If you love horses, you will undoubtedly love the Panache & Fantaisie carre, which was designed by the talented Hugo Grygkar and issued for the first time in 1958/1959.
Hugo Grygkar not only designed the very first carré for Hermès, but he also became Hermès’ most prolific artist. You can read more about the life of this artist and his profound influence on the Hermes carre on my blog by following this link.
Like so many of the early carres, the Panache & Fantaisie showcases horses, a favorite theme, that reflects the Parisian Fashion House’s origins as a harness and saddle maker.
This beautifully detailed composition of show horses with various plumes is worthy of framing.
Without further ado, enjoy close ups of this iconic and highly sought after carre…
Les CHEVAUX D’APRES VAN DER MEULEN Hermes Silk Scarf
This carre was originally designed by Hugo Grygkar in 1951, and re-issued some fifty years later.
Hugo Grygkar designed the very first Hermes carre. This talented artist was highly instrumental along with Robert Dumas in creating the Hermes carre as we know it today. You can read more about him here.
As the name suggests, this carre was inspired by horse paintings of the seventeenth century Flemish painter Adam Frans van der Meulen.
The Horses of Adam Frans van der Meulen – battle (courtesy The Equinest)
Van der Meulen captured many battle scenes on canvas and was influential in developing military painting in France, where he lived and his career flourished.
He was especially famous for his accurate depictions of horses in various battle scenes. Van der Meulen developed several studies of horses, that he and his apprentices used as references and models for numerous paintings.
In his d’Apres van der Meulen carre, Hugo Grygkar skilfully captures twenty-nine horses in various poses and activities…his very own “study” I suppose.
Not only can you frame Grygkar’s study, but even better, you can take it wherever you go, you can wear and enjoy it all year long.
Les Chevaux D’Après Van Der Meulen Hermes silk scarf shown with HERMES GUILLOCHE PINCE A BILLETS RARE FRENCH STERLING MONEY CLIP/SCARF RING
LE BOIS DE BOULOGNE HERMES SCARF BY HUGO GRYGKAR 90 CM SILK TWILL – EARLY ISSUE
Les Bois de Boulogne Hermes silk twill scarf (100% silk) - Early Issue
Designed by Hugo Grygkar in 1957
Excellent Vintage Condition - please see details below*
Measures 36" x 36"
Unsigned - this artist did not sign any of his designs
Hand Rolled Hem - flat, puckering with stitching showing
Made in France
*two areas of distressed silk, a couple of faint spots, a small spot, possible very light grey color transfer of coaches that looks like it is part of the design. Also note condition of hem
We are featuring four scarves, that will take you from America to Paris, from Madrid, Spain to the Orient…
The Plaza de TorosHermès Silk Scarf was designed by Hubert de Watrigant and first issued in 1993. This highly sought after carré features colorful Spanish bull fighters at Madrid’s premier bullfighting ring, Plaza de Toros.
Plaza de Toros HERMES 90 cm
Early America Hermès Silk Scarf was designed by Francoise de la Perriere and first issued in 1979.
Lady and General George Washington are at the center and are surrounded by various images in the American folk art style. Gorgeous colors and so perfect for the upcoming season.
Early America HERMES 90 cm Silk Scarf
Now back to Europe, where Le Bois De Boulogne by Hugo Grygkar (first issued in 1957) celebrates the famous park just west of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Home lakes and parks, it is also famous for hosting various venues among them the horse racing at the Auteuil Hippodrome and the French Open.
Le Bois de Boulogne HERMES Vintage Scarf
And finally our selection takes us to the Orient, where Zoè Pauwels‘ artistry comes alive in her highly sought after Pierres d’Orient et d’Occidentcarre. Hermès first issued this scarf in 1988 and due to its overwhelming popularity numerous times since.
Pierres d’Orient et d’Occident 90 cm Silk Scarf Red
Like what is the best way to care for and store my scarves?
What shall I do if the hem on my favorite scarf needs repair?
or more Inspiration behind the Scarf articles
You get the idea.
But before I tackle any of these, I wanted to share with you just how some of these scarves have impacted the lives of individuals, many times two or three generations later.
Le Bois de Boulogne HERMES Green
My love of these scarves started with a Bois de Boulogne in kelly green from the original issue, that I came across by pure chance. Prior to that, I did not have any interest in Hermes – NONE. To me this brand was simply too traditional, not avant garde or “hip” enough. Mind you, I was a huge fan of French designers such as Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana and let’s not forget, Azzedine Alaia, the King of Cling and a friend of Leila Menchari, who introduced her to the Parisian fashion world.
This all in the 1980s, when my brief brush with modeling and haute couture made me a firm believer, that a waist couldn’t ever be too small or shoulder pads too big. I had absolutely NO need or desire for understated anything.
I am almost tempted to include a photo from those days, but alas I talked myself right out of that…
So, back to how a little ole scarf with swans would catch my eye and make me fall in love! This “love at first sight” is still going strong, perhaps even stronger. I have a business and a blog dedicated to the Hermes carre, and over the years I have even learned to appreciate understated elegance – who would have thought???
