Hands Up: The Hermès Touch

September 29, 2021
Photo credits : Laurence Benaïm

Beautiful and gorgeous – right down to your fingertips. That sounds like a high-wattage adage for the season. Red mouths under still masked faces; little steps in high heels. Yet here on rue de Sèvres in Paris, the acute accent is on the hands: ringed, thin and delicate. Above all, weighted with micro-bags. On Monday, the Maison Hermès debuted nail lacquer, a new opus in the Hermès Beauty range, which launched in 2020. “The hand is the object of care par excellence. Our accomplice, our eye, our identity. It has no gender, it indicates behaviour. It is the hand of the rider, of the craftsman. It is both powerful and delicate. The hand is Hermès’ horse: the one that leads us, but trusts us,” notes Pierre Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès, employing a fair degree of lyricism. “The hand makes, creates, gives life. It is also a symbol of our relationship to others. We are the home of the hand. Civiliser par excellence, the hand transforms and connects us to each other.” The gait of the rider is one with the movement of the horse, without upsetting it. There’s the “hand of the lance” (right), the “hand of the bridle” (left), and especially the “hand”, meaning that the horse always has its muzzle vertically, at the walk, like galloping. A sign of mastery, without any effect of force; conversely, a horse “coming out of the hand”, expresses a lack of flexibility and strength. And as Ménehould de Bazelaire, director of the house heritage, reminds us, “We are talking about the ‘good hand of a leather’, the sound of the skin that is crumpled. Intuitive, expert, eloquent, she knows how to play her cards right on the table. The Hermès hand “pampers” the bag. Or, as the craftsmen say, ‘When my head gets confused, my hand knows – and you have to let it,” Dumas continues. “The hands at Hermès are akin to inspired tightrope walkers”. Tightrope walkers, objects of attention – each lacquer enhanced by the cylindrical cases of Pierre Hardy. Spanning Porcelain Rose, Byzantine Green and Casaque Red, the palette is comprised of 24 shades – an emblematic number that corresponds to the Maison’s mythic Parisian address, 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. A carousel of varnish is even presented in a special box – of course made by hand of the saddle craftspeople. @laurence-benaim

Photo credits : Laurence Benaïm

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