Saturday, June 27, 2015

Collection SS2015: Perspective Cavaliere

The cavalier perspective, or high viewpoint, first appeared in France in the 16th century, thanks to the ingenuity of military engineers. 

Cartographers used this type of projection for three centuries.  Its value lay in its ability to reproduce three-dimensional objects in two dimensions; and its particular characteristic is the lack of a vanishing point, so that parallel lines are preserved.  Hermes is doing a fabulous job transposing this design on cashmere and silk.

While not attempting to reproduce visual reality, the projection retains form, volume and relief. Its name comes from the military term ‘cavalier’, an earthwork promontory affording a view over and beyond a set of fortifications, enabling guards to anticipate an attack.  An alternative, more seductive etymology alludes to the higher perspective of the rider on his mount.  A perfect definition for this cavalier view, setting Hermès in perspective. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Collection SS2015: La Promenade du Matin

At daybreak, with the mist still rising from the ground, each breath hanging on the air as a tiny cloud, the rider prepares his horse.

La Promenade du matin – the morning ride, that essential ritual – is a moment of peace and quiet.  The horse walks on, and for the next hour, mount and rider take a while to welcome the growing light, and make plans for the day ahead.  

Then it’s time to warm up, slowly but surely, first a trot, then a gallop, a ‘hunting gallop’, at a measured pace.

Henri d’Origny’s composition presents the essential bridlery for this morning outing: bridles, bits and curb chains invest the space with a pattern of circles and squares.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Collection SS2015: Bride de Cour

The former stables at Schloss Nymphenburg, in Munich, house one of Europe’s finest collections of classic carriages, covering the 17th to the late 19th centuries.  

Here are children’s traps and Imperial coaches, formal Berlins, horse-drawn sleighs and richlydecorated dog sleds, together with sumptuous bridlery, each piece more beautiful than the last.  Highlights of the collection include the extravagant carriage of King Ludwig II of Bavaria – a riot of gilded sculpture - and the coronation coach of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII of Germany, complete with its harnessing.

Inspired by the Nymphenburg collection, this carré features a bridle and saddle cloth decorated with a courtly array of embroidered velvets, golden tassels, finely-worked buckles, braids and embossed leathers.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Collection SS2015: Steeple Chase

According to popular legend, steeple-chasing was born in Ireland, in the 18th century. Two riders, each eager to prove the unmatched quality of his horse, decided to compete in a race across country. The pair chose two prominent church towers to mark the start and finish of their course, over four miles, from one steeple to the next, tackling every possible obstacle along the way – hedges and fences, ditches, stone walls and streams. Only in the 19th century did races of this type receive official recognition in England, in the county of Bedfordshire. 

Inspired by the tough challenge of the steeple-chase, Virginie Jamin sets a host of jockeys and mounts racing around the borders of her carré, poised to gallop through the graphic, central circuit, like pieces in a colourful board game..