Saturday, September 11, 2010
Collection FW2007: Carnets de bal
Ahead of my upcoming trip to Europe, I have been imagining the places to check out and the activities to fill my time with, and during this exercise in day-dreaming, I recalled another voyage of discovery to a place far-far away that succeeded to enchant me beyond my wildest expectations from the first moment I set foot in the airport. If you thought of my time abroad in 2007, you guessed correctly that I was referring to Japan, a land whose people (and beauty) marked me for life and continues to inspire me to this day.
During my time there, Hermes had launched "Carnets de bal" ("Dance Cards"), a design representative of the beautiful Art Nouveau movement. Dance cards, at their peak in the 18th century, served to remind society ladies the order of the dances they were to perform, along with the names of their partners (interestingly, mend eventually adopted them as well). As this design illustrates, dance cards evolved to elaborate "objets d'art", highly decorative objects often ornate with precious materials (silver, gold, ivory or pearls) and jewels.
The contour of the "frame" onto which the dance cards are displayed reminds me of the Parisian "Metro" entrances of yesteryears, designed by Hector Guimard, that added even further to the metropolis' charm.
This design manages to appeal to younger and more matures audiences alike, as it maintains its unique femininity both when displayed and when knotted. And one of my personal favourites, particularly since I associate this beautiful design with a place that I found most beloved !