Saturday, February 15, 2014

Collection SS2014: Mors et Gourmettes Remix

A very popular classic has been reissued in a contemporary motif - somehow reminding me of the Liberty textiles.  The colors are soft and wonderful (both in the 90cm and 140 cashmere and silk).

A sophisticated look for a lucky lady.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Collection SS2014: Le Jardin de Leïla

This scarf is a tribute to Leïla Menchari, Hermes' Head Stylist since 1977, in charge of the window displays at Hermes' main boutique on rue du Faubourg St-Honoré.  Four times a year, she enchants visitors and passers-by with visual feasts, bringing together elements from distinct Eastern and Western cultures in hallucinating celebrations for the eye and soul.

Reminiscent of "Les Jardins des métamorphoses" ("The Gardens of Metamorphoses"), this scarf - modestly entitled "Leïla's Garden" - depicts scenes from a magic place in Leïla's native city of Hammamet, in Tunisia - a private garden she came to discover when she was only 10 and which, through a series of events, became hers when the owners passed.  This garden - featuring native and exotic plants alike, Roman columns and artifacts imported from around the Mediterranean basin, and populated by beautiful birds - including peacocks, captured prominently in one of the scarf's corners - has served as a source of inspiration for countless artists and patrons of the arts.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Collection SS2014: Les Facéties de Pégase

One of the most impactful designs of this season is the "Les Facéties de Pégase" ("the Pleasantries of Pegasus") - a mythical creature born from Medusa's cut off head, who took flight towards the sky.

A gorgeous design from one of my favorite artists - Dimitri Rybaltchenko (whose father Vladimir preceded him in offering beautiful designs to be captured on silk and who offered one some of the most unforgettable designs, of which "onde de chic" - another reissue of this season - and "cheval surprise" - which I have framed in my living room)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Collection SS2014: De la Mer au Ciel

Braving the cold weather in Paris is often rewarded when you take a trip to the legendary Hermes boutique on Faubourg St-Honoré, in search of new treasures.

This season sees the return of many Hermes classics: both reissues of popular designs as well as celebrated artists, whose names have graced the pages of this blog - and countless collectors' and admirers' wardrobes alike.

Not little has my amazement been when I came across this spectacular new design of the Spring-Summer 2014 collection, called "de la mer au ciel" (from the Sea to the Sky) by Laurence Bourthoumieux, a prolific artist whose past designs have been instant hits with the H fans: "Promenade au pays de Cezanne", "Parures de Sables", "Parures Océanes", "Aloha", "Brazil" and "Brazil II" and, more recently, "Mythiques Phoenix".  This is a stark departure from those designs, albeit no less impactful and memorable.

From the Sea to the Sky depicts the aquatic life and the birds of the skies in a harmonious cohabitation.  It also makes you lift the imagination to the sky and dream.

It wears wonderfully and the richness of the colours makes this design easy to wear and match with multiple outfits.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Treasure Find - Collection SS2012: Cheval de Mer

This is a beautiful design I recently came across in grey-petrol - below - a truly spectacular scarf, whose shine yet discreet design make for a very elegant accessory - for men and women alike.

Just wonderful !

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Collection FW2013: I Like Flowers

A favorite of mine, Leigh P. Cooke has been invited to create another organic pattern.  The result: a combination of "Fleurs de fuchsia" and "Des fleurs pour le dire", but in an original pattern that spells out "I like flowers I think flowers like me".  Some of the colors are the usual pastel pink, blue or green (see below), but others - the one above, in a very warm white and the one immediately below, in a vibrant mustard yellow, are certain to turn heads

They also wear great, because they're discreet without losing their luxurious feel.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Collection: FW2013: Parcours d'Hermes

The effect of this scarf, titled "Hermes Journeys" is equally magnetic and drawing the viewer inside the maze in an enchanting song of hide-and-seek.

What I love is the two dots, in opposite corners, breaking the monotony of the "game", and adding an extra layer of charm to this otherwise mythical silk journey of discovery.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Collection FW2013 - Special Edition: Hermes a Beverly Hills

I love this design, suggesting the reflection of majestic palm trees into the water of a swimming pool. This has been created to mark the reopening of the Beverly Hills boutique.

