Hermès’ petit h Collection Arrives at Liat Towers

If you missed it before, here’s your chance to catch Hermès‘ petit h collection for the first time in six years since the famously elusive travelling exhibition last graced our shores. From this Friday 22 November, the fashion house brings its travelling petit h exhibition to Singapore at its Liat Towers boutique until 15th December 2019. The boutique’s fourth floor will be transformed into a futuristic workshop space bathed in ethereal light designed by local industrial designer and long-time collaborator Olivia Lee, with the Singaporean installation featuring limited edition pieces inspired by local flora and fauna found across the city-state.

By happy chance, the petit h pop-up installation coincides with the festive season and we all know what this time of the year brings: gift-shopping and with it, the annual gifting conundrum of getting thoughtful gifts that aren’t cliches or recycled from the year before (you know who you are). If you are also searching for stocking stuffers with a touch of the unexpected, the petit h collection by Hermès has your Christmas shopping sorted this year.

petit h: An imaginarium made reality

First conceptualised in 2010 by Pascale Mussard and presently helmed by artistic director Godefroy de Virieu, petit h is an ode to the fashion house’s dedication to artisanal craftsmanship that reconciles luxury and the art of thrifting. Unlike the usual flow of the design process which works on pre-established ideas, creation at the petit h workshop springs from improvisation, re-imagining abandoned scraps to create delightfully fantastical yet functional objects that present alternative forms of existence.

“We don’t just do decorative pieces,” says de Virieu. “I want to make things that people will touch, will use, that will become part of their stories. When I buy an Hermès object, I’ll use it for life. It’s not something you buy and throw away. petit h does not deviate from that philosophy. Utility is always important.”

Shelving unit storing metal pieces at the petit h atelier in Pantin, northeast of Paris. (Photo: Eugenia Sierko-Rouchon)

Upcycling, but make it fashion

And one of the best things about it? It’s environmentally friendly. Much like a self-sustaining ecosystem, nothing goes to waste at the petit h workshop, where swathes of silks, other fabrics, trimmings and glassware culled by Hermès’ exacting standards of perfection would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. petit h’s philosophy on only using leftover materials not only demonstrates their commitment to social responsibility, but also contributes to the sustainability movement by reducing material waste in an industry that is known for producing massive levels of textile waste. Hermès proves that recycled fashion and circular design can be gorgeous by breathing life into discarded raw fabric scraps and bits, whose destined paths begin where previous Hermès métiers have left off.

The result? A collection of charming, limited edition objects whose original forms have been artfully reworked and given Hermès’ characteristically playful and mischievous twist, offering a different perspective of life as we know it. An extra coat button and castaway crystal bottle becomes an ingenious salt shaker. An awkwardly-shaped scrap of ostrich leather, not quite sure what to make of itself, returns to nature in the form of a quirky mushroom paperweight.

True to its nomadic spirit, the petit h collection occasionally calls in at selected Hermès stores around the world, retaining only a point of anchor at the store on rue de Sèvres in Paris. The cheeky catch? You never know what pieces to expect upon each visit.

Experience a day in the life of a petit h artisan and try your hand at creating something special by signing up for these workshops here. The petit h collection will be available at the Hermès installation at its Liat Towers boutique, 541 Orchard Towers from 22 November to 15 December 2019.