Saturday, April 4, 2009

Collection FW2008: Les Clés

From the golden key offered to the Governor of the Netherlands by the Members of the Council of State on behalf of King Charles III (in the left corner) to the key to the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris (fourth from the lower right corner), the forty-seven keys on this scarf are accurate representations of actual keys. A leather pouch, embroidered with keys from the Musee Hermes, is shown in the middle, while silk cords and pompoms reflect the keys' curls and arabesques.

Along the edges of the scarf are illustrations of four-faced "bishop's hat" harness rivets. Each corner depicts a different style of openwork bronze escutcheons. The diversity and complexity of the bits (the wrought part that turns in the lock) makes one wonder which room, piece of furniture or drawer they open, what secrets they were meant to protect with such elegance, refinement and preciosity. They are equally symbolic of the complicated mechanics of the locks.

This scarf is a hymn to the craftsmen who chiseled these wonders, as well as to the locksmiths' mathematical genius. This scarf evokes the age when people hung all their house keys on a chain (or perhaps silk cord) carrying them attached to their belts (I, for one, received the house key, around my neck to ensure a lower chance of losing it, when I started school, in grade one - and I recall vividly how proud I was of the responsibility that I had received, which for me was symbolic of the trust my parents had placed in me).

This design was launched in 1965 (hence the "traditional" look of the design) and reissued many times since, the most recent of which was in 2009/2010 in cashmere and silk and in 2010 as a variation on this theme. The design endured through the years thanks to Hermes' clever use of colours to instill a contemporary "feel", such as is depicted in the images above and below.


  1. it's beautiful and reminds me of the Tiffany's keys... i like it knotted and i definitely love the organge version

  2. funny, I love this design as well (a lot!), but for me, the yellow and green are the most impactful - very youthful, vivacious, courageous, outgoing...

  3. orange and yellow for me 2. there is a black one as well!!!

  4. I would like to give the bright yellow and the bright green ones. With a simple white shirt and a pair of capris, each one would be amazing, especially for walking along the lake shore.

  5. I'm selling one that belonged to my mother in law!