Hermès blasts off to ’the silky way’ for breathtaking London event

Behind-the-scenes of Hermès’ ‘Brides de Galaxy’ in London yesterday evening, a jaw-dropping event celebrating the carré silk scarf and its instantly recognisable prints

Hermès London Event ‘Brides de Galaxy’
Inside Hermès’ ‘Brides de Galaxy’ event in London
(Image credit: Photography by Annabel Elston)

The industrial studio lots of Acton, in the far west of London, might not immediately call to mind Parisian fashion house Hermès, though yesterday evening (30 November 2023) the W3 address provided the gateway to the brand’s awe-inspiring journey to ‘the silky way’ – a veritable galaxy of amusements that celebrated perhaps the house’s best-known export, the carré silk scarf and its distinct ‘Brides de Gala’ print.

Guided by a strip of landing lights that stretched from the otherwise unassuming entrance-way – a sign reading ‘Silky Way’ a hint of the celestial journey to come – ’Brides de Galaxy’ (as the event was titled) opened up into an immersive space inspired by the various elements of the ‘Brides de Gala’ scarf print. One of Hermès’ most recognisable designs (adorned with bridlery chains and a saddle, it recalls the house’s equestrian roots), it was created by Hugo Grygkar in 1957, and has appeared in various iterations in the decades since.

Inside Hermès’ ’Brides de Galaxy’ London event

illuminated ramp into Hermès London Event, signed 'Silky Way'

(Image credit: Photography by Annabel Elston)

On arrival, drinks were flowing (Louis Roederer champagne, naturally, but also a brightly hued array of cocktails, including the ‘Blue Nebula’, a vivid combination of silver tequila, lime juice and blue curuçao), while delicate platters of food comprised seaweed tacos (filed with beef tartare and Oscietra caviar, sea bass and passion fruit ceviche or miso aubergine) and sourdough ‘crackling’ topped with carrot chutney and oat curd or duck rillettes.

It provided ample (rocket) fuel to explore the vast universe dreamt up by Hermès, where a vividly coloured, sand-strewn set – created by London-based set designer Ibby Njoya and evocative of a far-off desert landscape, complete with trippy dunes – led to five immersive areas inspired by various facets of the Hermès carré. Production was by British design firm Studio Boum.

Illuminated set at Hermès London Event

(Image credit: Photography by Annabel Elston)

These spanned a twinkling amphitheatre for relaxation, the ’dune bar’ – complete with spinning silk parachutes twirling overhead – and the ‘love garden’, where a tree sprouted with the house’s ’Love’ scarves. The ‘valley’, meanwhile, offered an opportunity for guests to try on the various silks for themselves – as any Hermès aficionado knows, they can be twisted and knotted in a multitude of ways, as this space demonstrated to the uninitiated – while the central space was taken over by an enormous dancefloor, complete with glimmering disco-ball sky (as we can attest, guests danced long into the night).

Special performances included Hackney-born musician and actor Hope, as well as a troupe of dancers who brandished the carré in a contemporary dance performance which took place later in the evening, choreographed by Portuguese ballet dancer Marcelino Sambé. 

Brightly coloured set at Hermès London Event

(Image credit: Photography by Annabel Elston)

Hermès silk, one of the house’s most historic métiers, is currently led by Cécile Pesce, creative director of women’s silk for the house. Intricately crafted in the Hermès workshops close to Lyon, France, the distinct designs and patterns of the carré – each created specially by an artist or designer – take hundreds of hours of work to be etched and screen-printed, before being hand-stitched by the house’s highly trained artisans. Pesce is responsible for the dizzying array of colours which adorn the scarves, a palette paid ode to in the event’s memorable palette.

‘[The colours] are mixed from memories. The idea is to reorganise everything; colours are like words to make a sentence,’ Pesce told Wallpaper* when we visited the Hermès workshops earlier this year. ‘Or how it is to make music: it is natural for me.’

hermes.com

Hermès London Event

(Image credit: Photography by Annabel Elston)
Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.