Thursday, July 31, 2008

Musings on Tying Hermes Pocket Scarves, Otherwise Known As Pochettes

I am always trying to experiment with Hermes Pochettes to find a way to tie them that lets a lot of the design show while wearing. Today is was playing with a pouchette and a Chaine d'Ancre scarf slide. I discovered a nice way to incorporate the slide to give weight and body to a sort of poof at the neck that is very nice with a simple jewel neckline.

Lay the pochette face down, bring opposite corners through the openings of the Chaine d'Ancre and tie it in place.

Once the Chaine d'Ancre is secure and in place, then you can flip the scarf over, and tie it into postion at your neckline.

The weight of the Chaine d'Ancre helps the pochette stay in place and assists the scarf to poof, displaying most of the design in a nice way at the base of the neck.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where To Go If You Want To Be Informed Regarding Collecting Hermes Scarves

I have been getting quite a few emails from people wanting to know more on collecting Hermes Scarves. I thought I would address some of these questions here.

First of all just because a scarf says Hermes on it, do not assume that you have just discovered the "real" thing. Even if you found it in Grandmother's scarf drawer and she collected scarves for years. There have been unscrupulous manufactures of fake Hermes scarves for years, and yes they were often sold to tourists even in France.

Hermes has some very distinctive features, and there are no books, or collectors guides out there that there to tell you the difference between fake, and the real thing. And any book at the moment offering to be a definitive guide to Hermes is not nor ever was sanctioned by the House of Hermes and there for should in no way be recognized as something definitive.

So then how does one educate oneself regarding how and what to collect.

First of all visit a store that sells Hermes and touch, feel, and possibly take home the real thing. Hermes sales associates are always glad to display for you the current season selection. And there is no comparison to the translucent magic of Hermes when held to the light.

Second, the most valuable source of information regarding collecting Hermes comes from the collectors themselves. Many of which have been collecting for years and years. Many have visited, and toured the factory themselves in Paris. Connecting with the internet forums where collectors meet to discuss their passion is not difficult. There are at least three of them on Yahoo Groups and they are always welcoming newcomers to the world of Hermes scarves. The collective voice of these wonderful people can be invaluable to you as a collector, and will most likely help in preventing the mishap of you ending up with an unauthentic item.

Here are the email addresses to request membership, if you are so inclined.

Many years ago, I was coresponding with a woman in the United Kingdom on the subject of scarf collecting, seeking a forum of people who shared our passion for collecting silk squares of all collectible makers. It was this woman who directed me to the Hermes Yahoo forums, as there aren't any forums for simply "scarf collectors". I have always been grateful to her for suggesting and pointing me in the direction of the Hermes groups. They have been the source of not only information but wonderful friendships that have withstood the test of time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More Musings On Very Collectible Hermes Scarves

A scarf that experienced collectors are always on the look out for, but few novices are aware of is the "Sulfures Et Presse Papiers". In 1979 Hermes created 500 of these for the Paperweight Collectors Association at the request of the founder Paul Jokelson. Designed by Cathy Latham the scarf depicts some paperweights from Jokelson's personal collection including the very first one that he started his collection with. Aptly so that paperweight was purchased by him in France as he returned home after WWII.

These rarely show up on ebay, although they have about 4 times in the past 4 years. They generaly go in the higher price ranges $400.00 to $700.00 depending on the condition and the colorway.

Sotheby's sold one in 1999 for $862.00 from a private paperweight

Musings On Collectible Hermes Scarves

An Hermes scarf is collectible simply because it is an Hermes scarf. But having collected them over the years it is interesting to watch the trends regarding those that collect them. Recently (within the last 2 years) we have watched one particular scarf rise in it's resale value tremendously. That scarf is "Rencontre Ocean" by the artist Annie Faivre. Oringinaly the scarf sold for somewhere in the neighborhood of $300.00 to purchase a new one. Recently ebay resales have seen the price go for anywhere between $600.00 to a recently listing of $1200.00.

The design is beautiful, and Annie Faivre is a much beloved artist for many a collector. But to try to answer as to why this particular design has risen in value the way it has, is a hard question to answer. The design has never been reproduced as of yet. (Hermes has reproduced other popular designs for a second issue) And so the collector who wants to own one is left to venture to the resale market.

In recent years we have seen other scarves become the rage of the resale market, "Cave Felem" and "Pavements" used to consistently bring between $450.00 and $550.00, and collectors stood amazed. But they did not stay as long on the rave list as Recontre Oceane has been doing. All of these were commercial seasonal issued scarves. They were not limited special edition pieces, and they were from fairly recent years in the Hermes history.

