Like the Olympian Hermès, the messanger of the Gods and patron saint of travellers, it takes us on a journey. Through time, fashion and continents. Always constant yet never the same, at 73 years old and measuring 90 cm squared, it tells a story of arts, traditions and cultures.
With more than 1500 different designs, it is a heritage that is well guarded at 24 rue du Faubourg St Honoré. The very first “Jeu des omnibus et des dames blanches” was created in 1937 by Robert Dumas, director of the Hermès brand. But it was Brides de Gala, designed by Hugo Grygkar and inspired by the world of horse-riding, which became really famous. When Jean Louis Dumas took the torch from his father in 1978, the same desire for excellence and innovation guided his movements. Artists have designed variations around an annual theme which are then transposed onto silk in workshops in Lyon. It is this meticulous attention to detail at every stage of the process that produces such exceptional pieces made out of inimitable silk twill. This is a family history that the new artistic director Pierre Alexis Dumas has excellently preserved.
This season we can admire the transposition of a painting by African artist George Lilanga which depicts life in a village in Mozambique in a humorous and light-hearted way. Or the reproduction of “Kelly en Perles” which was embroidered with miniature multi-coloured beads by a Cameroonian artist. The delicate printing allows us to fully appreciate the beads pattern in relief and the intricate embroidery. This latest style, measuring 70cm and worked in vintage silk, was crafted in 1997 to celebrate the brand’s 70th anniversary and is particularly distinctive.
The Hermes scarf is constantly modified. It has been reworked into a triangle, a ribbon and a belt. This year the best-selling “Brides de Gala” has been released in a giant format measuring 140 cm and worked in twill silk in seven original colours. A meticulous, old-fashioned process which every season uses new colours to rework an old classic.
The Hermes scarf is a classic which can be passed down from mother to daughter and is thus an icon which will never go out of fashion.
Photography by Sophie de la Porte
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