Sustainable fashion is now in vogue, but I remember sifting through heaps of fabric scraps from other people’s sewing stashes decades ago to see if I couldn’t make something new out of someone else’s leftovers. But before you give me a pat on the back for being socially responsible or environmentally forward thinking way back then, it was really more about the curiosity of seeing what I could design than minimizing my carbon footprint.
So it’s no surprise that I would find such amusement and kinship in a very special brainchild project that the brilliant Pascale Mussard has nourished for a few years now at Hermès, called Petit H. It is where scraps of the venerable Hermès silks or leathers go to be refashioned into, often one-of-a-kind, objects that are now definitely not intended for their original use. Case in point: a crocodile stone holder. Yes, a harness made of buttery crocodile skin…for a river rock. But then there are also the beautiful furniture pieces, shawls, totes…
and an astoundingly prolific number of creative items that simply boggle the mind and tickle one’s fancy, even if one were not a fan of the steep Hermès prices. I don’t believe the true value of something increases just because its monetary value can be artificially manipulated by the market. I also don’t believe that the price of imagination can boil down to a clear-cut quantitative analysis either.
Simply put, when I wander through the menagerie of creativity that is the roving Petit H exhibit (currently at the South Coast Plaza Hermès boutique and permanently at the SÃ¨vres location in Paris), backed by a house with no ceiling on quality, I can almost justify taking home everything. Especially a birdhouse (rather apt for someone named after a bird, eh?) that comes in a variety of crocodile skin colors:
I definitely wish they had allowed photography in the exhibit so that I could show you one of my favorite items, a miniature race car crafted from crocodile skin that could have once been intended for a Birkin. The popup exhibit will last another week so I will have to find the time make a second tour. In any event, the first photo from today’s entry must have piqued your curiosity. Surely that ribbon means I did not go home empty-handed?
Actually, after a couple of hours perusing the items on a very crowded Friday morning (I should note that I had never seen so many customers toting exotic Birkins and Kellys before under one roof!), I decided to only bring home memories from the exhibit. But just as I was one foot out the door, I spied a wooden mannequin head that I had somehow missed. Around its neck was a gorgeous muted red crocodile necklace/scarf holder. The salesperson told me she thought it was a belt displayed as a necklace, but surely it would fit around my neck? She disappeared to check for other colors while I was already quite set on buying this piece. But when she re-appeared and announced that she had a grey one, my heart skipped a beat. I wasn’t disappointed when she revealed it to us:
Upon closer inspection, the crocodile was not only grey, but the elusive Himalayan grey (gris cendre):
I know I said the graphite ostrich that I recently lucked into is my dream bag, but there is only one ultimate holy grail bag for me. And that’s the Himalayan grey croc Kelly:
Probably because it is an amalgamation of all the grey shades that I could hope for and mostly because it is as rare as a unicorn. What is a holy grail if it doesn’t take a lifetime to find? But I digress… here is the “bone” thrown to me by the orange H gods–an amuse bouche, if you will, to whet my appetite on my long road to adoption of the ultimate bag:
Maybe on a good hair day I could even wear it has a headband. The options are endless, just like the imagination of the good folks at Petit H.