A Different Kind of Slick

A Different Kind of Slick

>> The expression on a well-to-do French couple's face yesterday as they walked into the almost unrecognisable interior of the Herm√®s store on 155 New Bond Street was priceless.  They looked confused and befuddled as they surveyd the temporarily clinical white space designed by Studio Toogood, dotted with islands of repurposed red leather and built up layers of scarlet painted foam.  "I just want to buy a tie," scoffed the man.  The time-poor cash-rich customer with no imagination can still head up to the first floor for all the normal Herm√®s goods.  However for the next fortnight, Herm√®s staff will probably have to face similar responses from their normal clientale, as the ground floor of the store has been taken over by a truly dramatic installation by Faye Toogood and her team, to launch petit h in London – the upcycled arm of Herm√®s, which I had the opportunity to discover when I went to their atelier on the outskirts of Paris a few weeks ago.  

I was eager to see the final fruits of labour where petit h would be displayed in a less-than-conventional way.  Toogood sought to bring her own take on the "slickness" of luxury retail by literally applying a slick surface to everything – by dipping Herm√®s silk scarves in rubber for the windows, painting layers of foam in a glossy red with paint drips fully visible and even the Herm√®s staff got involved by wearing upcycled leather aprons, rubber dipped garden gloves and matching silk sleeves.  Toogood knows a thing or two about respecting craftsmen as her own debut collection of coats pay homage to the people that truly graft.  So the neon light shapes hanging in the store echo the shapes of Herm√®s bag pieces and Herm√®s crafsmen' tools are displayed in a decorative formation.  

In amongst this striking and purposely unorthodox store fit lies petit h's special menagerie of playful objects.  As I found out at the petit h atelier, every object must emerge with a proper use, be that a flying tea cup that is also a lamp or a leather covered dog sculpture for holding newspapers.  Call it useful whimsy.  If I was the sort of person that frequently graces Herm√®s stores to drop a wad, I too would consider a giant calfskin leather stuffed bunny rabbit head to prop up on a sPublishilk covered stool.  After the store had opened to the public, a curious gaggle of Chinese customers came in pondering whether to buy a croc-clad toy motor car.  How the other half live, eh?  

The reuse and repurposing of Herm√®s' famous silk scarves are probably your best bet for something vaguely affordable with lattice cut bags, braclets and necklaces in the ¬£100-¬£300 bracket.  Purchase or no purchase, it's definitely  worth popping into the store just to see how customers react to Toogood's daring antidote to West End posh.

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0214_HERMES_Petit_h_low_res_09Photos above from Studio Toogood

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18 comments

Leave a comment
  1. agnes szucs / iiiinspired

    2013-11-22 at 1:18 PM

    or, maybe, a different kind of sick… but very interesting, and i quite like it.
    xoxo
    agnes
    🙂
    http://iiiinspired.blogspot.com/

  2. The Fashion Fraction

    2013-11-22 at 1:47 PM
  3. Jenny Walton

    2013-11-22 at 2:00 PM

    so cool!

  4. Jackie

    2013-11-22 at 2:40 PM

    Rad! Part art installation, part boutique. (Is it mathematically possible to add another part that is Tonal Den?)

  5. Jackie

    2013-11-22 at 2:41 PM

    OMG how could I not add ‘Rebirth of Slick’ as in the Slick Rick album? I’m sharper later in the day.
    http://www.kleidendrew.com

  6. Elisa

    2013-11-22 at 3:14 PM

    Great!!
    Elisa – My Fantabulous World

  7. FashionSnag

    2013-11-22 at 5:18 PM

    Amazing!

  8. WOWS

    2013-11-22 at 5:22 PM

    Stunning gloves!
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  9. milex

    2013-11-22 at 11:34 PM

    Obsessed

  10. Natalie

    2013-11-23 at 4:25 PM

    Stunning pictures!!

  11. debbie

    2013-11-24 at 5:30 PM

    Am a sucker for rich colour. Lovely.
    http://www.debbiefashionstylist.com

  12. Jalisa Leslie

    2013-11-24 at 8:48 PM

    I’m not afraid to jump in and say it: all that red reminds me of blood. But there’s so much of it, and it’s SOooo dark and lustrous and rich, I’d love to just wander through this installation!

  13. Mckenzie

    2013-11-25 at 3:56 AM

    It does look like a cross between a butcher’s shop and something from a vampire movie- in a cool and slick way, of course! And great gloves!

  14. Sarah

    2013-11-27 at 7:06 AM

    It’s a stunning classy color! i really liked it…
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  15. natasha

    2013-11-27 at 11:22 AM

    I loved it it’s amazing pictures
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  16. natasha

    2013-11-27 at 11:46 AM

    Great!!! stunning pictures!!!
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    2013-11-27 at 1:11 PM

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    2014-09-12 at 6:02 AM

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