Charitini Gkritzali’s whimsical and hypnotic window display titled The Astonishing Moment of Life, inspired by the Surrealist movement, marks the Hermès storefront in Zurich, Switzerland. These installations embody the luxury brand’s 2023 annual theme, Astonishment, transporting viewers into a realm where reality and the imagined intermingle. With a deep-rooted desire to uncover enchantment in the mundane, Gkritzali’s concept crafted in collaboration with ECAL began with the exploration of everyday actions such as eating, dressing, and playing. These ordinary acts served as the canvas for her artistry, infused with geometric forms and iconic Hermès accessories. The end result is a pair of window displays that intricately choreograph these elements into a mesmerizing narrative.
The core concept for The Astonishing Moment of Life was to infuse a sense of magic and wonder into the familiarity of everyday life. Drawing inspiration from Surrealism, Charitini Gkritzali portrays a totem-like creature walking their pet in an interpretation that plays with proportion, balance, and a vivid palette of colors.
To translate the original 2D illustrations into three-dimensional window displays for Hermès Zurich, the Greek designer crafted a ‘collage’ of materials and finishes, with papier-mâché, plaster, lacquered wood, natural wood, painted metal, and felt bringing her vision to life. Each of the whimsical creatures inhabiting the windows is an intricate assembly of geometric pieces, conceived to ensure structural stability while preserving an ethereal quality. The majority of the pieces where constructed and finished by hand at the workshop, highlighting the sense of uniqueness and craftsmanship that Hermès is celebrated for.
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