The savoir faire that goes into the making of Hermes’ distinctive silk carres dates back to 1937. This year, to literally add a new and different side to them, the maison’s artisans had to unlearn it all. Here, a close-up look at the brand’s double-faced scarf.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
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The details of its production process are shrouded in secrecy. What we do know of Hermes’ Double Face scarves – launched as part of the brand’s S/S ’20 collection – is that it’s a concept that’s taken 10 years to perfect. Much has been written about the artisanal wizardry that goes into the making of the maison’s iconic, traditionally single-sided silk carres – craftsmanship that’s been practised and passed on since the category was introduced at the house in 1937. Dyes, for example, are applied one by one starting with the lightest shade and ending with the darkest; the whole procedure carefully controlled by hand to ensure not only accuracy, but also that the colours seep through the silk. Now, to have the scarves printed on both sides without changing their delicate texture and density would call for such know-how to be unlearnt, so to speak. The dyes should not penetrate, but simply touch and stay on one side of the fabric. 

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Available in the brand’s 90X90cm model, what results are scarves with different interpretations of the same design on each side. The Wow Double Face scarf on the previous two pages, for example, features a comic strip about the fearless Hermes woman by illustrator Ugo Bienvenu in French and full colour on one side, and English and monochrome on the other. On these two pages: The two sides of the same scarf christened Della Cavalleria Favolosa featuring a menagerie of fantastical creatures inspired by a 17th-century equestrian treatise kept in the Musee Emile Hermes (the museum of curiosities located at the brand’s Faubourg Saint-Honore flagship in Paris). Note the emblem in the middle of the print on either side – nope, it’s not a mirror image of the other. 

Text & Coordination Noelle Loh