By The Nation
The exhibition takes viewers on a journey to explore the history of the house, which was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès, following the thread woven by generations of designers and craftspeople from its origins as a harness-maker and saddler to today’s contemporary designs.
The Rouges Hermès exhibition demonstrates that the house's attachment to this colour through a spectrum of some 20 shades fluctuating from vermilion to magenta and from bright red to soft red. Ever since Émile Hermès, with the help of skilled artisan tanners, developed a process to dye box calf leather, red has been used to colour a whole range of designs.
The exhibition demonstrates this by featuring not only leather goods but also clothing and home accessories, rounding off with a contemporary jewellery cabinet whose mobile, folding mahogany structure in rouge H conceals a wealth of intricate details. From wood to crystal, leather to silk, the harmonious relationships between colour and matter are clearly discernible.
Bruno Gaudichon, curator of La Piscine museum of art and industry in Roubaix (France) and of Rouges Hermès and worked with set designer Laurence Fontaine on a framework that is flexible yet rigorous. Borrowing pieces from the Émile Hermès collection, the house’s archives and the full range of recent designs, the exhibition is divided into five zones loosely connected by a chronological thread that allows visitors to discover the emergence of new variants of red over time. These ultimately form a subtle and delicate palette throughout the exhibition, which illuminates the history of the house.