Thursday, April 16, 2015

How to Choose a Green Hermes Scarf!

The email asked me to help choose from among a handful of Hermes scarves, being purchased for a landmark birthday, and to serve as a focal point for personal style and image. But the most fun part? In a very monochromatic (black, dark denim, white, eggshell, pale silver, linen white) wardrobe, she is looking to this illustration for accent colors:

From Journey, by Aaron Becker, available here

This absolutely charming and intelligent book has no text, so it's appropriate for any child (and a lot of adults!) anywhere in the world... What a brilliant inspiration!

The scarves in her narrowed-down shopping were these:

Five green Hermes scarves from Spring/Summer 2015
Bolduc, Mythes et Metamorphoses, Perspective Cavaliere, Minuit au Faubourg, Les Faceties de Pegase

I was thinking about looking at shoes, to try to isolate the defining DNA of each scarf.

Dear, oh, dear....

There are a lot of ugly shoes in our world, aren't there?

So I'm back to my favorite, looking at jewelry and other accessories, mostly on the very excellent Bottica site. Lots of small and emerging artisans/artists there, with a world full of beautiful goods. If you're in the mood for a new accessory that you won't see coming and going on every street corner, this is the place to look! It's especially nice if you're trying to avoid visible logos, and if you feel strongly about supporting smaller businesses.

(Yes, they pay me a commission if someone buys something. I'm very grateful!)

My thinking is this - if you look at an entire grouping of items, based on a scarf, and you LOVE them all, then it's a pretty safe assumption that the scarf would appeal to you. Conversely, if a number of my choices rub you the wrong way, or just don't appeal, then maybe you need to reconsider the scarf. Or think about what YOU would choose to be in the scarf's "family", in the place of my choices. My selections are NOT rules for style, but you already know that.

Starting with the first scarf, I was taking with the strong angularity of the scarf - this is a good one for those of us who love graph paper, spreadsheets, and square corners! Plus the greens are a wee bit cool, lending itself to work with the greener shades of turquoise...

Hermes Bolduc silk scarf in green, with some complementary accessories
Square druzy studsMaya Magal, gold square cuff – Alicia Marilyn Designs, gold and turquoise 
ribbon bracelet – John and Pearl, gold and crystal ring – Sarah Kosta, gold stud earrings – Karolina 
Bik Jewelry, black bag – Emili

I love this scarf; I'm drawn the the silvery shadows, the cool hidden nooks and cranny of the image, and the overwhelmingly or, leafy and primitive feeling it gives me. So it was only logical that I would look for leaves, flowers, and animals! 

Even though a scarf and a necklace might seem to conflict, I'm including some necklaces in these "families" because you might NOT wear your scarf EVERY day... and you can wear a scarf and a necklace together; maybe your scarf is tied to your bag?

Hermes Mythes et Metamorphoses silk scarf in green, with complementary accessories
Silver leaf earrings – Caia, unicorn bracelet – 21dgrs, smoky quartz necklace – Sarah Kosta
crystal quartz ring – Sarah Kosta, amazonite rose earrings – toosis, bag – Daphny Raes

Two things really jump out at me from this scarf - the angular nature of the image, and the really strong moss green, which is an unusual pairing with the other shades of blue and green. The woman who embraces and really wears this scarf to its best advantage is going to be someone who loves all shades of green, and who loves a good geometric!

I'm particularly taken with the idea of these raw crystal cube earrings, and I note that they are available in lavender, pink, white, champagne, raw silver... sigh...

Hermes Perspective Cavaliere silk scarf in green, with complementary accessories
Cube earrings – Caterina Zangrando, leather bracelet – Giulia Boccafogli, triangle necklace – Liz 
Law, gold ring – Linnie Mclarty, raw crystal earrings – Noémiah,  olive green clutch – Georgina Skalidi

This scarf requires whimsy - an ability to laugh at the world, and to enjoy the playfulness of life. And it doesn't hurt if you can warmly embrace this strong golden yellow!

Speaking of sense of humor, this silver bracelet (and a lot of Emily Alice's work) makes me so happy - it's the graphic representation of a molecule of caffeine! She also makes jewelry with the molecule for estrogen - a great gift for a woman of a certain age. Talk about an inside joke...

Hermes Minuit au Faubourg silk scarf in green with complementary acessories
Silk bead earrings – Dorus Mhor, Caffeine bracelet – Emily Alice, citrine pendant – Sarah Kosta,
 reminder rubber ring – Caipora Jewellery, black leather earrings – Giulia Boccafogli, yellow 
clutch – Sabrina Zeng

This is another scarf with strong angular elements, but also a real softness and silvery tone in the colors. If someone chose this scarf, it would open up a world of blue tones to be added to their wardrobe! And a lot of soft brushed silver...

Hermes silk scarf Les Faceties de Pegase in green, with complementary accessories
Chrysoprase stud earrings – Ippolita, silver square bracelet – Article22, cluster necklace –
Katie Lees Jewellery, silver ring – Niza Huang, angled hoop earrings – V by Valkeniers,  grey tote – 

So which scarf would you choose? I think I'd choose the first one... I think...


Looking Back:

2012: April in Paris.... a guest post at A Femme d'un Certain Age

Alexis Bittar


  1. I was hoping the illustration was an Hermes scarf. Alas, no. I will have to hunt up that book!

  2. I'd go with the first one, mainly because of the classic pattern. But you have come up with some terrific inspiration. And, of course, I have often changed my mind about a certain scarf once it has been folded.

  3. The second one, Myths et Metamorphoses, is gorgeous, and the smoky silver shades provide great counterpoint. Love the unicorn bangle!

