men feel like princes again. I want to show the diversity and colors of France and to show that Paris has a past, a present and it will have a future,” he added.

Rousteing (pictured above and below), who was adopted by his white parents when he was a one-year-old, said his show was an ode to the racial and cultural diversity of the French capital.

A symphony orchestra, playing live to a hip-hop soundtrack, provided the musical tone.

“Mixing Kanye West and Rihanna with a symphony orchestra is my universe. I am French in a French fashion house with a couture tradition which also has a very international influence. That for me is Paris – it is that internationalism and the richness of the mixing of cultures.

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“This singular eagerness to embrace a diversity of cultures and ideas… enrages intolerant minds both here and abroad,” he said.

An Internet darling, with 2.1 million Instagram followers, Rousteing has become a reference for stars as diverse as Jane Fonda and Nicki Minaj, who even rapped on the venerable couture brand’s name as sales have soared.

Rousteing’s high-cheekboned good looks, social media savvy and friendships with stars such as West and his wife Kim Kardashian has led to him being called a “selfie-made man” – a joke he appears to delight in.

Earlier in the day there was a similar defiance against giving in to fear after the November massacres from Dior’s Kris Van Assche. Leading the charge for the Dior man was the millionaire skateboarder, as seen below. Old World cavalry officers were a no-show at Dior Homme.

Although much of his collection was in black, it was not the black of mourning, Assche insisted.

“The events mean that we have to be stronger to make people dream. The darkness is so omnipresent that as a designer who have to go further. You need more power and strength,” he told AFP.

“In fact I like the idea of darkness pushing creativity,” he said, echoing the sombre luxuriance of Dries Van Noten stand-out line, and fellow Belgian creator Walter Van Beirendonck, whose show was simply called “Woest”, which means furious in Flemish.

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Paris-based label Etudes – whose studio is near the Bataclan concert hall were 90 people died in November’s attacks – seemed almost to be on a war footing in their Saturday show, with a collection largely comprised of military-inspired and camouflage outfits, fighter pilot fatigues and parachute suits.

There was a similar ready-for-anything air in newcomers OAMC, whose nifty high-end functional streetwear is also created only a few blocks away and is replete with the spirit of Parisian resistance.

But if you were looking for a sign that “Paris will always be Paris”, look no further than the Hermes show on Saturday night. All the elements of ineffable casual French style were there, the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie personified.

Only that dried-blood red, a color that crops up across the collections like a wound, would lead you to believe that anything untoward had happened.

Interview: Laurent Dordet for La Montre Hermès

The new head of Hermès Watches is hoping a more feminine touch, added with the fashion group’s own in-house know-how, will help it navigate through the turbulence rocking the sector.

Laurent Dordet, who took the helm of the watch division at the famous Paris fashion house last March, told AFP in an interview he wants to focus even more heavily on women’s timepieces, which already account for 80 percent of the brand’s sales.

“We plan to really develop feminine creation,” the 47-year-old said, adding that the brand aimed to explore a range of aspects of women’s watches, including the use of jewels on the timepieces.

World-famous for its silk scarves and iconic handbags, Hermès is eager to expand its share of the luxury watch market.

So Dordet, who took over after his predecessor Luc Perramond moved over to Ralph Lauren after six years at the helm, is planning to shake things up a bit and reorganize.

“But not through acquisitions,” he stressed, pointing out that the tough times for Swiss watchmakers were not ideal for major new investments.

Slim d Hermes Perspective Cavaliere_red & yelow

The Slim d’Hermes Perspective Cavaliere trades on a popular motif in the fashion line

After years of euphoria with booming sales in Asia, Swiss watchmakers have recently been hard-hit by collapsing watch exports to their top markets China and Hong Kong, as a strengthening Swiss franc has led to exploding production costs. So instead of looking out for new acquisitions, Hermès Watches is taking a good, hard look within.

“We have development ideas for certain exceptional skill sets, using our own Swiss and French workshops,” Dordet explained.

He pointed to a series of colorful models presented at the Baselworld 2014 watch show last year called Arceau Millefiori — or one thousand flowers — created in cooperation with Hermes affiliate Cristalleries de Saint-Louis, France’s oldest glass and crystal manufacturer.

The watches are equipped with unconventional crystal dials and covers inspired by 19th century paperweights, giving the illusion of a real bed of flowers.

Speaking in Brugg, on the outskirts of the northwestern Swiss town of Biel — a tradition-imbued watch metropolis — Dordet said the organizational changes needed included better integrating past acquisitions.