Note the famous Greek pattern found along the door frames at the entrance of every Hermes boutique - gracefully featured along the sides of the scarf.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Collection FW2013: Grand Manège Giant Twill

First launched in 1990, this design proved so successful, it has been reissued at least seven times since then - its popularity increasing with every new reissue, since the colours continue to make it contemporary despite the classic pattern and layout.  It is rumoured that even Queen Elisabeth has one in this pattern.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Collection SS2013: Piqué Fleuri de Provence (Gavroche)

As promised, here's the smaller version of the scarf featured last week - in 45cm.  These tiny treasures represent the core of the larger versions.

One of my personal favourite is the green, blues and golf version, shown featured as a next scarf:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Collection SS2013: Piqué Fleuri de Provence

Reminiscent of the "Chasse en Inde", this luscious scarf is a beautiful mix of flowers that glorify Provence - the belle oasis of France that produces some of the most impactful sensory fragrances - both in nature and in perfume and cologne bottles.

A very versatile scarf that you can match with tons of combinations (and one of my favorite in the pochette size, which I'll feature next week).

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Collection FW2013: Yachting

Today I'm proposing elegance through simplicity: the design of this scarf makes it stand out in the sea of colours coming from other patterns.

"Simplicity is Complexity Resolved" said Brancusi, one of the most influential sculptures of the 20th century.

The silk jersey makes this scarf, in vintage 70cm format, light to wear - a perfect accessory when the regular silk twill feels too formal.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dog Collars, the title of this scarf, depicts parallel dog necklaces, each one more beautiful than the one next to it.  Offered in cashmere and silk blend, this shawl wears beautifully, reminding me of "La Femme aux semelles de vent".  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Collection FW2013: Fleurs et Papillons de Tissus

One of my favourite designs of the season, "Fleurs et Papillons de Tissus" ("Fabric Flowers and Butterflies") - so rich and sophisticated, and the colour combinations are truly wonderful.  Plus, given my preference for organic elements of design, this is certain to turn many heads.

An interesting note that this design has been issued both in silk (90cm) and cashmere/silk blend (140cm) in no less than 15 colour combinations.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Collection FW2013: Carré Cube

"Carré-cube" - a geometric design meant to draw you in and have you lost in a 3D maze of mystery and silk - or silk and cashmere, as is the case with the scarf above.

"Carré" in French means square, and the word stuck for the scarves which come in a square shape.  The name of this scarf is also a witty twist on geometry terms - squared and cubed being the measurements most often associated with surface areas and volume respectively.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Collection: FW2013: Petit Duc

After a long hiatus, I am coming back with a stunning design from the Fall/Winter 2013 collection: Petit Duc (Small Phaeton).  The breakdown of the landscape into four quadrants, the juxtaposition of the various parts against the overall phaeton (itself enclosed in a wheel) suggests a blueprint of a beautiful idea that comes, triumphantly, to life.

Something as delicate as silk, wrapped graciously around someone's delicate neck, depicts elements of engineering and rough, street pavement-hitting hardware - each of which is designed to make life more enjoyable.

Note the rich yet warm colours, and the sophisticated look this scarf brings to its wearer.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Exceptional Hermes Finds

Travel books speak of markets where a curious traveler can find and acquire various objects with benefic properties; indeed, magic is for sale.  And shortly, my dear and trusted friend Jan will bring you her own magic in the form of many new and vintage Hermes scarves for sale.  A pirate's treasure trove?  Absolutely !  Check out the site and shop to your heart's delight for every item has been thoroughly inspected for authenticity and flaws, and impeccably looked after.  Rest assured the care that went into handling every item is second to none! 

Please visit with confidence !

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year !!!

As 2011 is coming to a close, when our hearts fill with joy, when the hours have a stronger sparkle and when the hopes blossom, the Codex Costinianus editing team wishes you good health, accomplishments and beauty !

Happy New Year !!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Collection SS2003: Escales Mediterranéennes

Today is not too hot, not too humid, just pleasant enough to stroll along the lake shore and savour the sight of calm waters upon which swans  look on to the sailing boats.  A perfect summer day!  This sight made me think of the "eternal" Mediterranean, a universe into itself that is both the cradle of our civilization and a vast patrimony of humanity.

