I've moved on...
...to a different domain. Why, what were you thinking? The truth is, I just woke up one day and decided it's time for a change—a metamorphosis, if you will; or, in layman's terms, if Britney can shave her head, then maybe so can I? Nevertheless, it's been a rather handsome 10 years of talking to you, and thank you for putting up with all my moodswings and terrible dad jokes. Fear not! The hormonal imbalance and jokes are more terrible on CUBICLE, see you there.


Forever a Flaneur: Part 2

A flâneur is a collector by nature, she is an urban hunter-gatherer, borderline creepy connoisseur of the streets. If you’ve only just discovered that you are indeed what they call, a flâneur, you know very well that there is a drawer somewhere in your home full of ticket stubs and ‘pretty soap packaging’, not to mention the high chance that one of your dining room chairs might even be from the street. Heck, your entire belongings could be a collection stemmed on flanerie. Funny thing is, a flâneur is also a skilful voyeur, a peeping Tom (or Jane), and love a good, uninterrupted session of snooping. So, put two flâneurs together, and the energy created from the mutual snooping of each other’s knick-knack drawers/homes could quite possibly power a Hadron Collider and the world would never need oil. That’s my theory.

All kidding aside, the treat at the end of a day of flânerie in Paris was this – an invitation to a den of treasures atop the Hermès 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré store, the abode of the ultimate flâneur – bustling with artefacts, curiosities and objects in relation to horses, carriages and the phenomenon of movement and mobility: ‘Collection Émile Hermès’ as known internally. The collection is not open to the public, if invited though, there are no rules, labels or panels to read, no out-of-place museum apparatus and perky guides with ponytails. Our only chaperon was Menehould de Bazelaire, Director of the patrimony of culture at Hermès, a guardian whose sparkly eyes lit up as she unfolded the story behind each artefact we were drawn to.

Menehould de Bazelaire with a panorama parchment painting of London thames


Emile Hermes’ office



Accordion view of the Champs Elysees promenade



A rather special side-periscope for enhanced peeping, with hidden perfume compartment


An ancient walking stick with a hidden compartment for a pencil, golden thread-embroidered saddles from Afghanistan, an ancient book with browning pages, full to the brim with illustrated men holding pressed leaves… De Bazelaire encouraged us to touch, to see, feel and smell the objects – “these objects tell stories; they provoke and stimulate imaginations, dream, envy, and a desire to create.” A collection, started from one antique walking stick that Émile Hermès had purchased with pocket money at age 12, which had grown into over 15,000 objects, is now an internal source of inspiration for all designers from the Hermès metiers to feed on.


The very painting (19th century, of Duc carriage & horses) where the Hermès logo was derived from!


Japanese depiction of a ‘moving horse’. Before the invention of photography, the gallop of a horse was a thing of mystery.



A parasol lined entirely of pheasant feather




We ended the day at the final undisclosed location, the Jardin sur le toit (‘garden on the roof’), a serene parallel to the bustling street below, a perfect setting to gather our wandering thoughts and collections from the day’s flânerie, and to muse over them over a fruit tart and a rather heavenly pu-erh tea prepared by the Hermès in-house chef.

Experience your own flânerie at Hermès Wanderland exhibition; 9th April to 2nd May; Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY. Open 10am-6pm daily. Free entrance.






Write a Comment


  1. Great photos, it’s amazing to discover this!


  2. Wow, what an amazing collection. Every detail is so perfect. Great photos.

    March and May

  3. This is all so beautiful!


  4. Impressive how many treasures they’ve managed to collect. I specially loved the book filled with illustrations and pressed leaves, so unique :)

    Rosemary Notes: Fashion Illustrations | Blog / Instagram |

  5. A very pretty diagnosis for a serious problem I have haha


  6. […] PARK & CUBE […]

  7. It’s amazing how there are so many things from different places & times, yet they all come together beautifully in this Wanderland exhibition. You captured the atmosphere so perfectly it’s as if I can tell straight away, exactly what it would be like to experience it myself. Of course I can’t really because I’m about 26hrs away but thank you for sharing Shini!


  8. Thank you so much for sharing! This is so a magical collection. I would expect nothing less from a house like Hermès but all the same, my imagination could not have conjured these treasures. I have always wanted to wander up onto their rooftop garden, what a dreamy place. When I first visited Paris I bought a pair of their shoes- suede black pumps which tie up in a bow at the ankle, they are such beautiful shoes.

    xx Jenelle

  9. Just. Wow.

  10. Danielle

    Fantastic absolutely fantastic

  11. This is sooo beautiful…! Shame the exhibition won’t be there until summer but I’m also glad I saw it on your photos :)

  12. Absolutely gorgeous photos Shini!


  13. Amazing photos and collection.


  14. How utterly captivating! It;s like a trip back to the times when object were routinly beautiful and well made. I love your images.

  15. Wow, looks like a wonderful experience :)

    Best, Albert | Palming Pebbles

  16. Amazing collection! :)

  17. […] And if any objects seem a bit familiar, it is because they are precisely the ones you’ve seen in part 2 of my little Hermès adventure series – straight from the cosy Collection Emile Hermes, […]

  18. Sarah

    Gee. People committed to collecting beautiful collectibles are the coolest. And your captures are magical. Love.

  19. So much beauty !

  20. Wonderful!!