High-end purchases

Over the past decade, Hermes has made several purchases aimed at boosting its watchmaking credibility.

In 2006, it snapped up 25 percent of Vaucher Manucture Fleurier, a prestigious Swiss watch movement maker, before buying Nateber, which designs and manufactures watch dials, in 2012, and a year later pocketing Joseph Erard, which specializes in luxury watch cases. “Our first step will be to consolidate these skill-sets and digest them.”

Movement_Slim_Perpetual calendar_Claude Joray

Hermes uses proprietary mechanical movements in some watches, as seen here in the Slim d’Hermes Perpetual Calendar. Dordet wants to increase the internal know-how to support the core audience of women collectors.

Observers say Dordet’s profile gives an indication of the direction Hermès would like to see its watch brand take.

While his predecessor Perramond had climbed through the watchmaking ranks, spending part of his career at LVMH-owned Swiss luxury watch brand Tag Heuer, the new Hermès Watches chief has a largely in-house background with little timepiece experience. Having joined Hermes in 1995, he has spent most of his career working with textiles and precious leathers.

“Going for an in-house candidate might mean they are looking at this more from the fashion end,” Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox told AFP. The question is whether the female fashion focus will be enough to boost sales in an overall morose market.

In October, Swiss watch exports plunged 12.3 percent, according to data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, suggesting that retailers have accumulated too much of a backlog and are hesitant to refill their storerooms ahead of the holidays.

In this context, Dordet said he planned to be more selective in terms of where watches could be sold, adding the brand would prioritize Hermès’ own boutique network. “This is a network that has proven very resilient during difficult times,” he said.

The luxury watch sector has meanwhile just seen sales in France drop off a cliff, following the November 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.

Dordet said he was bracing to see how long the lull would last. “This is yet another element of instability in a market that does not need any more.”

10 Ways to Wear Asia on Your Wrist

The most sublime artistic watches of 2015 are replete with motifs dear to Asia. Our friends at WOW curated this list of the 10 best examples, featuring a showcase of artisanal techniques in watchmaking such as champlevé enamelling but also incorporating outside crafts such as Aka-e painting.

HERMÈS

Travel back in time to ancient Kyoto with the 39.5mm Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe watch (pictured above), named after the famous millennial-old horse race at the Kamigamo Shrine. Fine French porcelain is further exalted with the Japanese art of Aka-e painting, under the expert brush of master Buzan Fukushima from Kutani in the Ishikawa Prefecture. One of the rare artisans who still practice this technique, Fukushima deftly paints on subtly graded shades of red and ochre, which he coats with a fine layer of gold before firing it three times. The watch also features the mechanical self-winding H1950 movement.

Jacquet Droz-r50

JAQUET DROZ

Honouring the Chinese Year of the Goat is this Petite Heure Minute Relief Goats, which features three goats carved out of white gold springing from the summit of an imaginary mountain. In the backdrop is a stylised dial evoking the motif of the plum blossom through champlevé enamelling of white and Jaquet Droz’s signature blue, with the finished result resembling an exquisite piece of Chinese paper cutting. 
This 41mm timepiece is endowed with a self-winding mechanical movement.

Piaget-r50

PIAGET

Also paying homage to the Chinese zodiac, the Altiplano Enamelled Cloisonné Goat watch displays the talent of world-renowned independent enamel artist Anita Porchet, who created this Grand Feu cloisonné enamel dial in soft shades of grey. The tones on the magnificent buck were painstakingly graded from intense to lighter nuances, while the ethereal background brings to mind a cloud-streaked sky over a mountain range. Housed within the 38mm watch is the Piaget 430P mechanical manual-winding movement.

VCA-r50

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

A work of superlative savoir faire and craftsmanship, this Palais de la Chance Carpe Koï high jewelry bracelet watch is a tribute to Japanese culture, of which the koi is a symbol of love, life, and serenity. Requiring 3,450 hours of meticulous work, it is set with 8,000 colored stones that includes diamonds, spessartite garnets, and yellow sapphires for the body; black spinels for eyes; and Paraiba-like tourmalines and diamonds for the water motif. The bracelet of this watch, which is powered by a quartz movement, is unfastened by pressing on the koi’s tail.

