If you’re at a loose end this weekend (or any time between now and 27th May), get yourself down to 6 Burlington Gardens for the delight that is Hermes’ free Leather Forever exhibition. Created to give the public a closer look at the artisanal craft behind the luxury bags and leathergoods and to ‘show the depth and breadth of the brand’, it’s an hour of unadulterated sensory heaven. From the leathers and skins in the Library Of Skins room (which you can touch and definitely smell), to the artisans at work who will talk you through their techniques and processes, Leather Forever is a rare opportunity to see luxury in the making. There are plenty of interactive elements too, and humorous touches like the information cards that are stored in orange holders to look like Kelly bags.
Of course, with its rich history and heritage (who knew the first London boutique was in nearby Jermyn Street fifty years ago – hence the exhibition’s location?), there are some incredible exhibits including the leather wheelbarrow commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for Wallis Simpson and a winged saddle created for a Japanese band. If you’re interested in design, craft and history or simply have a love for those delicious handbags that come in orange boxes then this is a can’t-miss experience.
Leather Forever, 6 Burlington Gardens, W1 until 27th May. Open 10am-6pm daily (10pm on Fridays). Admission free.