Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How to Choose an Hermes Scarf: Post-Valentine's Day Gift Edition

One lucky reader was given an Hermes scarf for Valentine's Day! But the scarf is just a place-holder; she gets to choose the REAL scarf herself. I think we can all agree that the giver of this scarf is a beloved well worth holding onto, eh?

I was delighted that she contacted me for help with her enviable dilemma; my first advice was that she immerse herself in the Hermes site and narrow her choices down to six scarves. I then promised that I would give some thought to helping her with making the final choice.

This time, my approach is to treat the scarf very much like the "silk jewelry" that I've always believed them to be. For each of the six scarves in the "finalists" group, I've assembled a handful of other pieces of jewelry that feel compatible with the scarf - pieces that echo some aspect of the scarf, in my mind.

In making the choice, my idea is that you could look at the entire ensemble of 6 items, and see which of them felt most "at home" for you. Maybe there are items there which resemble things you already own, or something that's always been on your dream list. I'm NOT suggesting that you go out and buy five pieces of jewelry to go with your scarf - far from it! I'm just positing that each scarf has a certain aesthetic quality that can also be seen in other items, and that you might more easily see that distinctive quality if you see it across a handful of objects. Make sense?

So, without further ado, I give you the six finalists!


De la Mer au Ciel, Zebra Pegasus, Guepards,
Le Voyage de Pytheas,  Mythe et Metamorphoses, Le Maison de Carres - Hermes

De la Mer au Ciel drew my attention to the fluidity of the waves, and the unifying golden beige that runs through the scarf:



Earrings – Saloukee, scarf – De la Mer au Ciel - Hermes, , bracelet – Giles and Brother
necklace – Alexis Bittar, watchSaks Fifth Avenue, dripping gold brooch – Jung ee eun, 
sold out, similar here


In Zebra Pegasus, I was drawn to the idea that the lover of this scarf would love clear, geometric, graphic shapes:

Earrings – Maya MagalZebra Pegasus scarf – Hermes, bracelet – Saint Laurent
necklace – Need Supply Co., watch – Timex, brooch – St. John


To me, Guepards most defining aspect was the finely detailed images in black, white and shades of grey, gently touched with the cloud of rosy pink:

                           Guepards scarf – Hermes, earrings – Sarah Kosta, pearl bracelet – Majorica
necklace – Monique Pean, watch – Bulova, brooch – Wayan Asmana


Le Voyage de Pytheas is another scarf that seems to show finely wrought details, this time expressed in warmer tones:

Earrings – Militza OrtizLe Voyage de Pytheas scarf – Hermes, bracelet – Adriana Orsini
necklace – Lydell NYC, watch – Armitron, brooch – Gianni Versace

Ahh, blue and green...


Earrings – Sarah KostaMythe et Metamorphoses scarf – Hermes, bracelet – Nest
necklace – Nest, watch – Givenchy, brooch – St. John Collection


And the last scarf seemed like it would be happy with sharp geometrics, and a lot of very modern black:

Earrings – Iker OrtizLe Maison de Carres scarf – Hermes, leather bracelet – Bottega Veneta
necklaceIker Ortiz, watch – Movado, brooch – Georg Jensen

So, which would you choose?
love,
Janice

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

39 comments:

  1. They are all beautiful, but Guepards would be the one I would love that most.

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  2. Each one is beautiful...and now I really want those gold rock studs!

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  3. La Masion de Carres. Simply beautiful!

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  4. De la mer au ciel... Such nice colors! And I really like your interpretation of it! - Julie

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  5. I would add that one's preferences can change once the scarf is tied around the neck. One should slways be prepared for a coup de coeur. That said, I'd choose number one or number four.

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  6. What I find interesting is how very different each of the six scarves is, and that one individual chose all six of them. I think this plays into the idea that we can find beauty in the various different style aesthetics, even when a particular one isn't representative of our own individual style. Just more food for thought when refining one's closet and building a cohesive wardrobe... asking ourselves if we like an item simply for its beauty alone or because it is an extension of who we are as a person.

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    1. I was struck by this, too. These six scarves, all beautiful, could not be more different!

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  7. What an interesting experiment! When I started reading your post, I thought I didn't like the idea...I'm all about the colors. However, I only liked one of the scarves...and only one set of the jewelry...and they were matched. So apparently, you are still as brilliant as ever. I'm sorry I doubted you!

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    1. What's really interesting to me is to remember that if someone else built the "family of accessories" for one of these scarves, it could easily be completely different from my ideas. Our individual views and preferences are why life is so interesting!

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  8. Something that struck me when I looked at the six finalists. A few of them had a very strong emotional reaction from me. Zebra Pegasus (#2) made me smile. The woman who wears that scarf is fun and is not afraid to express her love of whimsy. De la Mer au Ciel (#1) I was drawn to immediately, but it reminded me of a video game my sons played. So, I would always associated that scarf with them and that game; maybe that's a good thing, maybe not. Le Voyage de Pytheas (#4) reminds me so much of the maps my father had hanging in his study. So, I responded to that one with fond memories of my dad. Interesting that I would respond to scarves so strongly.

