The Secrets of Hermès Scarf Painting comes to South Coast Plaza – Orange County Register

Vibrant shades of blue, black and red paint are strategically pulled across a silkscreen, giving life to a single white sheet of silk and eventually taking shape as that staple of high fashion, better known as an Hermès scarf.

The House of Hermès hosted  “The Secrets of Scarf Painting” at South Coast Plaza earlier this month as part of the retail center’s ongoing 50th anniversary celebration. A traveling demonstration by way of Paris, trained silk screening artists displayed some of the first steps in the 24-month process that goes into creating this icon of style.

The book, “The Hermès Scarf: History & Mystique,” by Nadine Coleno, helps put the accessory in context: “The Herme`s scarf is a style icon. Worn by royalty and celebrities, coveted and admired, and now avidly collected, this deceptively simple square of silk is much more than just a fashion accessory: it is the stuff of legend.”


Since the first scarf debuted in 1937, the House of Hermès has produced more than 2,000 different designs. There are no more than 40 Hermès silk-screening artisans sprinkled throughout the world, according to the company. Be it flowers, forests or abstract designs, each artists has their very own specialty. After about a year of discussing designs and layout the scarf comes to fruition.

The demonstration at South Coast Plaza confirmed that the seemingly simple process of making a scarf is meticulous and intricate:

After a scarf design has been created, blue frames are made, each with a design to be laid atop the silk. The colors are poured over each blue frame and pulled across the scarf using a rubber blade. More than 20 different colors and shades can be used in the process. From there, the scarves are hemmed and tailored, all by hand.

Two collections are released each year. The saying goes that “it takes 2 years to create and 2 minutes to buy” a Hermès scarf, which was confirmed by avid shoppers after the demonstration.




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