  4. I'm betting she'll fall in love with a completely different scarf at the store.

  5. In the picture of just scarves, I was immediately drawn to the first one. It looks like an enlarges boucle or tweed pattern to me. But paired with the accessories, I would take the 2nd one in a heartbeat.

    ps: I, too, thought the illustration was going to be the scarf at first!

    1. that should be "enlarged" boucle or tweed. Eeks! I need an edit button!!

  6. Since I was introduced to your blog, I have been pulling out and rediscovering my scarves. Thank you :)
    Another lovely children's book that you might enjoy is Flotsam. So well done and like the book you showcased today, has no written text.

  7. I would choose scarf 2 for its cool leafiness. I just realized that I have some earrings that green quartz colour at home!

  8. The last scarf would be my choice. To me it looks like a graphical representation of leaves -- geometry and nature!! I think I would pull out more of the blues and green with the accessories, given the Lucky Lady's neutral wardrobe. BTW, during certain seasons (of the year or of life), layering becomes an important concept. I've worn a tee, cardigan, necklace and scarf. During the day, as the temperature waxes and wanes, you can remove and add those layers to your comfort, but you always look pulled together. (The scarf hides the necklace, but if it becomes hot, remove the cardigan and scarf, and you're still stylish with the tee and necklace. It looks intentional rather than hot flashy.)

  9. I recognized the illustration from 'Journey' immediately. I bought the book for my 2-year-old grandson last Christmas. I love the fact that there are no words, and we make up the story as we go along. He's pretty good at making up his own story now. I, too, was hoping it was a scarf. Now there's an idea for the author! As for the scarves, it's a tie between the second one and the fifth one. I definitely like the blue tones better than yellow.

  10. Consider asking permission to print the lovely illustration onto some nice scarf fabric. Etsy and Spoonflower provide numerous examples.

  11. Decisions, decisions I just can't make up my mind. Love all of them for different times and occasions. I also love certain accessories from each selection. What to do? Thank you for coming up from all the beautiful and varied options. As to shoes, there are some ugly, cheaply made goods out there. Hope you find enough to tantalize us with some beauties too.

  12. gorgeous! 2nd one is my favorite. Pairing with accessories really helps.

  13. What I find most interesting about this post is how it affected my thinking. I loved the illustration but, frankly, found all the scarves not to my taste. However, as I scrolled through your interpretations and jewelry selections, I began to see the beauty in them.

    Deb from Vancouver

  14. I think the last one would be more me, but I really love what you did with the second scarf!

    I have, however, an incredibly strong visceral reaction against the fourth scarf. Some Parisians compare the Eiffel Tower's searchlight to that coming from a watchtower, and the H projected from it bears an unfortunate graphical relation to an insignia of sinister memory. This may be a very idiosyncratic reaction, and it's not meant to spoil anyone's fun, but the association is so strong that I wanted to mention it--if anyone else has it, it may be worth considering before acquiring a scarf that would incite such reaction in others!

  15. Perspective Cavaliere is the one I would choose. I love its edginess, especially with the accessories you've paired with it. That olive green clutch? *swoon* And I fear I will not get any work done today as I am lost in the Bottica site. Thanks for sharing and for all you do!!

  16. I didn't see Pegasus in the last scarf until I saw the name of the scarf. There really is a flying horse in there! Thanks for sharing your delightful visions with us. You help me see that I am improving in terms of wardrobe choices.

  17. It is so funny, but I was sort of hoping the first picture was an Hermes scarf! There are some very hideous shoes these days. None of these scarves are my style, but your styling is top notch as always!!

  18. I love these scarves! I think the second one is my personal favorite. What a great inspiration point, you really did it justice, Janice! Thank you for featuring my caffeine bracelet...and for recognizing the element of fun ;)

  19. As always with Hermes, it's so hard to choose. I'm tied between the second and the fifth - both beautiful, versatile, timeless. Love the styling. And love that caffeine bracelet!

  20. I love the second one with the silver leaves earrings and the wild cat bracelet.

  21. Janice, I thought of you when I saw these cool book scarves:

  22. Ooh, this was mine! So excited to see it here, I didn't get to comment earlier but it made my morning to see it up.

    It's great to get a discerning expert to give her take. I was originally leaning 1 or 3. But now that I've seen the groupings, I feel more 2 and 5 - and the attraction of the silvery-greys are a surprise too, I really love strong color. The note from Lynn about 4 was interesting, I didn't make that connection at all; and since the design was approved for production, Hermes neither?

    Why I choose these, briefly: 1 reminds me of sewing (seamstresses in the family) and textile design (my graduate study); 2 is about nature and archetypal mythology to me; 3 has a moderne/geometric look with warm and cool greens- unique; 4 is hilarious & I love hidden witty accessories; 5 has a lot of space and a calm feeling to me, despite all the angles. It is true that a lot will depend on how they look up close and how they fold. Some of that great jewelry is going on my wishlist as well. Might go with Acetylcholine on the bracelet though.

    I'll try to report back in July, once the choice is made. Thanks again! Anne

  23. I'm really only finding myself drawn to the second one. The fifth would be my next favorite

  24. They are all lovely. I particularly like the fourth scarf: I will out myself as a geek-girl, because it reminds me of the night lights over Gotham City, when commissioner Gordon turns on his beacon to call Batman! Except here, they're calling for Hermès to save the day!

    My absolute favourite though is the 'Facets of Pegasus', the last scarf. It's one of those not quite abstract pieces, that you have to look hard to see the winged horse... Reminds me of the sea, the sky, sea foam.

  25. oekmama, I am entirely with you on the 4th scarf. That said, I cannot decide whether I would like the fourth or the fifth scarf more. And the accessories don't help either, because I both adore silver jewelry and the color yellow.

  26. I loved the book cover and hoped that that was a choice! I choose the second scarf, hands down!