Darwinism, WAGs & HermesMonday, November 7 2011
ELLE is looking for a beauty intern, and I thought I may as well give it a go. The first stage of the application was a short essay on a brand that you admire. See my entry below and let me know what you think (or better yet, vote for me).
“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”. Although you wouldn’t have caught Charles Darwin flicking through Elle on the deck of the Beagle, his insights into the world of nature seem to translate perfectly to the world of fashion. Indeed, in terms of evolutionary prowess one brand stands out to me as pre-eminent, the Mother of timeless style and elegance: Hermes.
To say that I admire the craftsmanship of the Hermes family would be an understatement. Their savoir faire has been passed down from generation to generation, and the name alone evokes an empire that generations and generations of men and women aspire to be a part of. A brown ribbon tied around an orange box. A horse and carriage. A colourful silk Carré. A hand-stitched leather bag. You might be forgiven for thinking that Hermes errs on the side of cautious conservatism, but you would be wrong. No other brand seems to have better understood how to evolve and adapt without losing any of the founding values set out in 1837. From dressing the horses of the 19th century elite, Hermes has turned its attention to people, be they President’s wives, WAGs or anyone aspiring to timeless elegance. Classic and refined yes. Never unadventurous and still.
Nowadays, the holy grail of bags is unquestionably the Kelly. Urban myths whisper that to get your hands on one, there is a waiting list of five years, no matter what your name is. Yet this bag was designed in 1935. Does this mean it has remained unchanged all these years? Colours, fabrics, sizes… the bags has been invented and re-invented a thousand times.
In a world where products have become disposable, I feel it is important to turn to brands like Hermes who have been able to remain so desirable throughout the ages. No one would ever think of throwing away a vintage Birkin. Not least because it gets more beautiful with time, as leather is meant to. And it is this connection with the nobility of materials from which clothes and accessory can be fashioned that seems tome so important. Fashion has always been ephemeral. And today our clothes and accessories even more so. Gone are the days where one would buy one single beautiful item and live with it season after season. Beauty and style is essential (and almost a way of life it seems to me), but at the end of the day nothing is more important than to preserve the beauty of our planet. And in my eyes, paying a little more in return for long life and flawless style seems to be the way forward.