Chaumet-r50

CHAUMET

Beautifully captured on the dial of the Lumières d’Eau Parure 11 watch is the elegance and grace of the carp, which in Chinese mythology is a symbol of success for its ability to transform into a dragon. It features four fish made of engraved yellow gold with blue sapphires for eyes, gliding across softly swirling water represented by a cream-colored lacquered dial set with brilliant diamonds for ripples. The long tails of the fish extend out over part of the bezel, the rest of which is set with 183 brilliant diamonds. The piece is powered by a Swiss mechanical self-winding movement.

Blancpain-r50

BLANCPAIN

The Hindu god of Ganesh is superbly immortalized on the dial of this Villeret Shakudo watch. Shakudo, which is a historical technique Japanese in origin, refers to an alloy principally composed of copper and gold that acquires a dark patina between blue and black. The 45mm timepiece also features engraving and damascening, which is another old technique that involves inlaying precious metals, in this case gold, into a base metal. It is endowed with the manual-winding Calibre 15B mechanical movement.

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DE  BETHUNE

Named after an ancient Mesoamerican feathered serpent, which is a deity of the summer winds and a protector of artisans, the DB25 Quetzalcoatl flaunts a solid gold dial sculpted by engraver Michèle Rothen. The head of the coiled snake at the center points to the hour, while its tail indicates the minutes. The hour markers resemble a series of temples viewed from the sky, while a circular guilloché motif makes the watch glow. Beating at the heart of this 44mm watch is the manual-winding Calibre DB2005.

Corum-r50

CORUM

The watchmaker’s legendary linear movement is paired up with a mythical creature, the dragon, to give us the audacious Golden Bridge Dragon. Immaculate hand-engraving work taking more than two weeks transforms a mold-poured piece of white gold into an incredibly detailed, three-dimensional piece of art. The dragon’s sinuous silhouette, which wraps around the movement without actually touching it, is covered with tiny depth-effect scales, and given impressive claws and a pearl-tipped tail. Encased within the 34mm x 51mm watch, with a bezel and lugs adorned with baguette diamonds, is the CO113 manual-winding movement.

Cartier-r50

CARTIER

The ancestral damascene technique is used on the dial of this Rotonde de Cartier 42mm to depict the amazingly life-like and detailed head of a majestic panther, which represents ferocity and strength to the Chinese. Wires in rose, yellow and white gold were hammered into troughs cut into a gold base, while the feline’s nose and spots 
were painted with black lacquer. Black onyx forms the background of the watch, which is equipped with the manual-winding mechanical movement 9601 MC.

Story Credits

Text by Yanni Tan

Illustrations by Irene Arifin

Runway Revisit: 10 Trends for Fall/Winter 2015/16

The Fall/Winter 2015/2016 shows seem so long ago but since winter is coming, we thought we would revisit the top trends. Among the many fabrics, colors, cuts, motifs and inspirations seen on the runways, what are the essential fashion items of the season? Which accessories should take pride of place in your closet and in particular, what items should be banned from your wardrobe? These are the pressing questions facing fashionistas in the northern hemisphere as the big chill looms…

A model presents a creation for Lanvin during the 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show on March 5, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT

A model presents a creation for Lanvin. AFP PHOTO / Francois Guillot

Coats take on a longer dimension

Vests and bomber jackets are to be kept on hand throughout the upcoming months, though long and even extra-long coats (as seen at Lanvin above) are essential seasonal pieces this year. In terms of fabrics, leather, sheepskin and faux fur dominated designer collections. The color palette includes black and red with various vibrant shades and a large selection of motifs. As seen profusely in the fashion shows, hooded coats and jackets are a definite wardrobe staple.

Leather is chic

Winter 2015 will exude a very sixties vibe with, in particular, the return of leather to the fashion scene, both chic and very rock’n’roll. The noble material is used on every wardrobe piece from dresses and skirts to coats and tops. The season calls for classic colors like black (as seen at Hermès below) and camel hues as well as a vibrant array of bright shades.

A model presents a creation for Hermes during the 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show on March 9, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAY

Hermès. AFP PHOTO / Bertrand Guay

Immaculate white

Though the winter color palette is generally darker in tone, this year white was at the heart of a number of collections. An all-white ensemble gives a refined, fresh and chic look to any silhouette.

