The most sought-after party in Vienna was hosted by Parisian luxury brand Hermès, which celebrated the redesign of its Vienna boutique with a dinner in a secret location.
After the opening of the new store we were driven in front of the grandstand at the Freudenau racecourse, where dancer and choreographer Alamande Belfor led us down a long, tented corridor that led to a door that looked like the entrance to a kitchen. The party was about to begin, a ‘kitchen dinner’ for 250 invited guests, transforming a marquee on the racecourse into a fully-fledged event space. The space featured stainless steel shelves along the walls holding plates, fruit, bowls and pots. Soft lighting illuminated the room, which had 28 stainless steel kitchen tables where guests were seated. In the centre of the room were two open cooking areas surrounded by chefs in chef’s hats rhythmically banging on chopping boards, pots, bowls, pans and cutlery. Under the direction of head choreographer Alamande Belfor, they were not only there to serve the guests, but also to provide musical interludes between courses. The French-style dinner, which included caviar, meat and cheese, was prepared by three-star chef Johannes Nuding and by itself already an indulgence.
One of the highlights of the evening was definitely the dessert, which consisted of several Hermès-cakes in the shape of the typical orange Hermès boxes, each with an accessory such as a Kelly bag, shoes or a horse’s head. The original Sacher cakes were brought in in an impressive defile, accompanied by enthusiastic clapping and tapping from the guests. A group of chefs led the procession and suddenly, out of nowhere, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, etc. were brought out and music was played to lift the spirits. It was then that the DJs took over and the party went on in full swing.
But the main attraction was the reopening of the recently renovated and expanded Hermès store in the heart of Vienna on the bustling Graben square. Housed in an 18th-century building since 2001, the historic store has undergone a major transformation by the renowned Parisian architects RDAI, who are responsible for all Hermés boutiques worldwide.
Inspired by the Viennese Secession art movement, the store’s design seamlessly blends a palette of colours, a variety of materials and intricate geometric patterns, most of them typical for the Art Nouveau movement that originated in Vienna.
Inside the store, a private salon is the result of a creative partnership with Pierre Marie, a loyal Hermès collaborator known for his scarf illustrations. This space features unique design elements. A stunning stained-glass window called “À la lueur du flambeau”, accompanied by a visually striking flame-inspired wallpaper and rug, is a particular highlight.
In addition, the store displays some sixty pieces from the Émile Hermès collection, which includes a wide range of artworks, including paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs, objects and graphic creations. These exhibits are a wonderful bridge between the artistic worlds of Vienna and the equestrian themes so dear to Hermès.
It was a wonderful evening that lifted our spirits, moved our fantasy, and inspired us all for more to come.
Thank you Hermès!