Ladies and Gents, it has been too long. I have spent the past three weeks working crazy hours at work and then taking a much-needed vacation hiking through the Dolomites in Italy. Talk about a breathtaking part of the world. But now it’s back to reality, with Fashion Week already in full force here in New York, and galleries preparing for their fall show openings. And me, I’m back to blogging, starting with a major art + fashion collaboration for the Fall season.
Alexander McQueen has enlisted British artist Damien Hirst (who, you might remember, recently collaborated with the Row on a line of handbags) to create 30 limited-edition scarves in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the brand’s signature skull print scarf. The collaboration consists of one-off designs adapted from Hirst’s famous “Entomology” series, featuring butterflies, bugs, and spiders all worked into the shape of the geometric McQueen skull motif.
The McQueen skull print became an iconic piece almost immediately upon introduction by the brand’s late founder in the SS’03 collection. According to WWD, the brand tapped Hirst “because of his shared aesthetic vision, “in which an interest in symmetrical design is combined with strong references to the natural world.” Hirst is also well-known for using skull imagery in his artwork, most notably his 2007 For the Love of God, a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds. The scarves will be available in November at Alexander McQueen boutiques and online at alexandermcqueen.com. I am sure these will be coveted by fashionistas and art enthusiasts alike, so mark your calendars!
The artist in front of one of his Entomology pieces
A look from McQueen’s SS’03 show featuring the iconic skull scarf
How do you make chic even more chic? By combining two incredibly luxe brands, of course. A rather unlikely couple—classic French brand Hermès and the avante-garde Japanese brand Comme des Garçons, helmed by Rei Kawakubo—have collaborated to design two limited edition scarf collections, as a whole referred to as “Comme des Carrés.”
The first collection, “Noir et Blanc,” arrived earlier this month in Comme des Garçons shops in Paris, New York, and Tokyo and includes five different designs. The “Couleur” collection is currently sold at Dover Street Market concept stores in London and Tokyo, and features six various creations priced significantly higher than their black-and-white counterparts.
Despite the dissimilar brand aesthetics, the designs perfectly balance each label’s respective characteristics—the polka-dots and patchwork of Kawakubo blend elegantly with Hermès’ traditional equestrianism. You can view all the designs on the Hermès pinterest page, or browse a few looks from the selection below.
“Coaching,” from the Colour collection
“Couvertures et tenues de jour,” from the Coulour collection
“Thalassa,” from the Noir et Blanc collection
“Touch Me,” from the Noir et Blanc collection
In the latest edition of Hermès Editeur, the luxury brand has teamed up with Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. The mission of Hermès Editeur, according to the brand’s website, is to bridge the art of craftsmanship and design with contemporary art. Artists provide the brand a source of invention, inspiration and innovation, and the projects “confront our craftsmen with real challenges, at first glance insurmountable but overcoming them enables us to extend the limits of our savoir-faire,” according to Artistic Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas. Previous editions of Hermès Editeur included collaborations with German artist Josef Albers and Contemporary artist Daniel Buren.
The Sugimoto collection includes iterations of 20 of the artist’s abstract color studies on Hermès’ signature silk scarves. Produced in limited editions of seven each, the complete collection is being called “Couleurs de L’Ombre” (Colors of Shadow). The artist’s project of the same title was created after years of chasing bands of prismatic color around his studio and capturing them using the almost extinct Polaroid canvas. Inspired by this vision, the brand developed new inkjet technology in order to recreate the subtle gradations of intense color. At nearly $10,000 a piece, the real question becomes whether these scarves should be worn or mounted and framed on the wall.
Sugimoto holding up a scarf from the collection
The artist examining designs over the course of the project (image via Hermes website)