Beinvenue to the second Metis Linens Fabulous French Fridays. There has been a resurgence of scarf wearing (and subsequent decorating) in America.
I have to wonder if this is due to the fabulous fashions worn by the lovely ladies on Mad Men.
Or perhaps it is the inspiration of a few film stars who add a bit of style to their everyday ensembles.
Either way it is a finishing flair that French women have always worn.
Joining Bridget Bardot as a perfect example of a French scarf wearing woman is the glamorous Catherine Deneuve. (Can I say Rupert is adorable too? :)
There are also a few favorite fashion icons that come to mind who also regularly wore scarves.
Of course not everyone can rock the Babushka look like Jackie did. Nor can everyone wear the head wrap.
But I could be tempted to wear a sweet style reminiscent of Rosie the Riveter.
But truly it is the French who have cornered the market on the scarf. Coco, as always, ever classic.
The House of Chanel regularly shows scarves on the runway and in ad campaigns.
There is but one name that is synonymous with the quintessential French scarf. Hermès. Of course the original Hermes was a Greek god who protected and took care of all travelers. Hermès International, S.A. is a high French fashion house which was established by Thierry Hermès in 1837. The family, originally from Germany, established themselves on the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris as a harness workshop which catered to European noblemen.
In 1880 the company moved the shop to 24 Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, a location near the Palais de l'Elysée. Here Hermès has remained. It is a location that I long to visit as much for the design and architecture, as for the beautiful products displayed there.
In 1900, the company began offering the haut à courroies bag which was designed specifically for riders to carry their saddles with them. By 1922 Thierry Hermès grandsons were running the family business. When Émile-Maurice's wife complained that she could not find a handbag to her liking, he created an entire line of bags.
In 1935, the leather Sac à dépêches, made its debut. It was later renamed the Kelly bag in honor of Princess Grace who carried it always.
Then in 1937, the Hermès carrés (scarves) were introduced. The company purchased raw Chinese silk that was spun into yarn and woven into a fabric which was twice as strong and heavy as other scarves that were offered at the time. Designers spent years creating new patterns. Each scarf features a design which is screen-printed with vegetable dye. One color is applied and then allowed to dry for a month before the next color is added. Some designs feature up to 40 separate colors. The most colors ever used on one scarf was 43. It is easy to see how the Hermès scarf costs such a pretty penny.
The long coveted signature orange boxes featuring the company logo, the duc-carriage-with-horse, were introduced in the early 1950’s.
In the 1990’s Hermès began releasing two new scarf collections each year, some of which were limited edition designs. The scarves often feature equestrian themes in a nod to the companies heritage. Flora and fauna are also popular designs. At this time, I can’t afford a Hermes scarf~ even on Ebay. I believe that someday the sun will shine brightly as I enter a thrift store and I will find a forgotten gem awaiting me. Possibly tied onto a Birkin bag. But that is another post in and of itself.
Until then I am channeling my inner Audrey Hepburn.
Lovely ruffled scarves made from our favorite Metis Linen will be available at the Long Beach flea market this Sunday and then perhaps the online shop.
Do you wear scarves?
Andrea and Laura
UPDATE: To assist those who emailed:
1. Hermès is pronounced Heir Mez.
2. Here is a fabulous site that shows several ways in which to wear a scarf.
3. Anyone of any age can wear a scarf.