You must certainly remember the original Cheval Surprise of 2004, by the talented Dimitri Rybaltchenko. The design had such a strong effect on me, I could not resist the temptation to acquire the scarf (as a gavroche, in 45x45cm) frame it and display it prominently in my living room.
This year, a variation on this theme is sure to enchant us at least as much as back in 2004.
Horses and riders emerge from a cloudburst of colour. Dimitri Rybaltchenko leads us on a visual adventure of his own making. Lost at first in the formless splashes of yellow, orange, magenta, blue and green, we gradually discern the hidden silhouettes. It all depends (quite literally) on the viewer’s perspective. In Rybaltchenko’s own words, ‘disparate, apparently meaningless elements are connected, and take on meaning, a life of their own.’ His design echoes the thought processes that lead to the birth of a new idea: ‘we must let ourselves dream, let our gaze float free.
A few splashes of colour are all it takes to break the silence.’ Here, silence gives way to the thunder of hooves, the cadenced breath of galloping horses. There’s a moment of calm, in the figures of the iconic horse, carriage and groom, symbols of the house of Hermès (based on a painting by Alfred de Dreux).
And Carle Vernet and Jonny Audy, equestrian painters of the 18th and 19h centuries, are along for the ride, too. In the purest spirit of the house of Hermès, classic, foundational motifs take on new, thoroughly modern forms. Originally conceived in monochrome, and re-cast now in vivid colour, Cheval surprise remix continues to captivate the imagination.