PARIS -- Hermes chairman Jean-Louis Dumas wants us to be nicer to our appendages, so he's proclaimed 2002 "The Year of the Hand." As Dumas says, "The hand is a little fairy under our eyes."
With his intellectual-eccentric-high brow demeanor, and the slightest twinkle behind eyeglasses perched midway between the bridge and tip of his nose, Dumas can get away with such bon mots in the course of normal dialog. He can also wax on and on about our carpal friends while keeping the conversation totally engaging. About how infants learn by staring at their hands for hours on end. About the ancient Egyptians offering gifts of fruits to the gods. About what hands communicate, through sign language, cupped together in an offering, extended in greeting. "You cannot say hello like this," he says, clenching hard into a dramatic double fist.
"We are what we are because of our hands," Dumas proclaims. "It's time to pay homage, not only to the hand that works, but the hand that touches, the hand that links us to the consumer. The item goes from the hand of the craftsman to the hand of the user."
At a party during the couture shows to launch the hand motif, Dumas took the microphone to recount a story about workers lovingly caressing Birkin bags in the workshop. "The hand is the rival of the mind," he declared. He then invited his 400 guests to enjoy a meal together, one they will eat with their hands -- after they help whip it up. Trays laden with cutting boards, knives, dishes, vegetables and condiments are lowered in front of the guests who chopped, ground, grated and giggled. They made soup, salad dressing and a dip for the main course, sea bass tied to a bone and eaten like a lollipop.
Still, all culinary work and no play do not a party make. That's where the jugglers and acrobats came in, along with an unseen hand-shadow genius. Then there was a nifty percussion performance, as three young men seated at tables slapped, pounded, scratched and taped out a tune by composer Thierry De Mey. Finally, guests hit the dance floor to a salsa beat, any inhibitions shattered by the party favors du nuit -- white gloves which glow playfully under black lights."In Delhi years ago, I saw a sign in a museum," Dumas recalled from his stairwell perch. "'Man is the only animal who creates implements.' We can take advantage of an implement if we can grasp it. We can save a life. Conduct a band. Write a masterpiece." Or make a Kelly bag.
All of which, of course, plays to one of the great hallmarks of the house of Hermes, tradition. "When a man wants to marry a woman," Dumas says, "it's tradition for him to ask for her hand. Now, that's not all he wants, but it's part."
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews