Regular passers-by of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris from across the past three decades will be familiar with the traffic-stopping, fantasy windows of Leïla Menchari for the Hermès flagship.
Paying tribute to the Tunisian designer's love of craft and materials, the French leather goods house this fall is to dedicate a much bigger window to her work with a series of eight tableaux conceived by scenographer Nathalie Crinière in collaboration with Menchari set to go on display at the Grand Palais.
Titled "Hermès à tire-d'aile – Les mondes de Leïla Menchari," which loosely translates as "The Hermès Worlds of Leïla Menchari," the exhibition is set to run from Nov. 8 to Dec. 3.
A graduate of the Beaux-Arts, Menchari started working under Hermès' former head of windows, Annie Beaumel, in the early Sixties. She took over designing the house's windows from 1978 to 2013, working with a number of artisans from the Hermès universe and beyond, ranging from stone-cutters to sculptors, while also directing the Hermès color committee.
Windows created by Menchari have included giant waves crafted from marble, fantasy Kelly bags made out of metal, multicolored saddles with wings and a Paris-themed window with monuments in organza.
An accompanying 432-page tome, titled "Leïla Menchari, la Reine Mage" ("Leïla Menchari, the Magician,") will be released in November.