Kermit Oliver's "Madison Avenue" done for the reopening of the Madison Ave. store had a very limited release, was only sold at that store. And the full color version consistently resells for anywhere between $700.00 to $1200.00 on the resale market.

Recently a well known seller and collector offered a "TROIS-MOUSQUETAIRES" on ebay for a buy it now of $599.99. Not a bad deal when you consider that in the past it has usually brought between $500.00 and over $700.00. This design had a very limited production, was a special edition for a cognac company, and was originally created by Phillipe Ledoux one of the most prolific artist in Hermes history. The design was started by Ledoux, but he became too ill to complete it, as it was produced near his death. His nephew completed the design and the scarf is signed by both artists.

This highly collectible scarf did not sell in the recently listing and was later relisted at a lower price.

So answering the question regarding what makes one design more highly collected over another is a very difficult question. And there really is not definitive answer as to why "Recontre Oceane" continues to dominate the resale market. It is fun to watch the trends go in and out, but we maybe waiting a long time before the rave desire for "Recontre Oceane" deminishes.

One Knot Three Scarves - A Good Basic Knot For Any Silk Scarf

There was a knot that we discussed and tried in the scarf groups a while back called the "Friendship Knot". It can be found by searching the web. Although it is a beautiful and interesting knot, many found it difficult to tie on a whim.

I was playing around with a chiffon GM one day feeling a bit rushed to get it tied and be on my way. I discovered a quick variation on the "Friendship Knot" theme, but much easier, and faster to accomplish. I don't have a name for it, as it is simply what happened when I flipped one end of the scarf this way, then that and was done.

The good thing about this knot is it is very versatile. I have often heard others say that they do not wear GM (the larger 54 x 54 inch) scarves because they are shorter in stature and feel they do not know what to do with all of the fabric. This knot solves that problem. It also works well for oblong scarves that are not square as well as the regular carre size.

Here is how it is accomplished:

If using a square scarf first start with a basic bias fold. Hold with one end slightly longer than the other end. With the longer end pinch a loop.

Then bring the un-pinched end over the top of the loop you made by pinching.

Coming down across the loop, bring that same end up against you and through the top of the opening at your neck.

Now bring that end up, over and down into the center of the pinched loop.

Pull tight and straighten to adjust. And Voila!

I have found that this knot is also great for when you think it might just be too warm to wear a scarf, as it can be tied so that it keeps a lot of the fabric away from the front of your neck. It hangs nicely and even creates a little cooling flutter.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kermit Oliver & Les Cheyennes For Hermes

I believe that I have mentioned before that Kermit Oliver is my absolute favorite artist. Sometimes I find myself discovering a whole new appreciation for a piece that I have had for awhile, quite simply by getting it out and wearing it again.
Recently this happened for me with Mr. Oliver's "Les Cheyennes". The scarf here is titled "Plumes de L'Ouest". (Supposedly the name was changed due to complaints registered by the Native American Nation for which the original piece was named) I will always think of the design as Les Cheyennes.
When I first viewed the works of Mr. Oliver I did not know anything really about the artist as a person. (Who he was, where he came from...) I just knew that I was incredibly drawn to his work. The use of light, the deeply personal administration of each portrayal. Every character, every animal depicted has a unique personality that seems to speak from the piece. There is always a serene, quiet animation going on. Color abounds so that you are drawn in to notice the uniqueness of every stroke.
I was fortunate enough to acquire a copy of "Notes from a Child's Odyssey: The Art of Kermit Oliver". All families have their oral traditions, colorful stories handed down through the generations of ancestors who struggled to carve out their own existence so that we might have the futures we have today. I feel fortunate to have been given a glimpse into the colorful ancestral past of Mr. Oliver. From the courageous figure of Jesse Oliver (Kermit Oliver's Grandfather) who drowned while helping a fellow rancher move cattle to safety from an approaching storm. To Katherine Oliver (Kermit Oliver's Mother) who strictly raised her four sons with values and morals. While also giving her time and energy to civic needs within her community. Participating, and volunteering in organizations to preserve and enhance the community for future generations.
Peter Marzio, Director of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts writes in the forward to "Notes from a Child's Odyssey..."
"Kermit Oliver is a realist who shows us a world we have never seen..."
And what a world it is! I find it so easy to simply get lost in the designs he has done for Hermes. I explore each piece and with each exploration I discover something new in the journey. Deeper and deeper I am drawn into that world each time, and always so gratful for the gift of this view.
And that was how it was again while wearing Cheyennes recently. The quite and proud Native stands there with his beautiful mount, and faithful dog who glances out possibly looking for one of those rabbits that Mr. Oliver and his brother chased as young boys. Here in this quiet place so richly full of color and teaming with life.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wearing Scarves - Scarf Tip

