Celebrating Hermès With Koto Bolofo's La Maison and Verve

Ridhima Sinha , 09 Jun 2012
La Maison Book and Photography exhibition launch
La Maison Book and Photography exhibition launch

Being inside one of Hermès’s many spectacular ateliers is like a dream come true for any photographer. Koto Bolofo lived his fantasy when he got exclusive access to shoot each of the popular French label’s eleven departments for seven whole years.

Ashita & Aurélie Khattau of Hermès
Ashita & Aurélie Khattau of Hermès
video coming soon
Video Coming Soon
At the La Maison launch
At the La Maison launch
At the Hermès boutique
At the Hermès boutique
Koto Bolofo portrait
Koto Bolofo portrait

This rare phenomenon occurred when late Hermès chairman Jean-Louis Dumas found out that Bolofo’s tribe had protected his ancestor when he was a missionary in Africa. Dumas even referred to Bolofo as his ‘cousin’ and so began the beautiful process of encapsulating life inside the famous french label.

Admiring Bolofo's work
Admiring Bolofo's work
Nisha JamVwal
Nisha JamVwal
Arti Sarin at the launch hosted by Verve and Hermès
Arti Sarin at the launch hosted by Verve and Hermès

Bolofo’s photographs have been compiled into an 11-volume book titled La Maison (which also is the exhibition’s same) and each picture was so bright hued and artistic that I was completely smitten.

Arti & Kailash Surendranath
Arti & Kailash Surendranath
Heena Jhaveri wears healing rose quartz
Heena Jhaveri wears healing rose quartz

I was at the launch of La Maison( which is in India for the first time after being exhibited in places like New York and Paris) at the sumptuous Hermès boutique in Mumbai. It was a delighftul evening of champagne and hors doeuvres co-hosted by Verve. For me, it  was really interesting to see Bolofo’s genius transform ordinary things like an artisan’s hand, a perfumer’s nose or a needle into a work of art.

At the Hermès boutique
At the Hermès boutique
Champagne and conversations
Champagne and conversations
Jatin Kampani
Jatin Kampani

Although my favorite picture was the one with a glimpse of the classic Birkin bag handle and its signature orange, I also adore the one of the bright red Hermèspadlock against rich crocodile leather.

Luxurious and picture perfect!
A glimpse of Bolofo's work
A glimpse of the book- La Maison
A glimpse of the book- La Maison
Nisha JamVwal with friends
Nisha JamVwal with friends

All the photographs were in black & white, and they depicted the painstaking process of creating a Hermès product in an aesthetically pleasing way. I had a great little chat with Nisha JamVwalwho always manages to look fresh and energetic even after a long day.

Poonam Soni
Poonam Soni

I loved my little conversation with Poonam Soni who shared interesting facts about her love for Buddhishm with me. Aarti Surendranath had a super chat with me as well about her passion for life.

Ashika
Ashika
An evening with Verve and La Maison
An evening with Verve and La Maison
The perfect setting for great conversations
The perfect setting for great conversations

The cocktail party at the Hermès boutique was filled with laughter, gorgeous finger food and warm conversations which made the evening so perfect. The crème de la crème of society were there to celebrate and everyone was enthralled by the legendary work of the South African genius that surrounded us. More photographs here.

Splendid designs with a beautiful use of color
Splendid designs with a beautiful use of color
Surrounded by Bolofo's inspiring work
Surrounded by Bolofo's inspiring work
Splash of color at the Hermès boutique
Splash of color at the Hermès boutique

The photographs and the book (priced at 14,350) are on display at the store till July 15 and I  know you’ll love that thrill (I think my inner goddess just did the tango) at being able to look at each spectacular photograph and interpret it in so many different ways. Fashionista heaven!

Spotted: Sameena and Azeem Khan, Saloni Doshi, Julian Coston, Joy Dutta, Pravina Jamaal mecklai, Purnima Sheth, Durva Gandhi, Radhi Parekh, Jatin Kampani,Poonam Soni,Turkish Consul General, Ritu Desai, Kiran Rao, Farhat Jamal, Birgit Zorgenburg.

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