Hermès Is Staging an Opera Sung by a Chorus of ‘Kelly’ Bags

ON THE WINGS OF HERMÈS Barker Hangar Cinematic Performance of Pegasus including Kelly Bags
All images courtesy of Hermès.

Hermès's latest installation wants to help you dream while you are awake. This month, the fashion house is staging its roving cinematic performance, ON THE WINGS OF HERMÈS, at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. The work brings the brand’s ethos to life with a blend of dance, theater, music, and cinema. The performance was realized with the help of two Belgians: Jaco Van Dormael, the writer behind the 2013 film Mr. Nobody, and Michèle Anne De Mey, a dancer and choreographer known for her pieces Passé Simple, 1981, and Ballatum, 1984.

The show is set in a dark, grand space resembling a film studio. There, seven sketches materialize, each relaying a portion of the fable of Pegasus—the mythical, winged horse—and his seven foals. Each part of the seven-part performance has its own backdrop. "It is an experience which sparks the imagination, designed by artisans of dreams,” says Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès’s artistic director.

Hermès objects come to life in this make-believe reality, which features an opera sung by a chorus of “Kelly” bags, a dance of interlacing gloves, and a pair of lovers carried off into the sky by the wind. The whole performance—which has previously been staged in Japan, France, and Taiwan—is captured in real time by Van Dormael, and the scenes will be projected onto a large screen to recreate the magic of the cast’s illusions. 

“ON THE WINGS OF HERMÈS” will be on view from July 15 through July 23, 2023 at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.