© hermès while it's trying to find ways to fend off the shrewd corporate moves of bernard arnault, luxury brand hermès made a historic cross-over to paris's rive gauche, to launch a fabulous 2,000 sqm. concept store of sorts at a site that was formerly a swimming pool, built in a grand art déco style. this space is as open as it is grand, and while its past is still referenced and honoured, the contemporary renditions truly make it remarkable. architect denis montel of design practice rdai added three curved installations of latticed wood that add visual drama. although the new flagship offers the obvious silk scarves, bags and other sought-after fashion items, it's all about the home collections here. and we're not only talking textiles, carpets and tableware, but also objets d'art and re-editions of 1930s-era furniture. and if that isn't enough, the hermès store also features a flowershop, bookstore and a small tea room that's wittily called le plongeoir [the diving board]. location: 17 rue de sèvres [st.-germain].