It is always an exciting time for scarfie fans when a new season’s Hermès scarves and shawls begin to appear online. This new season, Spring/Summer 2022, started to show a couple of months ago. Many of us pore over the emerging photos and check daily to see whether our favourites are in the boutiques or on the website.
So, I was thrilled when this scarf popped up on the UK Hermès site. I knew that I was getting some purple items for Christmas and then Le Premier Chant, 90cm silk carré, in violet, bleu glacier, jaune, purchase code H003799S 06, appeared and I fell down the Hermès slippery silk slope! The designers are Sophia Andreotti and Edouard Baribeaud.
Usually, at this point, I enjoy writing a fairly detailed impression of the scarf. This time, however, I am going to entertain and amaze you with this wonderful description, written by one of the fantastic posters on The Purse Forum: Josie Sullivan, “Living.la.vida.fifi”. (She has kindly given me her permission to post it here).
Le Premier Chant by Sophie Andreotti and Edouard Baribeaud
“Hermès wonderful carré, Le Premier Chant, (The First Song), designed by Sophia Andreotti and Edouard Baribaud for its Spring/Summer 2022 collection is not only a festival of color and beautiful patterns, but a design full of deep meaning and symbolism.
The illustration depicts a young woman in her room adorned by beautifully patterned textiles with a starry desert landscape beyond. As an inspired singer, her treasured possessions are close: her guitar, microphone, amplifier, and on a nearby table, a book entitled La Loba: the female wolf of lore; the mythical empowered female who is a wild creative force. The young singer arches her back to belt out a song filled with the force of a primordial chant. Her song rises organically as a beautiful, rhythmical tidal wave and becomes a hymn of creation, an anthem to the power of the artistic soul.
The myth and lore of the primordial chant, of a song of creation, appears in the literature and folklore of various cultures throughout the ages. Historically the Book of Genesis was sung by the ancient Hebrews; the Celts spoke of the Oran Mor, or neverending Great Melody; Australian aborigines tell of their land having been sung into being.
Perhaps one of the best known and poetic examples of the song of creation exists in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Tolkien begins his creation myth by describing how the universe is “sung into being” by spiritual creatures named the Ainur. These creatures are invited by God to sing a great song of creation, having been provided a theme upon which they are to improvise.
The fabled God states, “Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.” C.S. Lewis illustrates a similar tale of song and creation in his The Magician’s Nephew, where the noble Aslan sings and the world begins to take form.
But the book displayed on the young singer’s tabletop may be more indicative of her spirit and the source of her inspiration. It is entitled La Loba, (The She-Wolf), alluding to the mythical, wild woman of the Pueblo people popularized by Clarissa Pinkola Estés in her Women Who Run With the Wolves.
According to Estés, the tale tells of a woman who lives in a remote cave waiting for wanderers and seekers to visit. She toils collecting bones and “to collect and preserve especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world.” Estés explains that “when she has assembled an entire skeleton, when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creature is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing. And when she is sure, she stands over the criatura, raises her arms over it, and sings out. That is when the rib bones and leg bones of the wolf begin to flesh out and the creature becomes furred. La Loba sings some more, and more of the creature comes into being; its tail curls upward, shaggy and strong. And La Loba sings more and the wolf creature begins to breathe. And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens its eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon. Somewhere in its running, whether by the speed of its running, or by splashing its way into a river, or by way of a ray of sunlight or moonlight hitting it right in the side, the wolf is suddenly transformed into a laughing woman who runs free toward the horizon.
So, in essence, we are witnessing that mythical, powerful, utterly creative Wolf Woman in a young modern incarnation, bringing the universe to life and displaying the power of her song. Estés poetically states, “So it is said that if you wander the desert, and it is near sundown, and you are perhaps a little bit lost, and certainly tired, that you are lucky, for La Loba may take a liking to you and show you something – something of the Soul.
In this carré, we meet that youthful woman who runs with wolves and weaves her magical and powerful tale. The design is full of beautiful, decorative patterns evocative of Indian miniatures and the dense jungles of Rousseau in the artists’ unique style. A design not only full of harmonious patterns, symmetries, colors and textures, but also of dynamic juxtapositions, it is a fascinating pean to the creative spirit and the female force.
These are the colourways for the Spring/Summer 2022 silk 90cm scarves. I have added in the codes to help those of you who wish to purchase this scarf.
The design story has finally appeared on the Hermès website!
”Sophia Andreotti and Edouard Baribeaud pay tribute to the creative energy of women, from Enheduanna, a Sumerian priestess and the earliest known poet whose name has been recorded, to painter Frida Kahlo and musician Patti Smith. As emblematic figures of their time, their view of the world and their freedom continue to inspire contemporary artists. The curtain opens and on stage a rock musician passionately sings to the world, her electric guitar propped nearby. From the microphone emerge parrots and butterflies in an eye-catching swirling motif; a wolf swiftly leaps into this scene brimming with art history references, particularly to Indian miniatures and traditional Mexican fabrics.”
Here are some closeups of my scarf in a slideshow format:
How I wear the scarf
This is such a gorgeous scarf but, because I have recently purchased it, I have only managed to wear it a couple of times so far. So far, I have worn it with my purple and blue clothing, but it would also look great with white, yellow and pink.
I have tried on this scarf in a variety of ways. At the moment, as it is so new, the silk fabric is very crisp and stiff so doesn’t fall easily into soft folds. Anyway, you can get the general idea of how it looks when worn. It would also make a lovely framed art work!
The subject of the scarf’s design does not need any further details, but there is some information about the designers: Sophia Andreotti and Edouard Baribeaud.
Edouard Baribeaud for Drake’s
Interview with Edouard Baribeaud showing some of his work.
This is from Baribeaud’s Instagram:
I hope readers have found this exploration of Le Premier Chant 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.
Love and best wishes,
Updated 19/02/22 to add the Design Story from the Hermès website.