Other color trends to note are a return to red, as seen at Hermès, Alexander McQueen, Elie Saab, Christian Dior, John Galliano, Shiatzy Chen, Iris van Herpen, and Valentino. Beige – running to nude – also figures prominently, with some lovely shades on show at Chloe (of course), Nina Ricci, Alexander McQueen and Allude. The AFP also found violet hard at work at Moon Young Hee, Chanel, John Galliano, Kenzo, Issey Miyake and Emporio Armani. Finally, touches of yellow and orange found their way into the shows at seen at Kenzo and Miu Miu in particular, but also at Louis Vuitton, Shiatzy Chen, Valentin Yudashkin, Vanessa Seward, Esteban Cortazar, Akris, Céline, Givenchy, and Rochas.

A model presents a creation from the Burberry Prorsum collection during the 2015 Autumn / Winter London Fashion Week in London on February 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

Burberry Prorsum. AFP PHOTO / Leon Neal

Fringe

Often associated with summer festivals, and in definite supply on the spring/summer 2015 runway shows, fringe is a key detail this season, as seen above at Burberry Prorsum. Dresses, skirts and coats are all embellished with fringe for an edgy bohemian-chic take on winter.

A model presents a creation for Chloe during the 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show on March 8, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK

Chloe. AFP PHOTO / Patrick Kovarik

The cape

A big hit last winter, capes (seen above at Chloe) move to the top of the winter must-haves this year. Whether in block color or printed material, they add a retro touch to any outfit and can be worn over a dress or pants.

Quilted details

The fall/winter collections of 2015 ooze a decidedly retro spirit with a strong presence of quilted pieces.  A signature detail of the Chanel fashion house, quilted details, in particular on bags, vests and dresses, are a definite fashion “do” this winter. The possibilities with this trend are endless and include very avant-garde interpretations.

Sleeveless trend

Once relegated to the darkest corner of your closet, puffer jackets, gilets and sleeveless quilted vests are back in the limelight. Dresses are preferably sleeveless or made from completely different materials, playing on contrasts. Some designers have even created removable sleeves on a number of items.

A model presents a creation for fashion house Gucci at the women Fall / Winter 2015/16 Milan's Fashion Week on February 25, 2015 in Milan. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE

Gucci. AFP PHOTO / Giuseppe Cacace

Transparency

Much more subtle this season, transparent details remain a key trend for a sensual and sexy style. Not to be used extravagantly, discreet touches are all that is needed to convey sensuality. Opt for transparent details in dark fabrics with a focus on the arms, back, thighs and bust.

High-waisted elements

For fall/winter 2015, the waist is showcased for a sophisticated and ever-so-retro look. All major pieces are cut with a high-waist including suit pants, skirts and dresses. The waist is often embellished with a belt, either wide or narrow.

Model Natasha Poly presents a creation for fashion house Versace at the women Fall / Winter 2015/16 Milan's Fashion Week on February 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Versace. AFP PHOTO / Filippo Monteforte

Logos

The names and logos of fashion labels appear in XXL lettering on even the most sophisticated ensembles, oftentimes in bright eye-popping colors for better visibility and “wow” factor. The trend should without a doubt continue into the coming season.

16 Ways to Bring Fun to Luxury Watches

It’s time to add some color to your watch collection – luxury doesn’t always have to be understated. Here are 16 watches, in four categories, that our friends at WOW (World of Watches) have curated that will do the trick.

Just a Hint

This is where the adage that less is more holds sway. With the right hue and application, a dash of color is sometimes all that is necessary, whether to demarcate different functions or to highlight specific parts of a watch.

AP-2a

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver: This iteration of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver has a utilitarian slant that reinforces the collection’s tool watch DNA, beginning with a scratch-resistant case and bezel of black ceramic. A matching black dial maintains the serious vibes, while also adding a touch of class with its méga tapisserie guilloché – an Audemars Piguet signature. The crucial parts that divers rely on underwater have been highlighted orange here – the running second hand indicates that the watch is working, while the minute hand and 15-minute section of the inner bezel mark elapsed time underwater. (Price unavailable)

Rado-1a

Rado Hyperchrome Automatic Chronograph Court Collection: Blue-on-black isn’t the best combination for legibility, since the former doesn’t pop on the latter. Rado overcame this limitation on the Hyperchrome Automatic Chronograph Court Collection by finishing the watch’s dial with a subtle sunray texture, thus accentuating the contrast between the two colours. Blue wasn’t chosen frivolously – it represents the hard court surface tennis is played on, just like how its siblings’ orange and green accents mirror clay and grass courts respectively. An ETA 2894-2 chronograph movement drives the watch, encased in a monobloc black ceramic case with stainless steel inserts. ($6,170)

