Hermés Leather Forever Exhibit

Recently I attended the Hermés Leather Forever exhibit at the Royal Academy of London I decided to go mostly because I wanted to see a bit of Hermés history, but also because I wanted my husband to come along and see what all the fuss was about. Let's just say he has some concerns about the pricing. Well, with a Birkin and/or Kelly on my ultimate never ending wish list, I decided this would be a good place for him to learn about the complexities and intricacies associated with the historic leather goods house.

I was only able to take two photos inside the exhibit before being told there was "no photography allowed". There was a Hermés factory worker hand stitching a bag that was being held together with a wooden vice pressed between her knees. She was poking individual holes one at a time and painstakingly threading the leather together to form what was going to be the bottom of the bag. Watching her I defiantly felt a sense of expertise in the air; you certainly knew her skill wasn't something she picked up overnight. The second photo was a colorful display of Birkins and Kellys well outside of my reach guarded by several suited security members. Seems they were prepared for me and what I might do...
As you move along through the exhibit, there were several different rooms all containing Hermés items from writing pens to riding saddles all collected from different time periods. Some rooms contained samples of exotic skins while others featured video of behind the scenes footage. There was a bag labeled from the 1930's that appeared to be in almost excellent condition. I couldn't help but wonder who had previously owned and loved the bag. A room with a floor covered in white sand featured a green alligator saddle with matching riding boots hanging from the ceiling. They looked to be in my size.
Although I enjoyed the exhibit, I left wanting to take something with me. I couldn't help but thinking they should have included a gift shop. I would have purchased a small token like a keychain with a small orange box charm or a leather "H". Some sort of consolation since I couldn't walk away with a Birkin...


From the Fashion Library - Bringing Home The Birkin

I love to read and I love to read fashion books. (Please let me know if you have any recommendations.)  Since my fashion Library is growing, I need to start cataloging some of the pieces I already have. BRINGING HOME THE BIRKIN by Michael Tonello is one of my favorite reads. It's the story of a man who moves to Spain and finds himself without a job. His journey begins with an Hermés scarf he sold on eBay to make a little money. The story is amazing and his search takes him across continents shopping the World's supply of Birkin bags.

 THE BOOK includes photos, personal correspondence (including a fax from Hermés), and the truth about the mythological two year waiting list. In the end, Tonello becomes one of the world's leading Hermés resellers, catering to rich women everywhere. It's funny hilarious and full of colorful characters (read the "Hermés Store Employee Roster"), but I think the real reason I liked this book so much is because a Hermés Birkin is always on my wish list. I'm hoping one day I'll get to bring one home.