Of course, Hermès is the ultimate. The orange boxes are iconic, and I don't think I'm going too far to suggest Hermès silk scarves embody timeless French beauty. Well, alongside a Chanel 2.55 bag, perhaps.
They're so versatile too - not only are there seemingly infinite ways in which you can wear a silk scarf round your neck, but you can also tie one to a handbag or wear in your hair. Totally channelling Audrey Hepburn.
But what could be even better than an Hermès silk scarf tied round your neck and blowing in the wind? Why, a vintage Hermès silk scarf tied round your neck and blowing in the wind, of course. And would you believe that as of December 25th 2012 I am fortunate enough to be a lucky owner of my very own. *pinches self*
I absolutely adore my scarf, and it is the sort of thing I'll wear for the rest of my life, and then pass on to my daughter (presuming I have one, that is. How tragic it will be if I only have a son. Poor boy.)
It's exquisitely made and is beautifully silky. As you'd expect from fine silk really. The design is so adorable too: it's covered in lots of intricate and pretty old perfume bottles. If you look closely, you'll find the word 'Hermès' here and there, but it's not overly in your face - no-one wants to be a designer-label-show-off, do they? Subtle is the way to go in my books.
Adding yet more charm as far as I'm concerned is the little bit of French writing. On one side it reads: "Qu'importe le flacon..." and then on the other: "Pourvu qu'on ait l'ivresse..." Now the French student in me particularly loves this as there's a subjunctive structure in there. Ooh yeah, love me a bit of French grammar.
This is actually a quote by a very wise French poet called Alfred de Musset, and translates literally as: "The bottle doesn't matter... As long as you get drunk." What? I hear you thinking. That sounds a bit crude for Hermès!
Well, I interpret it to mean something far nicer. I think de Musset is saying that what's important is that we're happy, not how we get there. It's not the method, but the result. It could also mean "Don't judge a book (or people) by its cover... It's what's inside that counts." The line makes more sense in the context of his poem:
Aimer est le grand point, qu'importe la maîtresse ?
Qu'importe le flacon, pourvu qu'on ait l'ivresse ?
The first line means "Loving is what's important, whoever the women is". So the second line from my scarf is really just proving his point by creating another metaphor. De Musset really means that love is what matters. Aww. Isn't that nice?
After thinking about all this and working it out, I actually love my scarf even more - I hadn't even thought that was possible. My scarf is wise. It gives advice. Just like the Kate Spade bangles Father Christmas also so kindly gave me. Clearly, he was trying to educate me this year.
So if you're reading this thinking I WANT A VINTAGE HERMÈS SILK SCARF! (and quite frankly I wouldn't blame you if you are), fortunately for you, Father Christmas told my mother where he got my scarf, she told me and now I can tell you. It's from a shop called Rennies Seaside Modern which is based in Kent, but also has a website which features lots of lovely scarves. I think vintage ones are cheaper than new too. You can place an online order and have your very own scarf teaching you French wisdom and adding elegance to your daily life in no time. Voilà!