Breitling-2a

Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven: Despite having a black dial encased in Breitling’s “black steel” case, the Chronomat 44 Raven is far from a stealthy watch. That isn’t a concern anyway, since the Raven is a pilot chronograph, which places a far higher premium on legibility. The latter is achieved by rendering the watch’s hands, indexes, bezel markings, and inner flange in bright orange, to make telling the time and using the chronograph a cinch. Of course, due attention has been paid to accuracy – the Raven packs Breitling’s chronometer-grade Calibre 01. ($13,840)

Spread-1a

Raymond Weil Freelancer: This self-winding chronograph maintains the classic, understated styling that’s central to Raymond Weil’s DNA, but asserts its masculine and sporty side with subtle detailing. Note the watch’s industrial look with the screw bolting down the small seconds sub-dial, or the altimeter-esque date window that recalls a flight instrument panel. Red highlights set against a black and steel dial complete the package – both visually and functionally – by distinguishing the chronograph function from the rest of the watch, right down to the tachymeter’s markings. ($4,330)

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Dial It Up

There’s nothing subtle about flooding the dial with a single vivid hue. Watches like these aren’t just easily recognised at a distance – they’re also bold statements that will be visible from across the room. Only the confident need apply.

 

Victorinox I.n.o.x. (pictured above): Built to mark the 130th anniversary of Victorinox, the I.N.O.X. (inox is French for stainless steel) is the timekeeping counterpart to the Swiss Army knives the brand manufactures, and meant to complement it as a “companion for life”. To that end, the watch had to pass a battery of 130 tests, including spending two hours in a washing machine and being driven over by a 64-ton tank. Numerous little details contribute to the watch’s toughness, from the slightly recessed sapphire crystal to having stamped – not applied – indexes. A simple, no-nonsense dial design emphasises the watch’s pedigree, with a blue dial and matching strap complementing this. ($719)

Luminox-2a

Luminox Scott Cassell UVP Special Edition: Luminox’s partnership with Scott Cassell continues with the UVP Special Edition. Part of this watch’s sales proceeds will go towards funding UVP (Undersea Voyager Project), a non-profit organisation founded by Cassell that is dedicated to ocean health. The watch’s 44mm case is made of carbon-reinforced polycarbonate, which imparts an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. A yellow dial with black hands and indices impart legibility, and a matching canvas strap completes the look. ($674.10)

JeanRichard-1a

JeanRichard Aeroscope Arsenal: Arsenal Football Club’s fans can wear their hearts proudly on their wrists by donning the Aeroscope Arsenal, its official watch. The timepiece features the Gunners’ cannon in lieu of a hand for its small seconds sub-dial, and uses the club’s color liberally. Red is an extremely striking colour in and of itself. When paired with black, it pops even more to grab one’s attention. From the honeycombed dial to the tachymeter markings on the bezel to the pushers’ detailing, the color ensures the watch’s prominence. (Price unavailable)

Seiko---high-resa

Seiko Automatic Divers Watch: This is the revised version of the Seiko diver watch commonly (and reverently) referred to as the Orange Monster. The “second generation Orange Monster” updates the original in several areas, including new shark-tooth shaped indexes and a simplified chapter ring. Its 4R36 movement is arguably the biggest change – unlike the original, the new watch can now be both hacked and hand-wound. The new calibre retains Seiko’s bidirectional Magic Lever winding system for efficiency though. Despite the availability of other colorways for the watch, Seiko enthusiasts still consider the Orange Monster a rite of passage. Clearly, not all colors are created equal. ($593.90)

Mix & Match

Playful. Technical. Rebellious. Whimsical. Avant-garde. The design approaches in response to having a larger palette are as varied as the colors themselves. Results too, run the gamut from what are literally art pieces to serious, sporty watches.

Hublot-2a

Hublot Classic Fusion Enamel Britto: Brazilian artist Romero Britto is known for his colorful works melding Cubism, pop art, and graffiti painting. His partnership with Hublot is of little wonder then, given the latter’s penchant for the “art of fusion”. The Classic Fusion Enamel Britto’s dial reproduces one of Britto’s artworks in miniature via grand feu enamel, with the 45mm Classic Fusion case in black ceramic serving as the painting’s frame. This timepiece is a 50-piece limited edition. ($59,700)

