There are 50-plus species on the “Into the Canadian Wild” Hermès scarf, but the ones that capture my imagination are the surreal spirit bear from British Columbia’s temperate rainforest, the magical Arctic-dwelling narwhal and, most especially, the mysterious snowy owl that dominates the upper left corner. It’s the official bird of Quebec, but it’s the myths associated with this creature that have intrigued me since I was girl. Because owls live in a world of shadows, many cultures consider them to be perceptive, wise and fierce navigators of the unknown (a rather auspicious metaphor for the times in which we live). For artist Alice Shirley, who was commissioned to create the special scarf, the image of the bird in flight was a lovely motif. “I think the snowy owl is also a point of affection for people because Harry Potter had one,” she adds, with a coy laugh. Shirley’s affection for the owl—and all animals—informs the art she creates. “I’ve always been a big nature lover,” explains the 32-year-old artist who calls London, England, her home. “It’s an endless well of inspiration, and the protection of it is vital to human life.”
TO CELEBRATE OUR COUNTRY’S SESQUICENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY, THIS UNIQUE VERSION OF HERMèS’S “INTO THE CANADIAN WILD” SCARF ($480 ) WILL BE RELEASED IN CANADA THIS JUNE, IN SUPPORT OF EVERGREEN CANADA.