Sunday, December 03, 2017

Meet: Leila Menchari, Hermes window designer

There are many wonderful stories how Tunisian-born Leila Menchari got her start designing windows for Hermes.
Do look at her Youtube videos. A storyteller/creator since 1961 designing windows for 50 years.
Her thoughts are electric, inspiring.
We've been lucky to have this homage to Menchari on for a month at Grand Palais.
Always a sense of mystery to her window designs.
Luxurious fabrics and textures weave a surreal, ephemeral atmosphere.
Diaphanous and poetic veils of color. You are drawn into a magical fairytale.
Fantastical animals show up in her windows.
Especially Hermes' iconic equestrian horse in a violet geod.
Her harmonic colors caught my eye. I tried to capture her palette in watercolors washes.
Warm deep rusts and oranges with touches of cool turquoise and blues, sea foam greens. Mencharie says,"Things exist only through their color." She was director of the brands' color committee. For her, color is life and movement. The one great objective of a window is to suggest color harmony, to avoid dissonance (taken from the exhibit cataloge, The Queen of Enchantment).
I wish her preparatory sketches were part of the show.
And the models she prepared. There is a lengthy slide show of over 100 Hermes' window displays.
The cataloge is available now in Hermes' stores. The stories behind 137 windows.
Mencharie cultivated many artists to create for her windows. Christian Renonciat sketched and sculpted the 'going light-footed'
Outside in the Paris chill, many waited to get in with frozen feet. Mine too.
Afterwards I went over to the rue de Sevres Hermes to see if their current window displays could possibly compete with Leila Menchari's brilliance. In fact they did very well. The theme is color. Belgian paper artist Isabelle de Borgrave has created a beautiful and lively tropical display accenting reds and greens of Noël.
Hermes colorful perfume flacon always captivate me.
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  1. Wonderful work..not enough surelatives for her creativity.I was told my grandfather was a window dresser for Morgan's downtown Mtl (Now The Bay/La Baie)..he died before I was born..
    And your color washes..wish I could do rich like you.You have tons of talent.

    1. She is extraordinary isnt she!

      Just put down some water on the paper and drop in color.
      Rock it a bit. Et voila!

  2. Clarity Artists9:14 PM

    Thank you for sharing the magic!

  3. Jane G9:18 PM

    Stunning artist!
    Mille merci

  4. Karen W12:13 AM

    Fabulous art!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Louise B1:29 AM

    Hermes windows have always been wonderful. Nice to know the backstory.
    And thanks for the videos of LMenchari

  6. Allie in NYC1:52 AM

    I'm loving your MEET the artist series.
    Please continue!!

  7. Postcards from Philly3:10 PM

    AMAAAZING knowing such a talent has been doing IT all these years.

    Love those wc infused washes.

  8. Sketchbook wandering1:03 AM

    love that thing about "color is movement and life"....


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