When I first saw the designs for the Hermès Spring/Summer 2019 season back in the Autumn, I was in awe. There were so many gorgeous scarves in all formats. But one immediately stood out, and it was this, designed by Octave Marsal and Théo de Gueltzl – A L’Ombre des Pivoines (In the Shadow of Peonies) – in this particular colourway – #14 bleu glacier, rose, blanc.
It was the background colour that first attracted me to this scarf – bleu glacier in French. The official image (shown above) does not capture the shade accurately but my photos below are much closer. It is a cool blue, with an aqua and grey cast. Totally beautiful, in my opinion! Huge peonies in navy, pink, grey and olive rise up on arching stalks; their petals are finely drawn, as if with pens, then delicately coloured and shaded. Behind them is a fantasy City with complex buildings – arches, domes, stairways and columns – like an architectural drawing in navy blue. There are also hills, mountains and the sea complete with a sailing ship in the distance. Turn the scarf around 180° and another city appears, orientated from this direction. The columns in the centre are the fulcrum of the design with a landscape and seascape surrounding them. The fine work is stunning and magical and the alternative colourways emphasise different qualities. The design goes right up to the edge of the scarf and some of the colourways have a contrast hem.
I chose my colourway for the background colour and also the use of navy and grey, which I knew would work well with my wardrobe. I was lucky enough to be able to purchase my scarf in December and my reveal post tells that story, if you are interested.
These are the colourways for the Spring/Summer 2019 silk twill 90cm:
Giant peonies, fragile though powerful, rise from a proliferation of architectural forms in this poetic play on scale. Their extraordinary corollas bloom over an imaginary city. A city filled with details of beautiful palaces and vast residences, sanctuaries for luxuriant vegetation. Octave Marsal and Theo de Gueltzl bring their worlds, dreams and visions face-to-face in this collaborative design. The utopian universe created by these two artists is an invitation to a meditative journey; a magical scarf in the sense that regardless of which nuance captures the eyes gaze, it’s as if this scarf always seems to make perfect sense.
Here are some closeups of my scarf in a slideshow format:
How I wear the scarf
I have only made one Outfit of the Day collage for this scarf, so far, but will add more as I continue to wear it. With my wardrobe, I intend to pair it with navy, as below, and also grey and perhaps white. I think the scarf in this particular colourway will work well across the seasons, after all it is a warm weather design but it looks fine here with my Winter clothing!
These are a few quick ties that I made to show the versatility of the scarf. As it was brand new, the silk was crisp and rather stiff, so I haven’t yet tried more flowing ties such as the waterfall knot. My silver and mid grey cashmere clothing works well with the scarf colours.
1) Top row L to R: cowboy cowl, neck wrap using a MaiTai mother of pearl scarf ring, bias fold drape.
2) Middle row L to R: bias fold drape, cowboy cowl using a different corner, criss-cross knot.
3) Bottom row L to R: asymmetric wrap, half bow knot, asymmetric wrap turned around.
As this is a very new scarf design, there is very little further information available – apart from stuff that I have written on this blog! Helpful tPF members have shown me photos about the Hermès event – Carré Club – that showcased a number of designers including Octave Marsal and Théo de Gueltzl, so I have put in a link to that below. You will find excellent modelling shots of the other colourways on The Purse Forum thread for this season, SS2019. Otherwise, I have put in a couple of links about peonies, just for fun!
Hermès Carré Club – here are a couple of posts about these events as they travelled the world. The scarf and its designers are mentioned briefly, with images.
Los Angeles: Inside Look of Hermès Carré Club Pop Up
The designers (these are very basic sites, you may find it more rewarding to follow them on Instagram!):
Théo de Gueltzl
Now, a couple of links about peonies:
Royal Horticultural Society
I hope readers have found this exploration of A L’Ombre des Pivoines both interesting and useful. Once again, if you find any errors or have any additional information that I could add, please don’t hesitate to contact me.