Saturday, December 26, 2015

Collection 2015: La Maison des Carrés

To ring in the new year, I thought of a design to celebrate one more aspect of the Maison.

La Maison des Carrés is the name of Hermes' online boutique, dedicated to the iconic Hermès silk square.

To celebrate the concept, La Maison des Carrés is a delightful, colourful, humorous account of the creation of an Hermès silk square, from its initial inspiration to the point of sale, with a peek at the colouring and printing processes along the way.  Here, too, are the house museum and its cabinet of curiosities (the inspiration for so many designs), the creative studio – that vital incubator of talent – and last but not least the actors who escort each carré on its great adventure, together with the hubs and nerve centres where each scarf’s destiny is spun and woven, before being tied at the neck, shoulders, waist or head of whoever chooses to buy it and take it home.  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Collection FW2015: Flots, Fleurs et Frontaux

Émile Hermès began collecting at the age of twelve.  The resulting ‘cabinet of curiosities’ reflects the open, inquiring mind of this passionate, amateur art lover.  Émile was a tireless walker, and a regular at the sale rooms, endlessly on the look-out for strange, unexpected pieces to add to those he had already amassed.

The equestrian world holds a special place: Virginie Jamin’s neatly-ordered scarf takes inspiration from the models in a 19th-century catalogue.  Brow-bands (the bridle strap positioned across the horse’s forehead) decorated with medallions are arranged in a labyrinth of straight lines, while ribbon rosettes, presented as prizes at equestrian competitions, are displayed amid a scattering of flowers.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Collection FW2015: L'Arbre du vent

L’Arbre du vent is a tribute to the Huichol people of Mexico’s western Sierra Madre – also known as the Wixáritari – and their polytheistic religion, worshipping the divinity inherent in every aspect of the natural world.

At its centre, the scarf depicts the eye of god, the protector, surrounded by the four elements, marking the four corners of the Huichol world: 

1. Mother Water, the origin of life, Tatei Haramara; 

2. Earth, the soul of the world, Tatei Yurianaka, with two hummingbirds fluttering above, symbolising the souls of traditional shamans; 

3. Grandfather Fire, Tatehuari; and,

4. Air, Kieiri, the Wind Tree. 

Mexican artist Montserrat Gonzalez-Lugo has taken inspiration from traditional bead embroideries and threaded wool pictures to depict the essence of Huichol spirituality.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Collection FW2015: Brides de Gala Brodé

Brides de gala is without doubt the house's most celebrated carré.  Its subject?  The equestrian world, of course.  The flamboyantly decorative bridles, and the perfection of the composition, capture the essence of the timeless Hermès spirit. 

Its title, short and to the point, has the same, direct impact as the dazzling show bridles themselves, evoking the clink of buckles and chains to the rhythmic, majestic beat of the horses' hooves.  Leïla Menchari reinvented this classic design, having it reworked by the nimble fingers of her master embroiderers.  The sharp, detailed image took on a more sensual, velvety feel.  Framed as an element in one of Leïla's unforgettable window displays, the piece was subsequently hung in the office of Hermès president Jean-Louis Dumas, to whom she presented it, as a souvenir.