Don’t laugh, but one thing that caught my eye a few years ago on our Disney cruise were a couple of stunning framed scarves. At first I didn’t realize that was what they were – but upon closer inspection I realized that they were enormous Hermes silk squares in the most intricate patterns depicting Versailles and other French landmarks. Clever, detailed, colorful and visually stunning. I developed an all-new appreciation for the French classic, which naturally led me down the rabbit hole that I’m going to drag you down as well. (Photo above via Elements of Style)
As much as I love a beautiful scarf, I can’t say that I can commit to spending $300 on a silk square to wear. Plus, the designs are so intricately designed and clever, I’d want to be able to enjoy them in all their glory. Caveat: when I move to the Mediterranean and yacht-hop, then yes, I will be this:
But until then, I’m more into framing an Hermes scarf to let it shine in all its glory. Further in-depth reading (particularly this fascinating article from the Wall Street Journal – don’t miss the video) makes me love it all the more. Hermes employs freelance artists from all over the world – even from Waco, Texas, if you can believe it! Crazy variety is the name of the game. No blood or sex are allowed in any of the designs and it takes 2-3 years from initial concept to final product.
Think $400+ is too much to pay for a square of silk? Consider this: Once an Hermes scarf design is complete, artisans in the Hermes workshops located outside Lyon take over (some 750 people are employed there!). It takes about 18 months to produce a scarf from that point—the engravers alone take some six months to determine each scarf’s distinct colors (on average about 27) and it takes about 750 hours to engrave the screens for printing (one screen for each color).
I like the idea of framing the scarf in lucite for a more contemporary spin. Hermes also makes metal wall mounts if you’ve got extra cash to blow and want the full brand experience or you could get this set from Etsy for significantly less.
And finally, a roundup of some current favorites from the mothership itself.
Want further info on Hermes? Snap up this tome from Amazon – the ultimate in chic coffee table reading.