Hermes Kellydoll

If Princess Grace Kelly were alive and trendsetting today, we’d imagine she would be stealing the scene with an Hermès Kellydoll bag on her arm. First conceived in 1999 by Jean-Louis Dumas, then at the head of Hermès, the Kellydoll is known for its rare, cartoon-like design with twinkling lacquer eyes, clasp nose, a cut-out smile and hands and feet that playfully dangle in the wind. Today, that “cartoon” has made a cuter comeback with Star Bags, an exclusive collection of five Kellydolls designed in honour of Singapore’s 50th anniversary, with one for every decade. The inspiration came from the country’s lush gardens to skyscrapers, channelled by exotic materials and vibrant colour combinations like pink crocodile with intricate embroidery.

Hermes Kellydoll

Having taken over seven months, from conceptualisation to creation, each one has been assembled by a craftsman to perfectly reproduce every detail of the Kelly—but with the addition of a detachable shoulder strap. This uniquely Singapore collection can be viewed first-hand at the Hermès’“Leather Forever” exhibition showing at the ArtScience Museum. Here for 50 days as part of its world tour, it showcases over 200 items from Hermès’ archives and its latest collections, and also features a demonstration of the “art of leather” by its craftsmen. But first, visitors can experience a prelude to “Leather Forever” down the street, at the Asian Civilisations Museum in its Little Room of Wanders. There, lies a treasure trove of special objects collected by the Hermès family throughout their lives. It’s a rare invitation into the ultra-exclusive world of the brand as the exhibition continues on the note of Hermès’ theme, Flâneur Forever—the ever-curious wanderer.

The Hermès “Leather Forever” exhibition is on from 25 October to 13 December 2015.

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Text by Dana Koh