14 December, 2011

Hermes; St Honore & Sevres

Stepping foot into the Faubourg St Honore Hermes store is like stepping into luxurious controlled chaos - people everywhere, for such a large store it is very cramped. Between the people and the merchandise there is very little room to move. From the scarf counter, to bracelets, ties and onto the other 2 floors, there is always a sales assistant at your service - or there will be as soon as possible.

 Ever helpful they arrange your item within it's box and ensure the customers last name is safely secured with the purchase request, as you browse through the store, each assistant will do this and when you are at your last sales assistant you simply tell them which departments have items set aside for you. 

Unfortunately I did not have this indulgence as after I chose my scarf, we discovered that there was one black with silver Collier De Chien left in Paris, and it was at Hermes Sevres, I paid for my scarf and departed with Alexander into the first cab we could find and rushed to the Sevres store (we had dinner reservations that are not easy to get and still had to get back to the other side of town and get ready) 

Walking into the Sevres store is like nothing else. At the entrance is a flower shop and the loft-like space was built in the former swimming pool of the Lutetia Hotel. A grand staircase made of curved strips of ash wood, and the surprises continue with the floor holding three pear-shaped structures using the same strips of wood as the stairs, creating a lattice work effect. Inside the tee-pees are room settings with items from Hermes Maison. In addition to the usual items there is a bookshop with the latest coffee table books and a cafe, Le Plongeoir (The diving board). The cafe overlooks the main floor and the tea and coffee are served in Hermes tableware Architect Denis Montel maintained the unique facets of the space, keeping the original tiled columns and floors, and the ironwork on the upper balconies yet still making the space modern.

It was here that I was shown the last Black and Silver Collier De Chien in Paris, And I did not hesitate.