Saturday, April 30, 2016

Collection SS2016: Les Ailes pleines de joie

 Les Ailes pleines de joie (‘Wings of joy’) is a hymn to Nature. 

Fluttering between earth and sky, a cloud of butterflies haloes a tree as round and bright as planet Earth; fish seem to fly, and all is simple, bright and cheerful. Inspired by Seventies Flower Power, Ljubomir Milinkov’s carré is a delicate, witty evocation of the radiant, natural world of his childhood. Life has taken the artist far from his home village of Sovac, in Serbia. 

In 1962, age 24, he flew to Paris to pursue his dream of becoming a painter. New York beckoned, and Milinkov lived for several years in the United States before returning to France, where Jean-Louis Dumas commissioned his first carré design, Jardin enchanté, in 1986.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Collection SS2016: Bonnes Vibrations

Pierre Marie’s intriguing, complex composition is inspired, he says, by "the invisible forces of Nature".

In the 18th century, the German physician Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni (the inventor of a musical instrument known as the euphon, and the author of a treatise on acoustics) performed an unusual experiment. He took a copper disc, sprinkled it with fine sand and ran a violin bow along its outer edge.  The resulting musical vibrations had a surprising side effect: the sand particles organized themselves into geometric patterns, known today as Chladni figures. 

"Imagine my astonishment, when I saw what no man had ever seen before" he declared.  "A ten- or twelve-pointed star appeared before my eyes".  Pierre Marie presents his own interpretation of Chladni’s ' "geometry of sound".

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Collection SS2016: Cuivreries

Françoise de la Perrière created this carré in the early 1960s.  Arranged in a starry, circular composition, a group of ornamental horse brasses (the "cuivreries" of the French title) are affixed to "martingales" – leather harness straps, one end of which is designed to pass under the horse’s belly. 

The finely-worked designs feature abstract or figurative motifs – windroses, mermaids, a fleur de lys, a heart, a horse, a ferocious dog, scrolling fronds or stylized, geometric leaves and flowers. Worn as amulets, the brasses are thought to date back to the Middle Ages and perhaps even Antiquity.  In Britain, they are worn by working or dray horses.  Each horse wears a number of brasses: one on the forelock, one behind each ear, three at the shoulders and between six and ten on the martingale.  The brasses total up to six or seven pounds in weight.  Much prized by collectors, they were sure to catch the expert eye of Émile Hermès, a connoisseur noted for his love of the equestrian world and its curiosities.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Collection SS2016: Parcours sans Faute

The beloved Florence Manlik, whom we introduced in 2011 with the beautiful Brides de Gala en Finesse and again last year with A la plume, is proposing a new design, quite a departure from her previous designs.

The motifs, and the ‘clear round’ of the title of Florence Manlik’s composition, celebrate the equestrian heritage of the house of Hermès.  Bits, riding crops and curb chains are orchestrated with extreme precision in a seemingly endless design that has no discernible beginning or end. 

The carré reflects the fascination and excitement of show jumping, says the artist: "The straight lines, curves and repeated figures embody discipline and structure, and the shifting pace of acceleration and restraint, culminating under the spectators’ excited gaze, in a magnificent, thoroughly deserved victory".  

A tribute to one of the equestrian world’s greatest challenges, over a course memorized by horse and rider alike down to the last centimetre, and the tips of their hooves and boots.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Collection SS2016: Apparat des Plaines

Antoine Tzapoff – that great connoisseur of Native American culture – offers a detailed portrait of a member of the Absaroka or Crow Nation, from the plains of Montana, pictured here in late 19th-century dress. 

The costume is remarkable for its rich ornamentation, carefully maintained by the Crow as a way of safeguarding their precious identity.  Dressed in buckskin decorated with strips of beadwork, the man wears a headdress of eagle feathers and ermine.  The horses either side of him wear dress harnesses and bridles decorated with metal pendants – a relic of the bits used by 17th-century Spanish colonists.  A remarkable testimony to the pride of the Crow Nation.