Saturday, August 29, 2015

Collection FW2015: Original Trocadero Jazz Band

The Original Trocadéro Jazz Band? The name belongs to a combo featuring drummer Jean-Louis Dumas!

Four boys, the best friends in the world, share a passion for comic books and New Orleans ‘trad’ jazz. In 1948, they decide to start their own band.  The trombone player – and later, designer Sophie Koechlin’s father – sold his collection of miniature Dinky Toy cars to pay for his instrument.  ‘The best band you’ve never heard of’ featured up to ten musicians, playing up a storm on Saturday nights: Sidney Bechet’s classic ‘slow’ Si tu vois ma mère, Louis Armstrong’s much livelier Les oignons…  They knew and loved Louisiana, though they’d never set foot in the state. Inevitably, life took them in different directions, to other adventures.  But their friendship, and their love of music, remained.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Collection FW2015: Lettres d'Erevan

In the year 405 AD, Mesrop Mashtots – learned monk and visionary – invented the Armenian alphabet. 

The first words he wrote were a quotation attributed to King Solomon: ‘To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding…’ 

This scarf is also a tribute to the vast library of Erevan, the Matenadaran, an extraordinary monument to the power of knowledge. Often compared to the great library of Alexandria, the collection enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status today. It includes some of Christianity’s finest and most ancient books and manuscripts.  

Designer Karen Petrossian has covered the surface of this scarf with illuminated letters from the Armenian alphabet, whose calligraphy and miniatures, drawn from the pages of manuscripts preserved at the famous library, are considered among the masterpieces of medieval art. 

For the second time, Hermès extends a silken bridge between two cultures, with a limited edition scarf supporting the cultural and humanitarian work of the SPFA (Solidarité Protestante France-Arménie).

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Collection FW2015: Un Week-End dans l'Espace

Never at a loss for inspiration, fashion illustrator and adoptive Parisian Saw Keng takes us (and his thoroughly Parisian cast of figures) on the ultimate journey! We might picture his Parisiennes taking a leisurely stroll around town, a bracing walk on the beach, a quiet ride through an autumn forest. But we’d be wrong! Space is indeed the final frontier, but the ladies take to their intergalactic adventure with the style and grace of their counterparts on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. 

Similar to "Les Confessions", like the heroines of some all-new, star-struck comic book, they listen to the music of the spheres and the whinnying of their space-horses, riding to the planet Hermès and its many moons…

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Collection FW2015: Mythes et Metamorphoses

‘ …Baucis saw Philemon put out leaves, and old Philemon saw Baucis put out leaves, and as the tops of the trees grew over their two faces, they exchanged words, while they still could, saying, in the same breath: “Farewell, O dear companion”, as, in the same breath, the bark covered them, concealing their mouths.’ 

Ovid’s epic 1st-century poem the Metamorphoses was inspired by the myths of Antiquity, in which humans are transformed into animals, vegetables, minerals. Greek mythology tells how Zeus and Hermes went on a journey. The wealthy inhabitants of the region they visited refused them hospitality, and only one elderly couple – poor but devout – took them in. Zeus laid waste to the country, but Philemon and Baucis (his hosts) were transformed into trees, and saved forever. With characteristic talent, Annie Faivre’s design freely interprets a number of myths : Pegasus is given butterfly wings, and the Gorgon Medusa is a many-tentacled sea-anemone.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Collection FW2015: Collections Imperiales

Produced in association with the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, this scarf is inspired by the cloisonné enamel designs of China’s Ming and Qing dynasties, many of which are preserved in the museum’s archives.

Nineteenth-century France showed a pronounced taste for Chinese art, and many important private collections were amassed during this period (think only the Maison's acquisition of Shang Xia).

In 1923, the banker David David-Weill – an early convert to chinoiserie and someone described at length in William D. Cohan's "The Last Tycoons - The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co." – presented the museum with over 150 cloisonné enamels from the Imperial Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1912) dynasties (the later gave today's China its "English" name - otherwise, in Chinese, the country's name is "the Middle Kingdom").  

A second gift, from Baroness Salomon de Rothschild, further enriched the museum’s collection.  The enamel technique known as cloisonné creates motifs outlined by tiny strips of metal forming raised networks covering the decorative surface, to be filled with enamel.  Here are floral and geometric motifs, and a galloping horse, that most symbolic animal in the Chinese bestiary, often associated with dragons.  This refined, sophisticated composition is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary subtlety of cloisonné work.