Saturday, January 24, 2015

Collection SS2015: Bateau Fleuri

This is another invitation to travel - in style, in an ornate ship of flowers.  

The design depicts the sea using a common Japanese pattern - an invite to travel to far away places - and an ode to a rich culture that continues to inspire people to explore.

The pattern is very saturated, and many colour combinations are very strong, but why not have fun and try something different ?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Collection SS2015: Un Jardin Anglais

Keeping in line with Hermes 2015 theme, "Un Jardin anglais" ("an English garden") is most appropriate both for a place to wonder around admiring the surroundings, and for the design to transport us into the magic of nature.

The colours are unapologetically strong, making this design a strong statement piece.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Collection SS2015: A l'Ombre des Boulevards

A wonderful tribute to Paris, "In the Shade of Boulevards" transports the admirer to one of the iconic elements of Parisian life: its Grands Boulevards (and with the winter blues dragging on, one cannot think of a better way to enjoy the memories - or aspirations - of discovering Paris on foot.

This is also very fitting for the Hermes theme for 2015: Flâneur Forever or Invitation à la flânerie - that is, invitation to stroll around aimlessly but enjoyable, observing life and his/her surroundings.

Streets have had, since ancient times, a dual function: economic and social; streets were both a practical solution to moving about and a conduit to pleasurable strolls.  As streets became defined by the people and businesses that occupy them, some became very appealing thanks to the spectacles they offered: elegant people, bohemian people, storefronts or buildings.

Travellers observe locals go about their business, enjoying both the time and place so well anchored in the Parisian life.

Take a stroll through this carré and lose track of time along the Grands Boulevards.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hermes SS2015: Patchwork Horse

Happy Happy New Year !!

This scarf, in a geometric pattern, is a fresh start to 2015 - and an involuntary tribute to Picasso's cubist period (this year we're celebrating 134 years since his birth), whose instrument players (see "the Accordionist" and Harlequins - a much loved character in European tradition, unlike the North American Clown) have earned him international fame and .

The colours are soft and reveal a mysterious shape that transforms into a horse only on close inspection.  The scarf, in cashmere and silk (size 140x140cm) ties beautifully.

The version below is a more colourful rendition, with the colour palette more traditional but very playful nonetheless.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

FW2014: Cavalcadour Fleuri

Surprise !

One of the most stunning designs I have seen in a while - definitely making the ultra-rare "unforgettables" list - is this cashmere/silk shawl.  A fresh take on the classic Cavalcadour (one of the most popular designs the House has produced over time), this pattern is surely imprinted in our minds - and our hearts -, giving the person sporting it the assurance of wearing a stunning piece of art and feeling like the proverbial $1MM.

I chose to feature this design during the week of Christmas for looking at it - thanks to its fresh colours and sharp contrast, and to its amazing pattern - is like opening up a wonderfully wrapped gift, only to be mesmerized and enchanted by its content.

Have a safe Holiday season, enjoying every moment of it !

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Collection FW2014: Un Jardin sur le Toit

One of the nicest designs in my mind, a veritable postcard of a world apart, "Un Jardin sur le toit" ("A garden on the roof") depicts the now-legendary Maison head office at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré with its rooftop garden - a wonderful oasis in the middle of a busy city and a constant source of inspiration for plant lovers and Hermes' own in-house "nose", the equally legendary perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena (the one who created the fragrance with the same name and whose creation inspired the launch of this wonderful carré design, which had originally (2011) accompanied the perfume bottles for the launch).

The white-and-green border is superb, infusing light and energy into the carré and triggering admirations from on-lookers.

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.