By Tina Hidalgo-Jacinto
The impetus for the Hermès fete was the ultra-cool and innovative theme of “At Hermès, we dream with our eyes.” What could be more tres chic than a coveted invitation from Hermès Paris headed by Anton Huang, president of Stores Specialists, Inc. to celebrate the theme of the year: “In the Pursuit of Dreams?” Artistic director of Hermès Pierre-Alexis Dumas said, “It doesn’t surprise me that dreaming in itself came to me as a theme. The fact is that at Hermès we have been dreaming all the time since 1837. It is the material from which we fashion our world.”
Mario Katigbak, Hermès Philippines general manager, who is best known for his design-forward and nothing short of spectacular events, is all about reinvention. This time, Mario selected the Maybank performing arts theater and transformed it into an avant-garde venue that dazzled the fashionista party goers as they entered with their Constance, Kelly, and Birkin bags. The glam set couldn’t stop their oohs and ahhs as they were ushered inside. The instant atmosphere is what Mario has achieved time and again through touches like perfection in set design, lighting, and gathering the who’s who of society and other power players, all a testament to his Hermès pull. The room hummed with exhilaration and wonder. At the entrance Deputy GM Steph Chong was also on hand to support Mario.
Upon entering the venue, the design details were visually startling. The decors of the three rooms were done under the exacting eye of the extraordinaire Mario. After receiving illusion glasses, we were ushered into a nifty black-and-white hypnotic optical illusion room. Further igniting the thrill and the lively vibe Mario would exclaim: “Wait ‘til you see the next room.” After cocktails of overflowing Pommery champagne, it was off to the next room, a dreamscape, Pegasus galaxy space with featured performer Elle Alda who sang French classics. The Claire de lune display provided Instagrammable photo op with non-stop selfies. Mario next led me by the arm toward the merriment, with revelers totally immersed in a dream state with the color-changing lights. Yet there was more to come— the multi-colored paddock room with hidden Hermès horses and captivating garden with two alternate bands that got the revelers to the dance floor while some took to the mic on stage. Packed to the brim, the festivities ended with a raging dance party. Mario happily said, “Tonight we want to transport our guests into our world and let them live their ultimate Hermès dreams. We created a mesmerizing space where illusions and dreams are infinite.”
That, it was and more.