So you say that a particular scarf does not look good on you? Perhaps it is not the scarf, but what you have chosen to wear the scarf with. Try paring the color of the background or the border of the scarf with its complimentary color on the color wheel. That is the color directly opposite its position on the color wheel. Make sure to keep the tone consistent, that is if you have a muted blue, then pair it with a muted orange or pumpkin color. Try this and see the compliments you receive on your choice of colors.

Etienne Delessert for Fête des Vignerons 1999 "Le Jardin de Orphee" a Non Hernes Scarf

As I have said earlier I see scarves as wearable works of art. For the most part my preferences lend themselves to pieces which were created by artist particularly for the purpose of the design of the scarf. As opposed to scarves which are copies of the works of artists.

This is the one thing that truly stands behind my attraction to the scarves of Hermes. Each piece is designed by the artist for the purpose of print as a scarf, and the designs of Hermes are endless. But I will leave the discussion of Hermes history of scarves for another day.

Today I want to discuss a newly acquired piece. The above scarf is the work of Etienne Delessert an artist who now lives in Connecticut, having been born in Switzerland. Mr. Delessert has won numerous awards for his artwork and illustrations. He is probably best known for his work as the illustrator of over 80 books, most of which are children's books.

I first came in contact with his work, while reading books to my own children. His pieces are over the top fantastic, and imaginations young and old can easily get carried away visualizing the story contents.

Mr. Delessert has also illustrated for many well known magazines and newspapers such as The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and Le Monde.

The scarf above is a piece that was designed for The Fete des Vignerons of 1999. The title of the scarf is "Le Jardin de Orphee".

The Fete des Vignerons is a festival of the Winemakers which happens about every 20 years in the village of Vevey Switzerland. The festival last 18 days, during which a half million visitors is not unusual for the small village of 16,000.

All of the people who work to host the festival are festooned and costumed extravagantly. Christian Lacroix created the gowns worn by the goddess of spring and her attendants in 1999. Other costumes for people of the event were created by Tony Award winner Catherine Zuber.

The events of the festival include special vintage wined sold and featured, parades, concerts, and festive dance. The highlight of the festival is an outdoor amphitheater event which runs three hours at each showing and depicts fanciful and factual historic accounts of Swiss viticulture through music, staging and costume. A cast of up to 5900 depict characters such as Bacchus, St. Martin of Tours, Ceres, and Orpheus to name a few.

Thus the title "Le Jardin de Orphee" depicts Mr. Delessert's idea of the minstrel Orpheus; whose music is said to have charmed all wild beasts and even to have coaxed rocks and trees to movement.

A beautiful scarf with a delightful story behind it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Playtime With Hermes Pouchette Scarves

Recently I found these wonderful headbands that really lend themselves to wearing Pouchettes, (or Pocket Squares) as a headband in my hair. The headbands are made out of very soft and flexible rubberized plastic, and although they have little teeth they are very soft and do not harm the scarf.

The headband is a very swirly design with a lot of little holes making the scarf easily secured at each end.

I fold the pouchette on a regular bias fold, then proceed to secure by wrapping and knotting at the ends. Then Voila! The pouchette adds color and is a fun way to continue to wear my Hermes when the heat wants to prevent me from wearing a scarf.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More Musings on Jean-Louis Clerc

I had been watching this painting over on ebay it is very unusual in that the signature is in the style of Jean-Louis Clerc's. Even the date was in the right era. (1949) The subject matter and the style of the painting is also very similar to the way Clerc rendered his horses in many of the scarf pieces. The subject matter gets more intriguing as it depicts Circus horses of a famous "Swiss" circus. I did bid on the piece and was out bid. Which is Ok with me, after all I would have had to look for wall space. I felt through out the whole process that the discovery of what just might be a painting by him to be reward enough. I will never be able to confirm, so the mystery remains intact.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Musings on Hermes Scarf Artist Jean-Louis Clerc

Remember that I had mentioned that part of the joys of collecting scarves is that there is somewhat of a hint of mystery in the collecting. Here is a good example. All collectors know that Jean-Louis Clerc was a rather prolific artist for Hermes.

