Hermès Heritage - Part Three: In Motion

Hermès Heritage - Part Three: In Motion

An exhibition held in Temple of Literature Hanoi from October 25th to November 3rd, 2019.

Temple of Literature
Side entrance
Opposite of 19 Van Mieu

8am to 6pm daily
Free admission


The exhibition

  • A Unique Balance

    Hermès Heritage is a cycle of exhibitions that offers an open dialogue between objects from the Émile Hermès collection and Hermès’ archives and contemporary collections.
    The In Motion exhibition is the 3rd chapter of the cycle.
    In some ways, it is the perfect evocation of Hermès’ journey, which began in the 19th century with saddlery and harness-making, echoing the “roaming mood” celebrated by Charles Baudelaire in 1857.
    Whatever the chosen destination, what counts is the movement, dreamed or real, and the attention given to the traveller.

  • Advertisement for travel goods, 1926, illustration by Georges Lepape, printed by Draeger. Hermès archives.

The World of Hermès

With Hermès, the carriage is a world that one is tempted to drape in ornate silk or sublime leather.
The exhibition opens with Jeu des omnibus et dames blanches the first scarf to be designed by the house in 1937.
Inspired by a game that was popular around 1830, it evokes the first public transport in Paris that commenced in the 1820s. 
Harnessed to one or two goats, a child’s carriage, a miniature of a sociable carriage, perfectly illustrates the combined expertise of the saddler-harnessmaker and the coachbuilder.

  • Jeu des omnibus et dames blanches scarf, silk twill. Hermès Conservatoire of Creations.
  • Goat carriage, circa 1890. Emile Hermès Collection.

Émile Hermès' Travels

In his cabinet of curiosities, Émile Hermès accumulated a veritable memoir of movement.
Thus, at the shifting frontier of a world in constant motion, Faubourg Saint-Honoré becomes a stationary testimony to the irresistible aspiration to travel.
The seven-league boots of an anonymous postilion rider tell the story of horse-drawn carriage journeys of a bygone era, but they are in fact firmly immobile accessories, designed to protect the legs of stagecoach drivers.

  • Postilion's boots, 19th century, oxhide and cowhide. Emile Hermès Collection.
  • Charles-Emile Hermès, son of the house's founder, 1903. Hermès archives.

Movement Is Elegance

The requirement for comfort is Hermès’ true contribution to the history of modern movement.
The emphasis throughout this memoir of travel is firmly on the need to feel comfortable and for everything to be beautiful. The motorcycle one-piece in lambskin is matching helmet and gloves and Le Flâneur d’Hermès brilliantly meets the modern cyclist’s technological demands and their quest for elegance.
When everything is moving around you, there is nothing more essential than an appetite for one’s own movement.

  • Le Flâneur d'Hermès bicycle, 2015. Contemporary collection.
  • Motorcycle one-piece in lambskin, men's ready-to-wear collection autumn-winter 1973, photography by Jacques Peg. Hermès archives.

Construction Games

Hermès challenges it's own ingenuity to invent tools that combine comfort and concision, adapted to everyday objects which the traveller keeps close at hand when on the move.
Where the simple wicker of country escapes forms a line of references that embraces the iconic Bolide bag, symbol of Hermès’ responsiveness to the changing needs of customers.
It appeared at the same time as the motor car and is one of the first travel bags that Émile Hermès fitted with a zip fastening, which was easy to use.

  • Bolide Picnic bag, spring-summer 2016. Contemporary collection.
  • Advertisement for travel goods, 1925, illustration by Hemjic, printed by Draeger. Hermès archives.

The Immobile Journey

Is it the nostalgia for journeys past, or the desire to discover unknown lands ?
Even when sedentary, Hermès travellers like to surround themselves with objects which evoke imminent departures or immediate returns.
What could be more natural, here, than to wear the Hermès watch around the world. Poised in their ready-to-leave, the Hermès élégants cherish this world that inspires dreams and awaits discovery.

  • Carré H watch, strap in Barénia calfskin inspired by driving gloves. Contemporary collection.
  • Extract from the 1926 Hermès catalogue, photography by Jean Clair-Guyot. Hermès archives.