Hermès’s Window Dressing as an Art Opens in France

An Antoinre Platteau-designed window display at Hermès in Paris

An Antoinre Platteau-designed window display at Hermès in Paris

The windows of the Hermès boutique on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré Paris could well be considered works of art, thanks to displays that more resemble installations than marketing platforms.

So it’s perhaps natural that they should get their own exhibition, going on view from today (June 20) through September 18 at the Chapelle Saint-Louis in Poitiers in Poitiers, a city in west-central France.

Titled “Le Petit Théâtre de la Démesure” (“The Little Theater of Excess”), the exhibition is one of three inaugural shows inaugurating Le Miroir, a new cultural project in the city that aims to foster dialogue between various art forms. https://www.poitiers.fr/c__65_1006__Le_Miroir.html

It showcases replicas of a selection of designs by Antoine Platteau, who, as director of window decorations for the Hermès flagship, creates four seasonal displays across 13 windows each year. It seems apt that the show would be conceived as a small album of imaginary theaters, as Platteau both has a background, and finds inspiration, in fashion and movies, having been assistant to designers such as Adeline André and Kazuko Yoneda, as well as worked with film directors including Arnaud Desplechin, Bertrand Bonello and Rebecca Zlotowski.

Platteau switches easily between minimalist and maximalist concepts for the windows, making for even more visual variety in the survey of his work. He sees windows as vehicles to tell stories, and his only mandate from the luxury brand is “to amuse, please and delight people.” So he uses the vitrines to feature one-of-a-kind products that are ordered and made especially for the window; they could be anything from saddles to small leather goods and even teapots.

“The idea is to create a sense of surprise every time and not to fall into habits, so you have to try new things,” he said. “For me, each window is a fresh test.”