The mysterious part is that very little about the artist is actually known. I am still trying to research this artist, and have been for sometime now. What little I do know came from a friend in the scarf forums.

It seems that someone has control over the rights of Clerc's paintings either a descendant through his estate, or some other company that purchased the rights. My friend did not remember the details but thought that somehow a Swiss company might be involved.
Clerc designed at least two, possibly more), scarves that were not Hermes. One is called "Orchestra" by those who collect, I am not sure of the title of the second scarf.

Clerc was influenced by the work of french artist Raol Dufy. Details of this influence can be seen in Clerc's works of "Paddock", "Orchestra" and "Concerto, when compared to similar works of Dufy.

Clerc pieces especially the early ones are highly saught after by collectors. The scarves pictured above are all Clerc pieces. The top two are known to be Hermes scarves and bare the logo of the company. The bottom pieces are Clerc pieces, but do not bare Hermes logos. The top picture is one of the rarest of all Hermes Clerc designs it is titled "Joies De La Montagne" it was issued in 1946.

So you can see that collecting scarves for me is not just about the wearing, it is also about the amazing stories behind the artist. Or in this case, the mystery of lack of information (information is never lacking, it is only hidden) regarding the history behind the artists and the designs.

Friday, July 4, 2008

For "The Birds"

This has absolutely nothing to do with scarf collecting , Hermes Scarves, Silk Scarves or anything else "En Soie". (Except that I did wear a "Rogues Gallery Gull Scarf" today in Navy). This is how I spent my 4th of July.

In 1963 Alfred Hitchcock made a move called "The Birds" staring Tippi Hedren. He filmed the movie in a little town not far from where I live called Bodega Bay. Tippi Hedren was in Bodega Bay today signing autographs.

While I was there, there was a young man from San Jose, who was there to present Ms. Hedren with the gift of a doll in her image. The doll was actually a proto-type for the new Mattel Hitchcock Birds Barbie that is due out in October of this year.

Ms. Hedren is also the president and founder of the Roar Foundation which owns and operates a haven preserve for big cats who were born in captivity. But have become orphaned or are no longer being taken care of by their previous owners. Her devotion to their preservation ia something so wonderful to me, and I was so grateful for the oportunity to say thank you to her for her work on the efforts of these big cats. I also got her autograph, as that is the reason she was there. Afterwards, we lunched at the Sandpiper on the wharf. It was a lovely day.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Musings On Scarf Collecting

The "En Soie" "Anna" by Ines Boesch, came today. It is even prettier than the pictures. It is a nice hand silk crepe, and it is GM size. So fun! I so wish Hermes made twills in this size.

There has only been one Hermes silk twill of GM size that I am aware of and it is "Naturalia" by Kermit Oliver, done in 1994. (Shown above)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Musings on My Hermes Scarves Part II for today

Today I noticed that ebay has a Fauna et Flora du Texas cashmere GM listed. This design is by one of my absolute favorite Hermes scarf artists, Kermit Oliver. I remember wanting a GM in this design so badly. I even posted "want ads" on "Craigs List" all over the state of Texas.

It was finally due to the efforts of some Hermes scarf collecting sisters from the forums that I was connected to mine (shown above). I will always be grateful to them! As it is truly one of my most prized possessions.

I even have some extremely fond memories attached to the wearing of this one, as I wore it to a Paul McCartney concert. The night was enchanting!

For me over the years this is what scarf collecting has all been about. The friendships, the wonderful memories, and the sharing of passions for all things "En Soie"

Musings On My Hermes Scarves

I recently sold this scarf to a collector in France. I was very pleased to hear from her that she had taken the "Accidents De L' Equitation" with her on a recent trip to Paris. There she was able to show it to Hermes who informed her that the artist was Hugo Grykgar and it was done in 1945.
I was very pleased that she was able to find out the artist. I had written Hermes when I recieved it, but I had not received a reply.
This is one of those times when scarf collecting is truly the most fun, when you are able to share back and forth with other true scarf collectors.
I had not worn this piece, as it was not in pristine condition when I recieved it, and I knew that it was a very rare Hermes scarf. I had always considered it more of a museum piece.
I truly love collecting scarves, but honestly I want to be able to wear them and enjoy them. The only other option that I felt this one had was to be framed. And well I have said it before...just not enough wall space.