Esquire Middle East

Art by squares

The artistic excellence of an Hermès Carré is marked not only by its prints; it’s also a thoroughly versatile accessory

- By Asri Jasman

It’s not often you’d find a luxury house that’s acclaimed for more than one thing. Hermès is one of them. Its leather mastery—dating back to the brand’s equestrian roots —runs in tandem with its expertise in scarves, especially in the emblematic vibrant silk Carrés (literally meaning ‘squares’ in French) typically measuring 90cm by 90cm.

The intricacy in the designs ranges from kaleidosco­pic patterns involving myriad colours in one scarf to artistic prints that deserve to be framed up and displayed (as they tend to be at times). What makes Hermès scarves even more special is that they’re still being produced in the same manner they were in 1937—by hand and with each colour individual­ly silkscreen­ed.

What used to be limited to adorning necks as additional pops of colour to an outfit and helping to keep warm has evolved over the years, with its use grown to be more innovative through the decades.

Hermès has devised ways if incorporat­ing scarves into one’s everyday lifestyle. For one, there’s the now-classic wrapping of a silk Twilly onto the handle of a bag for a nifty way of personaliz­ing without permanentl­y changing its appearance.

The right Hermès scarf

(or a few) can be transforme­d into a functional accessory.

A backpack for instance, made from strategica­lly knotting up a couple of scarves, exemplifie­s how versatile one can be with just a bit of imaginatio­n. Sure, we wouldn’t recommend packing said backpack with a heavy load but it’ll be functional enough as a ‘bag’ that one wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

Even as a neck accessory, the number of ways to wear and tie one appears limitless. And if all else fails, just using it as is—stuff one end into a pocket while letting the rest flow freely in the wind—honours the artistic hands that were part of its making. Because when a piece is quite literally a work of art, anything goes.

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