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    1. That ability to evoke memories and elicit emotions is one of the reasons that I so love Hermes scarves. The designs are the product of an extensive process that seems to produce scarves that are more than the sum of their parts. I have some scarves I seldom wear, but that I love for no good reason except an emotional connection that defies reason. What a delight it must be for the designers to be able to create such impact with a piece of silk.

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    2. Janice, I totally agree with your thoughts here. You have articulated the appeal of Hermes better than I could have. The knowledge of history, anthropology, technology, nature - all these are reflected in the scarves.

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  9. I would choose guepards although all of the scarves are lovely. The rosy softness and the strength and agility of the leopards are an interesting juxtaposition.

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  10. De La Mer au ciel is my choice, hands down! And the jewelry you have selected is perfect. I hope the lucky lady will let you know and us which one she selects.

    Deb from Vancouver

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  11. How lovely! And you did a great job with the jewelry. I would choose the guepards, as it would most fit in with my wardrobe and appeals to me most. I have one Hermes scarf that doesn't go with anything I own, rather nautical, in navy, red and gold. It's beautiful. Do you know of any place where people swap Hermes?? would love to trade it for one with softer colors.

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    1. There used to be an Hermes Collectors group on Yahoo - I'll see if I can find them! Or check on the Purse Forum - I know some of the collectors hang out there. They do swap scarves, so you might have some luck!

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    2. I can do that! Deborah - do you have photographs you can send me?

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    3. Have you worn it? If not, there should be a little card that lets you exchange it. I was given a beutiful Hermes scarf in colours that should have been right for me but that I didn't feel comfortable with (they felt too strong to me), and I was able to take it back and exchange it.

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    4. The Hermès collectors' group is AllThingsHermesInternational@yahoogroups.com

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  12. Such a wonderful gift for her and your evaluation and jewelry choices are sublime! I would choose the first one because it would look so good tied in many ways. However, I wonder what her personal coloring is and what the colors are of the majority of items in her wardrobe--there seems to be such a variety. All the scarves are gorgeous and I am sure she will love her selection! Kirsten

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  13. These are all so different and each have an energy that you have so artfully accessorized...bravo!
    I would choose the Guepards. It has a soft hue that would work with my wardrobe and I recently bought a new shade of pink lipstick Which would look good with it too....make up as an accessory who would have considered that?

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  14. I like the House of Scarves--a meta-scarf! Love meta in all things.

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  15. I liked La Masion de Carres! I tried to find the bracelet, but don't think its available on the uk site. BV does have some similar, but under the men's section. I've had this before with simple modern jewellery being marketed as 'for men'; no idea where these gender distinctions come from!
    Alice

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  16. Janice, my daughter doesn't want me to sell it! She'd like to have it :) It actually will look very nice in her wardrobe.
    Thanks so much for offering your help. I'll just have to buy one for myself someday. I like" le jardin de leila." Someday.
    Thanks again, xo Deborah

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  17. Ooo - I like Le Voyage de Pytheas. The scarf was my favorite out of the six and the jewelry was too. Can you build a wardrobe around that??? : )

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  18. I particularly liked this post. When I looked at the scarves alone, I was drawn to the first one, but after seeing your pairings I realized the fifth one fit my wardrobe much better. An interesting concept.

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  19. Love all your pairings of the scarves and accessories. They are all so different, but all so beautiful. Loved Guepard & accessories, but La Maison des Carres is more suitable for my colouring and wardrobe.

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  20. Love all your pairings of the scarves and accessories. They are all so different, but all so beautiful. Loved Guepard & accessories, but La Maison des Carres is more suitable for my colouring and wardrobe.

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  21. I've posted the advice of a close friend who worked at Hermès for years, here:
    http://passagedesperles.blogspot.ca/2012/02/choosing-carre-advice-from-vicky.html

    She makes some additional useful points/

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  22. I agree with few of the comments here, amazing that all six are chosen by one single person! They are all so different, both in color and style, but that of course made your work here extremely interesting! Little details often tell a lot, and the 6 different collections pinpoint the energy, shapes and sizes, you can see the differences in style in a very distinct way ! Maybe you could do some more posts like this in the future?. At least, I would love that! And speaking about love, I would pick the last one, Le maison de carres, or all the accessories to no 2, but not that scarf! Funny...

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  23. What an amazing eye you have, Janice! The pairing of jewelry with scarves is so beautifully done.
    I am the reader who asked earlier about a post or posts regarding dressing on a small budget. Is this something you are interested in addressing, or do you feel this is outside the scope of your blog?

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  24. I almost passed by this post, as Hermes scarves are too formal for my rural lifestyle. But your artist's eye for accessories with a collective aesthetic is incredible. Please - more "compare and contrast". I will think of myself as a "Mondrian" for the rest of my life, thanks to you!

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  25. Hi Janice -I only recently stumbled across your site and I'm so enjoying your posts. I was wondering how you liked to wear your square scarfs?
    thank you for sharing your artist's eye :-)

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    1. Usually folded on the bias and tied like a man's tie, or bias folded and wrapped twice around my neck with a teeny square knot in the front. Sometimes I just grab two diagonally opposite corners and hang it around my neck and loop it over once. I'm pretty mellow about wearing them - it's not like I'm building the Eiffel Tower from origami! Just toss and go is much easier.

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    2. Thank you - I have several long rectangle scarves which I tend to wear in a double loop, but now I want to go out and try some square ones!

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