Created by Christine Henry and issued in 2003, "Escales Mediterranéennes" ("Mediterranean Stopovers") is a tribute to the element that has defined civilizations - a Sea that has become at once a mosaic of colours, cultures and spirituality.   The three monotheistic religions developed around its waters.  Its shores saw the "inventions" of numbers, arithmetic, astronomy... in effect, of all science.  Here is where the great myths were born, such as the story of Atlantis, the island lost under the sea, or that of the sirens who attempted to inveigle Ulysses (the most famous hero of Antiquity) and who threw themselves into the sea and drowned.  So many tales have been recounted, in fact, that even the ancient Library of Alexandria (or its modern sister) could not boast enough shelf space to house them all.

Just to get an idea of how variegated the Mediterranean cultures are, consider only how its ever-changing colour made it so difficult to reach consensus and proved equally fascinating to mankind.  The Sea is sparkling and pink at daybreak, azure in the mid-day heat, a cloudy emerald hue near the rocky coastline, golden as the sun sets, gray or midnight black when beset by inclement weather and white foam-lashed with shades of silver when the wind whips it into a fervour.  And no sooner have we defined the colour of its waters than its mood changes and shifts to yet another place along the visible spectrum.

This post invites you to plunge head-on into this imaginary voyage, where symbols of the Roman, Greek, Turkish, Spanish and Arabic cultures are gracefully depicted among the sea's natural treasure - fish and aquatic plants.  This intermingling of elements is a close reflection of what a real explorer would be set to discover: vestiges of the Roman world in Libya, prehistory in Sardinia, Greek cities in Sicily, the Arab presence in Spain, Turkish Islam in Yugoslavia ...a diversity born out of commerce and wards.
The scarf is superb and ageless - both when displayed and when tied - thanks to the designer's painstaking rendition of the details of each graphic element and to Hermes for the magnificent colour combinations.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Collection SS2005: Les Triplés

Having welcomed the summer in full force (save for a short-lived cooler period), I thought of the time of yesteryears when the arrival of June meant vacation-dreaming - destinations, activities, discoveries. It was one of the most exciting periods, at a time when life's worries were a thing for adults.

Les Triplés (The Triplets) is a children's book series that has been adapted successfully to the silver screen and - thanks to Hermes - to silk. One of the most successful designs ever produced, the illustrations depict the Triplets' adventures in Paris, featuring key identifyable monuments around town as the backdrop.

The colours are very warm, from baby pink and blue to yellow and green - a splendid harmony of colours that invite you to savour every scene in admiration and dream! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Collection SS1996: L'été de Loula

Toronto has been hit by a heat wave, long longed for, and I couldn't think of a better scarf to reflect the excitement than "L'été de Loula" ("Loula's Summer") - a "page" recounting, in French, Loula's desire to BECOME Summer.

The concept of an actual writing piece appealed to me instantly, and the colour combination - the predominant "ink" blue on a white background while the illustrations have a pale blue to match the darker hue - is fantastic.

This design comes as a gavroche (pocket square)-size, and anyone sporting it (whether a gentleman in the outer pocket of his jacket, or a lady around her neck, wrist or on her purse) will be the subject of a great many turning heads....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Collection FW2009: Jardins de la Nouvelle Angleterre

I fell in love with this scarf since the moment it was launched, and I'm surprised as to how I managed not to give it a place of honour in the list of beautiful scarves.

"Jardins de la Nouvelle Angleterre" ("Gardens of New England") lets you admire, as if through a lens, the beauty that the pictures landscapes display.  Looking at this landscape depicted on the scarf, I have the distinct impression I'm coming out of an expedition through the forest to an opening where life is idyllic - trees, plants, racoons, a river stream ... rich fauna and flora that coexist harmoniously with the human inhabitants. 

The scarf ties wonderfully and the colour combinations (the red, depicted above, the forest green and the taupe, below) are absolutely phenomenal !

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Collection SS2011: Grand Manège

Only a few riding schools around the world have managed to preserve the equestrian art intact over the centuries and cultivate people's admiration for the horse.  Since the development of engines and the introduction of cars, horses have no longer been playing as critical a role in people's lives.  The horse's nobility, beauty and role it played in human history have nevertheless earned it a tremendous respect of the animal.  

