Saturday, March 14, 2009

Collection SS2007: Vif Argent

An interesting design by Dimitri Rybaltchenko, "Vif Argent" ("Quicksilver") depicts drops of mercury that form, by way of continuous lines, the famous Hermes brand. It is a stirring design, beautiful in its simplicity, but one that does not have a particular impact when knotted traditionally around the neck - unless a good part of the middle design is displayed, as in a headscarf fashion, or perhaps in a knot where a good quarter of the scarf is displayed in front.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Collection FW2008: Tohu Bohu

In French, "Tohu Bohu" means tumult, commotion, so "Hurly Burly" would be an appropriate translation. This scarf, first released in 2004 and reissued in 2008 and again in 2010 on cashmere/silk, features concentric circles, each of a different colour, starting in the middle of the scarf and increasing in size until the largest circle becomes inscribed within the scarf. Within the widths of select circles are inscribed, one per circle, the letters that make up "Hermes". Each of the corners depicts one element of the address of the Maison's Faubourg St.-Honore flagship boutique - "24", "Fbg", "Paris" and "France", each word having its letters in disorder (the other definition of "tohu bohu"). Finally, the very edge of the scarf features the many colours that have been already included in the design, in a sequence, similar to that of the Human DNA, that's harmoniously playful and adds the extra element of surprise and "fun" when the scarf is worn.

The design was created by Claudia Stuhlhofer Mayr, a very successful designer - and the only Austrian designer in the art team of Hermes for twelve years.

This pattern was an instant success with fans of Hermes, including the most renowned Italian singer of all times, the late Luciano Pavarotti (seen here wearing the orange GM version - "grand modele", or "large size-XL" - in cashmere/silk blend).

In response to such popularity, Hermes has further satisfied the public's thirst by adapting this design for jewelry and household items such as porcelain, themselves very popular items and sought-after collectibles.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Collection FW2007: Faubourg by Night

This design has been issued in 2007/2008 and remains one of Hermes' most impactful abstract designs. It depicts the Maison's iconic building at 24, Faubourg as perceived through a kaleidoscope.

The kaleidoscope, invented around 1816 by the Scottish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor and writer Sir David Brewster, is a tube of mirrors containing loose coloured beads, pebbles or shards, which produces, when turned, varying colours and patterns; because of the mirrors, the reflection of such arbitrary designs produces beautiful symmetrical patterns, something that I used to cherish as my secret treasure whenever my grandparents would buy me one, typically when we were vacationing on the Black Sea (the name kaleidoscope derives from the Greek "kalos" (beautiful), "eidos" (shape) and "scopeo" (to look at, to examine) - hence it would be roughly translated as "looking at beautiful forms").

Faubourg by night depicts the iconic building as an elusive shape, covered under the night's dark skies, yet the image reminds us of the intrinsic beauty of this place. It even stirs our imagination and our curiosity to discover it. A truly gorgeous design the ties beautifully and is guaranteed to elicit the admiration of any audience.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Collection SS2006: Plaza de Toros

An earlier design that's as simple as it is stirring. The bullfighting, one of Hubert de Watrigant's favourite themes, brings dynamism and a certain adrenaline rush to the scarf (and particularly to both admirers and those who sport it). The raw and primal fighting for survival, coupled with the stage "dance" and bullfighters' harmonious movements make the "Plaza de Toros" a sensual enough scarf to be sported by ladies and masculine enough for men. Of all the scarves illustrated here (including those in my collection), I would definitely consider wearing this one !