My Great Aunt Helen and Great Uncle Harris (two of the chicest people I will ever know) bought me my first Hermès scarf as milestone birthday gift. I remember knowing what was inside the box before even opening it, and feeling as though something very special was about to happen. The Hermès scarf, to me, represented something important, grown-up, and forever.
I opened the box to find a 90 centimeter silk scarf—cream-colored with cobalt blue splatters, reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock painting. I wore that scarf regardless of the season (in the summer as a sarong, in the winter as a scarf over turtlenecks). I wore that scarf regardless of whatever style trend I was following at the time (no apologies here, I did pair it with a pink Juicy Couture sweatsuit). It was the staple of my wardrobe, and is still one of my most prized possessions.
Earlier this week, we told you about this chic little thing called Hermèsmatic, a pop-up launched by Hermès in celebration of the iconic scarf’s 80th birthday. Think of Hermèsmatic as the chicest laundromat you’ve ever been to. At this laundromat, you can bring in or buy an Hermès scarf and give the piece a custom-dye job courtesy of the brand. Yes. Courtesy. Free. That alone makes it better that wherever you’re schlepping your clothes to next Sunday night.
It wasn’t enough for us to simply go and see the pop-up, though. We had to partake in the actual experience of dip-dyeing a scarf. Ya know, we need to make sure it was a-OK for you to go to, should you find yourself near one. Think of this as your official Yelp review. Here, we walk you through the process of custom dyeing a 90 centimeter silk scarf.
Arguably the most important part of the process is selecting your scarf. The iconic Hermès scarf has been around for 80 years, so when your sifting through all that silk, you’re looking at lots of themes. Was I in a jungle mood? Or did I want to stick to a more classic, equestrian feel? Perhaps something more geometric? I opted for a mix of all it all: a geometric print with horse heads designed in snakeskin-like print.
What has made the Hermès scarf a staple in just about every iconic woman's’ wardrobe is the accessory's versatility. Pre-dye, I experimented using the scarf around my neck, as a headpiece, and, my greatest idea, as an addition to my favorite new skirt.
In addition to the countless prints I had to choose from, I also caught a glimpse of the assortment of already dyed scarfs that exist in the collection normally. It was tough not to just take one of those brilliant pinks and run with it. Why mess with what's already perfect?
I stood in a line until it was my turn to touch base with one of the incredibly dressed Dip-Dye Hosts. (Note to self: invest in a white denim jumpsuit.) With her, I laid out my scarf and discussed color options, using the Dip Dyed Collection scarves as a reference.
The majority of my scarf was orange (duh), which meant that no matter what color I used it would come out dark and bright. If I went with blue, I’d likely get a midnight navy. If I went with green, something very dark forest green. Pink, to me, seemed like the most fun option. Would it turn red? Hot pink? So much fun!
We’re almost ready to soak. But first, a photo. What good is a dye job without a before an after, am I right?
The Dip-Dye Host laid out my scarf and all its paperwork: polaroid, pick up number, and all my information so I can retrieve it 24 hours later.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for; The fabulous Dip-Dye Host puts in a load. In order to get my scarf dyed, we needed 15-20 people to have brought in scarves, too. No surprise, this was no issue. There was a line out the door.
In my scarf went with all the other scarves always awaiting a pink dye job.
Twenty-four hours later, the best shopping bag a gal could ask for arrived on my desk. And the finished product? I'll let you see for yourself.
A cornucopia of pinks, reds, and, unexpectedly, greens! A classic equestrian/jungle print with a fun edgy pink twist. My most favorite detail? An orange-ish red edge that clashes so delightfully with a blood red border. Love that color story. Another perk? There was a softness that felt new to the scarf, perhaps because it's washed. That I absolutely love.
Following the opening of Hermèsmatic in New York City, the US-based activation will travel to Washington D.C. in July, Nashville in October, and Los Angeles in November. For dates and more information, visit Hermes.com.