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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.