Romain-Jeromea

Romain Jerome Pac-Man Level II 40 Colours: The landmark arcade game returns! This homage to Pac-Man comes complete with eight-bit renderings of the game’s titular character, his adversary ghosts, and the strawberry power-ups needed to defeat them. Although the background is a drab monotone, no attention to detail has been spared – the “stage” is three-layered, and each one has either been bead-blasted or straight-grained to contrast with the lacquered sprites mounted on the dial. Housed in a 40mm case, this reference has a limited run of just 20 pieces. ($24,800)

Alexander-Shorokhoff-3a

Alexander Shorokhoff Miss Avantgarde: Words like “edgy” or “free-spirited” cannot adequately describe the Miss Avantgarde, what with its loud and flashy dial that uses color with seemingly no pattern. There is a method to Alexander Shorokhoff’s madness though. The time can actually be read easily as each design element is confined to a specific section of the watch. Colors have also been compartmentalized to avoid an overly busy dial, while the hands are white for maximum contrast. (Price unavailable)

Spread-3a

Graham Chronofighter Oversize GMT: The Chronofighter Oversize GMT has a busy dial with red, blue, and white accents on a background of black. This is mirrored on the watch’s exterior, with its massive 47mm case sporting an equally colorful combination of steel, red gold, and black PVD surfaces. Interestingly, the chronograph, large date, and GMT complications haven’t been sorted by color. Instead, every part of the watch takes on its specific hues for maximum contrast – note how the bezel uses red gold against blue while the main dial has white against black instead. ($16,400)

Material Play

Paints and coatings aren’t the be all and end all for achieving colours that pop in a watch. Materials that are inherently brightly colored can do the same, and lend their unique textures to boot. Stones, glass, and even liquids? Bring them all on.

Spread-4a

HYT H1 Azo Project: No, it isn’t kryptonite. The H1 Azo Project’s florescent case is made of azo polyepoxide, a resin with exceptional scratchproof properties despite being much lighter than comparable materials like steel. Its color is, of course, a perfect match for the liquids encased in the watch’s fluid module – one has been colored a darker shade of green, while the other remains transparent. The hours are then read off the tip of what looks like an advancing column of liquid. ($95,000)

Hermes-2a

Hermès Arceau Millefiori: From straw marquetry to Japanese miniature painting on porcelain, Hermès has incorporated various crafts into watchmaking. The Arceau Millefiori focuses on glass art, specifically millefiori (a thousand flowers), where colored crystal canes are arranged to form various motifs before being sealed with transparent crystal. The technique is adapted here by cutting the finished product into thin slices and using them as dials. ($61,600)

Ulysse-Nardina

Ulysse Nardin Marine Perpetual: At first sight, the blue sapphires on the bezel are immediately apparent, and serve as the highlight of the Marine Perpetual. Upon closer inspection, however, the bezel itself is revealed to be atypical – it’s made of rubber, and the sapphires are set directly into it. The technique, dubbed “soft stone in the sky”, is revolutionary for setting gems in a soft material, and parallels the manufacture’s perpetual calendar movement, which allows forward and backward adjustments via just the crown. ($59,400)

Bell-&-Ross-1a

Bell & Ross BR 03 Red Radar: Bell & Ross’s timepieces are inspired by cockpit instruments but said instruments were never just confined to dials with hands and indexes. One outlier was the BR 03 Red Radar, which took the world by storm upon its release, and remains frequently cited as a milestone product for the brand. In lieu of hands, three black concentric discs are mounted to the movement, with a red mineral glass crystal sealing the watch. The result? A watch that displays the time like a radar screen. ($S$6,700)

 

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

Photography by Raymond Lee

Art direction and styling by Tok Wei Lun

5 Watches Bringing High Fashion to Your Wrist

Fashion watches bear their houses’ codes to match technical brilliance with sartorial splendor. Our thanks to the team at Men’s Folio Singapore for putting together this spread to inspire us.

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Dior Chiffre Rouge A02 in stainless steel with bracelet; Dior Homme Cotton shirt, wool suit, pressed flower badges, silk bow tie

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Gucci G-Timeless in steel with NATO strap, cotton shirt, wool pants, leather belt, assorted metal rings, wool beret

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Louis Vuitton Escale Time Zone in steel with alligator strap, wool blend print jacket

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Givenchy Seventeen Titanium Automatic Edition in titanium with NATO strap, silk blend print shirt, wool print pants

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Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar in rose gold with alligator strap, cotton shirt, cotton blend jumpsuit, wool turtleneck jumper

 

Photography by Joel Low; Styling by Tok Wei Lun

Grooming: Benedict Choo using M.A.C cosmetics

Model: Erlend /  Mannequin

 

Apple Watch Hermes

The Apple Watch Hermès is now available

Apple Watch Hermes

After teasing the collaboration last month, Apple has released the Hermès edition of its watches in select stores across North America.