But enough about me…
I get numerous emails, from women mostly, telling me how they inherited a scarf from their mother, grandmother or an aunt. How a lover had given this scarf as a gift, how a husband brought one back from a Paris business trip, how this was the first one that started a lifelong passion, or how a Les Poulains ended up in a horse stall in England possibly used to wipe one’s brow after a ride in the countryside…(fortunately, that scarf I am happy to report, has been “saved” and now lives happily ever after in a nice drawer somewhere)
Earlier today, I received just such an email:
This is my mother’s 1947 Ecuries scarf in the photo in the attached email.
When I inherited it, it was severely deteriorated around the beautiful rolled hem edges.
My seamstress backed the scarf with silk & in doing that unwittingly covered the front of the scarf instead of the back—so now the trademark is reversed & in mirror writing. The beautiful hand rolled & sewn edges were lost in the conservation effort but at least the beautiful horses are now in a stable state (no pun intended) and the piece is no longer literally in shreds at the borders. This scarf is very precious to me in addition to being one of my earliest childhood memories. I just wish it had been stored flat, not folded up in a drawer from 1947 until 2014. It was a gift to my mother from a dear family friend who visited Paris in the late forties. He loved Paris and had an eye for beautiful & “top drawer” things.
I thought you might like to see it.
First Issue Ecuries HERMES by Hugo Grygkar from 1947. It has been repaired in an attempt to preserve it
Got goosebumps reading this email.
I am amazed over and over again, how these scarves have affected lives, many times quietly in small and unassuming ways and yet they have stirred something in us, that lasts, sometimes a lifetime…or two
I am always interested in seeing how the Maison Hermes reinvents some of the Classics and this season there are several old timers that have received a new and perhaps more up to date look: Les Cles, Eperon d’Or, Brides de Gala and Ex Libris, are all iconic Hermes carres and have been for decades.
Les Cles Hermes 36″ x 36″ silk scarf – original design by Caty Latham was first issued in 1965
Vintage Hermes Eperon d’Or Silk Scarf
This Vintage Hermes Eperon d’Or Silk Scarf was designed by Henri d’Origny and first issued in 1974
Ex Libris, another Hugo Grygkar creation was first issued in 1946. This great carre has long been loved by many and due to its popularity re-issued numerous times. This season Hermes offers a 22″ x 22″ bandana, the Ex-Libris Vichy Arashi, a 36” x 36″ carre dyed with natural indigo pigments in Bangladesh.
Whether you prefer the original vintage carres of yesterday or love the latest naturally dyed recreations, you have chosen the one and only silk scarf ever produced that is both timeless, classy and an icon of exquisite taste anywhere and anytime.
So no matter what color or size, an Hermes scarf is always the perfect accessory!
Écuries, Stables, has, as the name suggests, a very equestrian themes, so popular with many vintage Hermès carrés. As the name promises, we see horses, all twenty of them, in their respective stables.
Hugo Grygkar, The Father of the Carre, as I like to call him, designed this fabulous scarf in 1947, which was reissued in 1993 and both issues are quite sought after by both Hermès aficionados and collectors alike.
Hard to imagine, that a child’s toy from the turn of the century (yes, we are talking the early 1900s 🙂 here) would be forever immortalized in one of the most prized carrés.
But then again, maybe it was Hugo Grygkar’s spirit of creativity and boundless innovation, that allowed him to take an ordinary object and transform it into a wearable piece of art sought and coveted by many the world over.
As always, merci Monsieur Grygkar..
A child’s toy from 1905-1910 made of real horse skin, wood and such, now part of the Émile Hermès collection (source: Mito e Belleza)
The carrée La Réale – Vue du Carrosse de la Galère, or simply La Réale as Hermès refers to it, was designed it by Hugo Grygkar and first issued in 1953. Its inspiration came from one of the model ships that was part of a collection of the Musée National de la Marine in Paris.
The model was built between 1830 and 1837 and is a stunning and one of the last examples of a galley, the most magnificent ships of Louis XIV naval fleets. The beautiful ‘La Réale‘ was referred to as galère extraordinaire and was the flagship of Louis XIV’s fleet. It was built at the Marseilles shipyards under the watchful eye Jean-Baptiste Chabert between 1692 and 1694. La Réale could reach, at full capacity, the remarkable 🙂 speed of eight kilometers per hour and was distinguished not only for its size but also for the splendid decorative motifs dedicated to the glory of the Sun King and France. Apollo, Neptune, mermen in large numbers as golden figures all adorned the La Réale.
From the middle of the seventeenth century, however, this type of ship began to lose much of its importance as a combat ship because it was too heavy, too slow, too low and easy to capsize. By the end of the seventeenth century, the French fleet included forty galleys, more or less three thousand officers and sailors, twelve thousand rowers, all almost exclusively slaves and convicts.
But the stunning LaRéale lives on through this fabulous carre.