At the Hermès party in New York

The series I write and photograph for the magazine Le Monde d’Hermès — you can see that work here, including pieces on a master Dutch typographer, a Keralan puppeteer, and cork harvesting in Portugal — interprets the magazine’s title by looking out from Hermès to capture how the House sees the world.  But in New York last night Hermès held an event they called ‘All About Women’ that was a fashion show and party, complete with what they dubbed ‘happenings,’ that turned that interpretation around, inviting the city into the world of Hermès through clever ways of experiencing its craft and its products.

The event was held in the magnificent old JP Morgan building on Wall Street, opposite the stock exchange and around the corner from their store at 15 Broad Street.  The sculpture outside the entrance was a piece of (oversized) origami, referencing the year’s theme of ‘metamorphosis.’

Giant origami outside the Hermes event on Wall Street, photo by Sean Rocha

The night began with a défilé showing the Autumn/Winter women’s wear collection designed by Christophe Lemaire:

Hermes Autumn-Winter womenswear, photo by Sean Rocha

Then it moved on to the festivities, including this quite commendable selection of wine and Champagne:

Wine selection at the Hermes party, photo by Sean Rocha

Which came with Hermès bracelets, if you asked nicely:

Bracelets and Champagne at Hermes, photo by Sean Rocha

The old bank building is enormous, allowing space for room after room of discoveries that included these ‘dancing bags’:

Dancing bags at the Hermes event, photo by Sean Rocha

Jewelry floating in water, the darkened space making it difficult to tell just how they did that and giving the experience a sense of magic:

Hermes jewelry floating in water, photo by Sean Rocha

A beach scene with girls in swimsuits:

Hermes swimsuits at an indoor beach, photo by Sean Rocha

Miniature doll houses displaying watches and flea-sized shoes:

An Hermes watch on the wall of a dollhouse room, photo by Sean Rocha

And, my favorite, a life drawing class with a model wearing various Hermès scarves:

Life drawing a model in an Hermes scarf, photo by Sean Rocha

Then the party began in earnest.  It ended, as one might hope, with a giant shoe in lights:

An Hermes shoe in lights, photo by Sean Rocha

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The New York Times’ take on the event is worth a look.

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