Hermès Paris‘ ongoing vitrine d’artiste, or artist window program, features holiday installations by French multimedia star Le Gentil Garçon at the retailer’s 690 and 691 Madison Avenue stores.
The artist, whose French moniker translates to The Nice Boy, created a cinematic world for the holiday windows of the flagship and men’s store. The windows subtly subvert famous flicks, while incorporating the 2017 theme adopted by the French luxury house, “Object Sense,” which pays homage to its hand craftsmanship. Le Gentil Garçon treats Hermès products as part of his palette and uses items in unexpected ways.
The main window is designed to look like an old-style cinema with random black-and-white film clips hand-assembled by the artist. Other windows provide a window — pun intended — into the slightly off-kilter world of Le Gentil Garçon and the movies illustrate his brand of whimsy and humor.
“The Wizard of Oz” window depicts a yellow brick road, but Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow are nowhere in sight. Rather, there’s the legend, “On the Way to Magic City,” with the letter A in Magic personified with elongated “legs” and Hermès-shod feet.
A girl wearing an Hermès Animaux Pixel backpack is seen from behind reacting to a purple apparition with “Imaginary Monster” scrawled across his huge mouth. The creature has an Hermès Constance handbag in each eye socket, and blue leather gloves hanging over his forehead for hair.
Le Gentil Garçon created a scene for “The Adventurers of Bird Island,” using a white wicker hot-air balloon, bunched-up scarf for an island, and gloves, again, this time as birds. “Diamond Rain Melody” — “Singing in the Rain,” anyone? — features a small black silhouetted man leaping, umbrella in hand, Gene Kelly-style. A large purple profile of a hat-wearing man is covered with yellow and blue raindrop ties.
Other installations include “They Arrive,” with a small man reaching up to the heavens where three planets or alien spaceships hover, and “Ghostcatcher,” which features a black spirit, is illuminated by a gas lamp. The “Modern Romance” silhouettes of a man and woman look like they’re arguing, or discussing the merits of a controversial movie.
“Window artists are given carte blanche to express themselves based on the theme of the year, which this season is ‘Objects come alive.’ We, too, were surprised and delighted just as our window viewers have been,” said Robert Chavez, U.S. president and chief executive officer of Hermès Paris Inc. “Hermès always has a sense of humor and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”