The tie-in adds a touch of French luxury to the latest technological gadgetry. The amped-up version of the Apple Watch features a leather band and sports the Hermès logo on the watch face.

Bands are available as single or double tour, and as a cuff.

The watches are being sold at stores in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Toronto. Prices start at $1,100.

Apple Watch Hermes Double Tour

Jeff Williams

Apple launches Hermès Watch

Jeff Williams

Apple Inc. and Hermès International announced Wednesday that they have created a new version of Apple’s smartwatch.

The watch, which will go on sale Oct. 5, will marry bands made in Hermès’ signature leather with a specially designed user interface.

The Hermès watch will have a choice of three bands with the stainless steel face: a single leather loop, a double loop and a cuff. The double loop only comes with the 38mm face, while the thicker cuff only has the 42mm version. The bands are available in several colors of leather. The price will range from $1,100 to $1,500.

Apple Watch Hermes

To display the time, Apple adapted three fonts Hermès has long used in its watches. When the watch face displays the Hermès user interface, neither the Apple name nor logo is visible.

For Apple, the Hermès watch is its latest move to embrace luxury.

It has been courting the fashion industry, hiring famed designer Marc Newson and executives from Burberry and Yves Saint Laurent, all of whom participated in the conception of the watch.

 

Hermès Jane Birkin bag

Jane Birkin orders Hermes to rename ‘Birkin bag’

Hermès Jane Birkin bag

Hermes said Wednesday it was probing claims of cruelty at crocodile and alligator farms that supply the French fashion house with skins for its luxury handbags and accessories.

Jane Birkin has asked Hermes to remove her name from the iconic crocodile skin  after rights group PETA published an expose on “cruel” treatment of the animals at farms in Texas and Zimbabwe.

“Hermes respects and shares her emotion and was also shocked by the recently published images,” the company said in a statement.

THIS BIRKIN BAG JUST SOLD FOR A RECORD $222,912

PETA filmed disturbing images of crocodiles in Zimbabwe and alligators in Texas — whose skin is used to make watch-straps — in which they live crammed into barren concrete pits before being “cruelly hacked” to death.

“At just one year old, alligators are shot with a captive-bolt gun or crudely cut into while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain,” PETA said.

“The investigator saw alligators continuing to move their legs and tails in the bleed rack and in bloody ice bins several minutes after their attempted slaughter,” it added. Hermes said it was investigating the farm in Texas.

“Any proven negligence will be corrected and punished,” Hermes said, highlighting that it does not own the farm and that the alligator skins are not used to make the Birkin bag.

fuchsia colored Hermes bag

The manufacturer added that it imposed the “highest standards in the ethical treatment of crocodiles” on its partners.

Hermes also said Birkin’s request did not affect “the friendship and trust” between her and the house.

The bag was designed for Birkin in 1984, after a chance meeting of the singer and the then president of Hermes, Jean-Louis Dumas. A young mother at the time, she complained she could not find a bag that was both elegant and practical.

The crocodile version, which costs at least 33,000 euros ($36,000), is one of Hermes’s best-known products, along with its silk scarves and purses named after Grace Kelly.

The handbag, which also comes in cow, calf or ostrich leather, is made entirely by hand in France. Each bag takes 18 to 25 hours to complete.

fuchsia colored Hermes bag

This Birkin bag just sold for a record $222,912

fuchsia colored Hermes bag

A fuchsia-coloured crocodile-skin Hermes bag has broken the record for the most expensive handbag sold at auction, selling for US$222,912 at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong.

The final price realised at the Monday auction was around 15 percent more than the auction house’s estimate.

READ MORE: HERMES MAKES $1.9 MILLION GOLD HANDBAGS

“With its 18k white gold and diamond hardware, Hermès Shiny Fuchsia Porosus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 35 dazzled the crowds, achieving a HK$1.72 million record,” Christie’s said in the statement.

The bag, part of the “Birkin” series named after British-born French actress and singer Jane Birkin, features a gold and diamond-encrusted clasp and padlock and is 35 centimetres in width and 25 centimetres in height.

The previous record was set at the sale of another Hermes Birkin by an American auction house valued at around $203,000 in 2011.

