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In celebration of the iconic Hermes silk scarf, the haute French luxury house has created an experiential pop-up shop that hit Los Angeles today. Featuring everything from a cafe and “carre-ok” to an interactive atelier and a shop with exclusive designs, Hermes Carre Club was introduced Sept. 12 in New York, and has since hit Toronto and Singapore on its way to L.A. before traveling on to Milan, Italy. Best of all, admission is free at the club, which will remain open through Nov. 11. Check in at the Hermes Carre Club, “click and check” reception to receive an Hermes-orange membership card and sit for a portrait, then let the fashion games begin.
“The Hermes Carre is not only an accessory, it is the result of a magic chain of creation, imagination, talent, and savoir-faire,” Bali Barret, artistic director of Hermes women’s collections and creator of the Carre Club, told The Hollywood Reporter. “The message of the club is to convey a sense of inclusivity, of fun, of freedom, across generations and cultures. We want to show the vibrant heart of the Hermes Carre, inviting our members to watch as our designers sketch, listen to and share their own carre stories.”
Long a status symbol donned by celebs from Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Catherine Deneuve to Madonna and Miranda Kerr, the first Hermes scarf was created in 1937; today, there are over 2,000 existing patterns in over 75,000 colors. Handcrafted through collaborations with a cadre of 50 artists from around the world, the motifs are often repeated on apparel, accessories and housewares for the Parisian luxury house. Once the initial pattern is complete, master artisans at the company’s silk workshops in Lyon, France, take 18 months or more to produce a new design (about 20 each year).
At the Carre Studio in L.A., Parisian artist Cyrille Diatkine (who has worked with the brand for 12 years) offers complimentary “sketchomaton” portraits for guests to keep. Paris-based illustrator Virginie Jamin, British artist Alice Shirley, and Berlin-based painter and designer Edouard Baribeaud demonstrate their processes of creating and coloring designs. In the center of the atelier, brand collaborators Octave Marsal and Theo de Gultzl live-doodle ink illustrations with a drawing machine they created.
Coffee, candy and cookies are doled out gratis in the Carre Cafe, where Hermes scarves are embedded in table tops and walls, and signs are emblazoned with cheeky sayings such as “Born to Be Square” and “Square Me if You Can.”
Slip inside a phone booth and lift the receiver to hear recorded stories about Hermes scarves or press a scarf-patterned button inside the Carre-Ok booth and a song plays referencing that design (i.e., “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor if you hit the Tigre Royale tiger pattern; “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga for Jeu de Cartes, a playing-card print).
Last but not least, a limited-edition capsule line of 18 exclusive-to-Carre Club scarves ($195 to $595) including a silk bandana pattern ($195) available only in L.A. are up for grabs in the Carrremania pop-up shop. Run, don’t walk.
Hermes Carre Club, 8175 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; open 12 to 8 p.m. daily through Nov. 11.
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