La Promenade de Platon was the first Hermès scarf that I bought. It was designed by Annie Faivre for Hermès Autumn/Winter 2013 season. The season had a theme of Sport and so the scarf design shows some Ancient Greek sports in a garden setting, surrounded by leaves of different kinds – I can see olives in there. There are also plenty of horses, as you would expect from Hermès!
I came to this “scarf moment” after stepping up to higher cost scarves when I bought my first from Liberty of London. MaiTai’s site had fascinated me with her sense of style and use of Hermès scarves. So I just had to explore the Hermès site itself. I looked at the wonderful designs and colours, in awe of the quality. Then I spotted Platon and was hooked! It fitted perfectly with my love of Ancient Greece and the fact that my Masters degree was based on Red and Black Figure vase painting. I pushed the button in the Spring of 2014 and fell down the Hermès slippery slope!
My choice was colourway 17 with a bright turquoise background, purple rolled hem and accents of brick, mauve and a golden/beige.
I have put close-up photos of the details into a slideshow so that you can examine the lovely figures and patterns used by Faivre as well as the colours and shading:
The design story is as follows:
Plato loved to stroll in the gardens of Akademia. It was here, in 387 BC, that he founded his ‘Academy,’ the first of its kind in history, named after its birthplace, which was itself named for the ancient Athenian hero Akademos. Teaching at the Academy nurtured the mind and body alike. Plato wrote his Dialogues here, debating goodness, beauty, justice and truth in an elegant style worthy of the finest authors. A pupil of Socrates, the young Plato received a typical, aristocratic Athenian education, honing his skills as both an artist and gymnast. Drawing on artworks of the period, this carré evokes the annual Panhellenic games, held in honour of the gods. Here we see a horse and rider inspired by the Penthesilea Painter, famous for his beautifully decorated vases, and a javelin-thrower and horse from the canon of the vase painter and potter Euphronios. The Niobid Painter contributes his celebrated discus-thrower, the Euphiletos Painter hymns the ancient sprinters, and the Andokides Painter – an important pioneer of the Red Figure technique – honours the wrestlers. Inspired by their subjects of choice, designer Annie Faivre recreates scenes from ancient Greece, in her own inimitable style.
I find it slightly amusing that the sportsmen are shown fully clothed on the scarf, when the Ancient Greeks took part naked. Annie Faivre has given them lovely patterned clothing. Here are some Ancient Greek sports as depicted on some of their Red and Black Figure vases:
The scarf has been shown on the blog already with the collage below. I wear it with teal, navy or purple, in the main.
Here it is shown in different scarf knots. I wore the same Lands’ End cotton short sleeved top in a purple shade throughout.
From the top right, going clockwise, the knots are: crisscross, simple bias fold, half-bow, simple bias fold tie, bias fold the other way around!
Again from the top right: cowboy cowl, asymmetric wrap, cowboy, waterfall, edo, asymmetric wrap reversed. Horn scarf ring by MaiTai. You can also find instructions for these and many more knots on her website or have a look at the resources on this post from a few weeks ago: Wardrobe planning #11: Scarf tying
I would love to collect more scarves with the themes of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, but I missed the year that Greece was featured and have not seen any scarves yet that are within my price range. Someday, perhaps.
If you are interested in finding out more about Greek vase painting and the painters mentioned in the design story, here are some links:
Ancient Greek Vase Painting
Khan Academy: Greek vase-painting, an introduction
A whole course with lots of interesting resources.
A YouTube video from the Khan Aacademy about the painter’s most famous vase: