Saturday, 30 January 2016

HERMÈS & ARDMORE - A Special Collaboration

A special collaboration

via Hermès website

Two very special brands have collided and their origins and heritage couldn't be more different.  

Ardmore is a brand very close to my heart as it is South African.  This dynamic organisation began life in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal nearly 30 years ago. It all began with Fèe Halsted teaching Bonnie, the daughter of her housekeeper how to work with clay on her farm Ardmore.  

Fèe Halsted ( via website)
Gradually more and more women took up the training opportunities offered by Halsted and in so doing,  created pieces which began bringing in income for the newly formed studio.

via google images

Ardmore Design Collection launched in 2010 producing superb quality dinnerware, ceramic sculpture, tapestries, fabrics and more.  Over the years,  Ardmore's artists have won numerous awards and exhibited in South Africa as well as around the world.  Ardmore is currently available not only in South Africa but throughout the world at various galleries and fine art retailers.   These artworks are also available  through auction houses such as Sotheby's, Bonhams and Christie's who have acknowledged Ardmore Artworks as "modern day collectibles". 

via google images

via google images

Back to the collaboration story and obviously,  Hermès, the French Luxury brand needs no introductions!  Hermès designers approached Fèe Halsted at Maison et Objet in 2013 and the collaboration process was set in motion.
Catherine, Fèe's daughter, together with several of the Ardmore artists, began working on the designs for the scarves, and the results perfectly capture the brand's dynamic personality.

via House & Leisure

Two designs have been created - La Marche du Zambèze and The Savana Dance.  The former features a central elephant surrounded by indigenous flora and other creatures of the Zambezi.  

via House & Leisure

The Savana Dance shows a leopard chasing a monkey, surrounded by protea flowers and other symbols of Zulu Culture.  Both scarves come in various colour ways.

via House & Leisure

I visited the Hermès store in Rue de Sèvres this week to view these gorgeous creations!

Walking into this iconic store validated the amazing outcome for this once fledgling South African ceramic studio.  I can only think that their continued journey will prove to be astounding.  We laid each scarf out on the counter and what a thrill it was seeing them in reality.

There was another customer standing close by and she listened as I told the story of the collaboration.  She bought one of them for her daughter "she will love the story behind it all" she said!

The silky folds revealed exquisite, vibrant works of art.

With special thanks to House & Leisure South Africa. 

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