Hermès is a brand and a very expensive one. It also happens to be French. Just three reasons why it probably wouldn’t feature as a store of the week in the normal run of things.
However, exceptions have to be made from time to time and this branch of the Paris-based couture business at the top end of Sloane Street deserves its moment in the sun, purely on the basis of its present window display.
When thoughts turn to things Gallic, it’s a fair bet that an old-fashioned looking bicycle with somebody riding it along a tree-lined avenue clad in printed chiffon might be one of the clichés that springs to mind. Alternatively, if Brittany and a plate piled high with very recently deceased molluscs is your thing, seashells, oysters, scallops and suchlike might equally hove into view.
However, the chances of putting the two together in the shape of a seashell-clad bicycle almost certainly wouldn’t occur, and yet when done in this store window the thought that the two things go together effortlessly seems natural.
This is a very simple idea, but one that has been executed with the kind of attention to detail you’d expect from a high-end brand. Couple all of this with a few accessories, a bright red canvas bag, a child’s toy windmill and some ice cream cones stuffed with fabric and you have an effortlessly stylish window.
The only retailer in London at the moment that has windows to rival this elegant simplicity is Selfridges, which does so by coming at it from a diametrically opposed viewpoint where sensory overload and a perspective on the world in 2109 are the basis of the display.