"Grand Manège" ("Great Riding School") thus pays tribute to the invisible training necessary for a flawless spectacle.  Some bits of harness from the Cadre Noir, the prestigious French riding school, have inspired this composition: the ribbons knotted with rosettes to be plaited into the mane of the steed, the cockades to adorn its ears, but also reins and bridle in leather, stirrups with round stirrup pads…  These elements have been arranged so as to mirror the "arabesque" figures one can expect to admire during show horses.  

As Hermes so eloquently describes it, the equestrian art is born of a mysterious intermingling of effort and humility, of patience and beauty.

This scarf was first launched in 1990, and reissued several times since then (in 1991, 1993, 1997 and this year in regular size, pleated and as Twilly).  

Some colour combinations appear to reflect a younger spirit than others thanks to the presence of several brighter colours that infuse a certain playfulness into the scarf - either way, the actual design is certainly quite traditional so it, alone, would not be sufficient to render the scarf more contemporary.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Collection SS2011: Fleurs d'indiennes

An exciting tribute to the craftsmen from India who have enchanted us with their prints at least since the 16th century, when Indian-made fabrics first entered France not only mesmerizing the fashion-sensible population, but also threatening the domestic manufactures.

Aline Honoré, the creator of this design, has explored this beguiling theme before, choosing to focus her attention (and ours) on fabric samples proper in 2008's "coupons indiens" and in 2010's "pelages et camouflages" and "cents plis de miao".  In addition, she laid the design of 2009's "la femme aux semelles de vent" on more textiles yet.

The originality of this design stems from the arrangement of the textile swatches as flowers, their metamorphosis into delicate petals infusing a remarkable richness into this overall design.  When tied, this scarf features glimpses into fabrics that, like a chest half-open, invites us to discover all the "secrets" hidden within.  The pattern, when displayed, may not catch your attention on the spot when compared to the other "jewels" of this collection, but the tied scarf is excitingly youthful, and Hermes' many colour combinations is sure to appeal to even the more discriminate shoppers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Collection SS2006: Chemins de Garrigue

I caught wind of the upcoming scarf designs, so as we're waiting to admire - and feel - the actual scarves in the boutiques, I thought of paying hommage to the talented artist Christine Henry, whose newest creation will be featured as part of the Fall/Winter 2011 collection (this is in addition to the "Nuées imaginaires" - "Imaginary Clouds" - from earlier this year).  

This prolific artist is recognized for her intricate designs that reflect snapshots of both ordinary and extraordinary life, illustrated in a manner that makes you feel as if you hold an entire miniature universe in your palms (or wear around your neck, for that matter).  Her "rives fertiles" ("fertile rivers"), included in Hermes' "water"-themed 2005 collection, caught my attention in a profound way, turning her into one of my favourite drawing artists.  The fascinating aspect of her work, however, is that she succeeded in growing over the years, exploring various styles (as captured on the 17 designs of hers that Hermes has featured over the years) that appear quite disparate from one another.

Today's "Chemins de garrigue" ("Paths of the shrubland") has been created in the same style - a style that infuses, in addition to dynamism, a tasteful richness and spectacular elegance into this scarf that only a handful of designs can boast.  Because the scarf's "footprint" is a square, the shape itself is static.  To compensate and infuse energy into a scarf, artists use specific techniques - "tricks" known only to craftsmen and women who've mastered the trade.  One of the more obvious techniques consists of developing the designs along the square's diagonals.  An alternative technique is Christine's approach to imagine curvy paths across the landscape, rather than straight lines.  The winding paths take the explorer on a journey of discovery, inviting you to notice all the details along the way (as opposed to straight lines, where your sight is automatically drawn towards the point terminus of the "journey" and therefore presenting you with the risk of missing everything else surrounding the path).

The inspiration behind this scarf springs from the calcareous plateaus of the Mediterranean shores - the "garrigue" - punctuated by dense thickets of kermes oak,  juniper and stunted holm oak.  Aromatic lime-tolerant shrubs such as lavender, sage, rosemary, wild thyme and Artemisia are common plants of the garrigue landscape.  Calling this shrubland home are sheep, donkeys, rabbits, reptiles and snails alike - examples of which are graciously captured on canvas.

What's interesting is that Hermes' choice of colour combinations to illustrate this design - soft blue, soft pink, rich yellow and black, to name just a few - is very similar to "Nuées imaginaires" from Spring/Summer 2011.

This scarf is not only beautiful, it is utterly elegant, promising a great many heads turning to admire both it and the person sporting it !