Hermes candles

Hermès launches first home fragrances collection

Céline Ellena and Guillaume Bardet

French luxury house  has released its debut collection of scents designed for the home by Céline Ellena and presented in a stunning selection of objets d’art by Guillaume Bardet.

The new Hermès home fragrance collection comprises five perfumes, with each fragrance bearing its own story and five colors: Des Pas sur la Neige (taupe), Temps de Pluie (celadon), Fenêtre Ouverte (lagoon), Champ Libre (sulphur) and A Cheval ! (pumpkin).

There are three families of perfumed objects designed by Bardet that carry the scents: a paper origami horse, a ceramic pebble and a candle bowl.

DON’T MISS: HERMÈS IS RELEASING A $11K BICYCLE

Le Parfum de la Maison Reverie Collection

The collection was mixed by Céline Ellena, daughter of Jean-Claude Ellena, the head of fragrance at Hermès.

Born in Rouen, Bardet trained at the École nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs and has worked with some of the biggest names in design.

Hermes candles

His latest project, entitled ‘L’Usage des jours,’ comprises 365 ceramic objects created in the course of one year.

The collection will be available in Hermès boutiques as well as in selected sales outlets from December 2014. Prices range from €62 for a set of four horses to €350 for a 1,100g candle.

La Maison des Carrés

La Maison des Carrés by Hermès

Several years after the launch of the  website in 2001, the French luxury brand has opened La Maison des Carrés, a new digital showcase dedicated to its famous scarves.

The new site takes the form of a house inhabited by the Hermès family of silk accessories. The top floor is dedicated to its western-style silk bandanas, while a room just underneath houses a collection of Twilly ribbon-shaped scarves. A few floors down is a room devoted to scarves with the equestrian theme the label holds dear.

DON’T MISS: HERMES WINDOW DISPLAY ILLUSION

The interactive website also offers tutorials on different ways to tie its scarves, whether around the neck or around the head.

La Maison des Carrés

Of course, all of the items in La Maison des Carrés are for sale. After selecting a scarf and a color, shoppers simply select their country and delivery method: either by express mail or in-store pickup. Shoppers within Paris can even opt to have their scarf delivered by courier.

SEE ALSO: LE CARRE HERMES – THE BOOK

This is not the first time Hermès has shown a knack for clever digital marketing. Recently, the brand launched its Tie Break app, proving that modern technology and humor go hand in hand with luxury style.

Hermès – Of Mastery And Time

As summer draws to a close and F1 season approaches yet again, the next major event to look forward to will be Watches & Wonders taking place from 30 September to 2 October. Hold your horses though! Hermès has an upcoming exhibition that will begin before and end after the exhibition, from 24 September to 5 October.  The exhibition, Of Mastery And Time, will showcase some of the brand’s choice creations at Scotts Square’s atrium, in the context of Hermès’s traditional integration of decorative arts in its watches.Hermes Of Mastery And Time 5At the exhibition, visitors can look forward to examining the Arceau Millefiori, which showcases glassmaking artistry in the context of a timepiece. The ‘millefiori’ motif on the watch has been crafted by the Saint-Louis Royal Crystal-Works, Europe’s oldest glassmaker (and 100% Hermès-owned affiliate), and gives the impression of a flower bed on a two-dimensional dial. This is done by arranging thin glass canes of various colours, each just 10mm long, inside a cast iron bowl to form the desired pattern,  before applying a drop of molten crystal to seal the ‘flower bed’. You can imagine the challenges involved, from the dexterity needed to produce such intricate displays on such a small scale, to the crystal working that must be done without introducing bubbles or deforming the canes.Hermes Of Mastery And Time 4Besides glass art, Hermès will also demonstrate its experience with wheel engraving through the Arceau Pocket Chevaux sauvages. The crystal cover of this watch is decorated with the horse motif the brand is noted for, using wheel engraving by a crystal engraver. This involves applying Indian ink onto a crystal plaque in the motif to be created, and “polishing” the image out using increasingly finer lathes. A crystal engraver will be on hand to demonstrate the technique in person from 24 to 28 September. Other techniques that Hermès will demonstrate include French lacquering, enamelling, stone marquetry, and diamond setting.

Last but not least, the exhibition actually takes place within a setting that plays with visitors’ perception of time, with two distinct sections of Day and Night. This is of course unsurprising, given Hermès’s penchant to do so with watches such as the Dressage L’Heure Masquée.