Monday, February 22, 2010
The Hermès scarf : why it remains the most elegant square ever.
Introduced in 1937, this was one of the first non-leather merchandises that Hermès produced. Since then, these hand printed and finished scarves, have become the symbol of “classy lady” chic. Lovely women from Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly to Sarah Jessica Parker have all worn it with great flair.
Like they say- there are scarves and then there is the Hermès scarf.
Designed by artists, made of the finest silk twill, lovingly crafted by skilled artisans, this is a square piece of perfection; and everything about the Hermès scarf reeks of refinement, obsessive attention to detail and timeless elegance.
Hermès issues two collections of scarves in a year, and every scarf has a name. About twelve designs are created in each collection usually consisting of six new designs and six reissues updated with new colors and/or a small change like a contrast border. Sometimes designs are reissued after decades.
A regular Hermès scarf (if the word “regular” can at all be used for Hermès) has anywhere from five to forty-two colors and each color is printed by hand using silk screens. Also, there are a limited number of monochromatic scarves called carrè finesse. The hem or “roule” is hand rolled by skilled women called roulotteuses.
The most popular materials used are silk twill, silk chiffon and a blend of cashmere and silk. The Hermès scarf is available in three standard sizes, the most popular one being the full carrè size: 35" x 35".
A scarf needs almost two years from design conceptualization to finishing; and can take up to 2000 hours of work. It undergoes several rigorous quality checks along the way before it finally makes it inside the famed orange box packaging.
And there, it awaits the lucky woman who gets to own it.
Sometimes several women might own it …because not only do daughters and grand-daughters hold on to them as gorgeous heirlooms, but vintage Hermès scarves are greatly sought after in the collectors’ market. Some things simply get better with time.
So next time don’t pick up just any old scarf, go for the legendary Hermès carrè.
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