Features Editor, Lifestyle Asia India & Contributor – Augustman
When music and our favourite label come together, it’s all about keeping it authentic and sublime. Hermès transformed its flagship store into a record-store themed party to celebrate “Silk Mix,” a temporary installation featuring the brand’s iconic silk scarves and ties. After leaving its mark in Madrid, Rome, New York, Seoul, Beijing, Hermès takes to Mumbai as a part of their global tour. Christophe Goineau , Creative Director of Men’s Silk, graced the avenue store that featured tons of vinyl records that were played at Hermès fashion shows. The preview was held at Hermès’ gallery in the Mumbai store and Madboy/Mink gave the evening the groove it needed with their sound.Christophe tells us about his journey at the label and the influence of music in his life and work.
How did the idea of creating the Silk Mix come about? How did you, Véronique Nichanian and Thierry Planelle work together on this concept? What was the process like, how did you choose the designs that became a part of it?
When working on the collection and selection of the “carrés” with Véronique Nichanian, artistic director of the Hermès men’s universe, we very often said that some designs would make a very nice record sleeve. And then, after some years, we finally thought about creating a record store where the squares are the cover and the music tracks are from past men’s shows. This idea came simply and naturally!
Then, we asked Thierry Planelle, an artistic director from the music world who has composed the soundtracks for all the men’s ready-to-wear runway shows at Hermès for the last fifteen years, to select music for each scarf. That was the fun part.
How is Silk Mix reflective of Hermès’ values? What’s your favourite part about this concept?
At Silk Mix, we are talking about emotion, feeling, soul, sensation…. and if music carries these emotions forward, so do our scarves. When we shared this idea with Thierry Planelle, it was amusing to see that we were using the same vocabulary. What I like the most about this concept is that we are not launching or selling a new product or a new line. We display new scarves and ones from previous collections mixed together. This is to express that music and silk can give you the same sensation and they both, in different ways can make you feel good.
Taking Silk Mix all over the world – what has the experience been like? What has been the response to this initiative?
It is great to travel around the world, meet people and make them discover men’s silk collections. It is also nice to see that there is an international language of music. Music brings people together all over the world. The response is incredibly strong. We are talking about an ephemeral place where it is possible to listen to music among friends while looking at various beautiful patterns in several colours. It can be seen a bit of as a magical place, can’t it be?
Your journey with Hermès started several decades ago. What has the experience been like since then? To what extent has music influenced your work?
When I joined Hermès several years ago, of course everything was different, but what I have liked throughout the years is that the values of the house have remained the same. We are in a constant evolution, we are not stuck in the past, and we adhere to the here and now. When we are working on the men’s silk collection, we are talking to contemporary men, of their times, working, travelling… One of the few things that I’ve learned is that you have to work daily on quality; quality is a never-ending story. Then you must be humble to the material, like a craftsman. We try to take our time doing things in the right way and I am sure this is a chance to do things properly, the way they should be done. Also, the power of colour is very important! Colours are the key to success. I often listen to music when I work. Of course, like everyone, this is connected to the spirit of the moment, but I can change my mood in selecting this or that. Silk ties for men are at the core of Hermès.
How have you seen their designs and aesthetics evolve over time? Is there a men’s silk collection that you can recall more specifically?
Over time, the perception of the tie has changed. We are coming from the 80’s, when ties could be regarded as an obligation or uniform to wear, to now, where we are more focused on pleasure and individuality. Wearing a tie is no longer an obligation. If you are wearing a tie now in 2018, this is mostly because you feel like wearing it. This makes a great difference from the past and it represents the opportunity to extend the range of our selection. Today, we are more open to creativity, free to explore different directions by mixing patterns, materials, shapes, colours.