A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Jun 26

Vintage twill carré by Aline Honoré (Au Cœur de la Vie ).

Vintage twill carré by Aline Honoré (Au Cœur de la Vie ).

I wrote in my last post about my first Hermès scarf, and how I had been drooling over the full-size carrés, which were out of my price range. The scarf gods were clearly listening because the very next day – the longest day of the year, in fact –  I stumbled on a shop with a carré in the window that turned out to be vintage H.

Let me rewind a bit. I had discovered the shop (right by my office) just by chance one lunchtime while taking a short-cut. I popped in for a rifle through the second-hand scarves and the lady had even tried to interest me in the one in the window which had stunning colours – purple and acquamarine – with what looked like a dense jungle design packed with animals. I did not look too closely, however, but went off on holiday, planning to come back another time for a proper look.

When I finally did get back, and asked to see the scarf, I was amazed to discover it was Au Coeur de la Vie (2007) by Aline Honoré – and it was very reasonably priced. Honoré is responsible for many great designs for Hermès including Pelages et Camouflage, Cent Plis des Miao, and the wildly popular Parures de Samurais.

There were a couple of grease marks on one corner, but apart from that, it was in great condition, so I bought it. It was sultry weather but I was desperate to wear it so I folded it like a belt and fastened it around my waist with a scarf ring.

The colours are remarkably bright and jewel-like and somehow the tropical temperatures seemed very appropriate, given the riot of foliage and animals. I thought, too, of the forest in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; the evening of the longest day of the year (summer solstice) is traditionally a time for magic and weirdness!

What I love about Au Coeur de la Vie is that you can bring out either the purple or the aquamarine, depending on how you fold it. This weekend I wore it to Longborough Festival Opera in a vertical basic slide (using a shawl ring, exactly as explained in MaiTai’s tutorial here). This fold brought out the aquamarine, which made it a good match for some opal stud earrings.

View over San Sebastián in the Basque country.

Here is the original scarf design story (courtesy of The Librain, who also owns this wonderful scarf in a different colourway):

“Suspended between heaven and earth, nestling in the tallest trees of the Equatorial forest, the flora and fauna in this scarf weave in and out like the pieces of a gigantic puzzle. Together, they form a veritable canopy, a burgeoning of vegetation, swarming with extraordinary, little-known plant and animal life. The Au Coeur de la Vie scarf teems with a thousand unfamiliar details of the forest: unusual species of creeping vines, orchids, carnivorous plants, parrots, hummingbirds, small lemurs, insects, chameleons, butterflies … it reflects the infinite diversity, the incredible richness of equatorial life, the energy and imagination of nature. Difficult to reach and still largely unexplored, this milieu is the repository of a thousand vegetal treasures, green gold-mines and hidden secrets, a myriad of unknown living substances, plant cells bursting with the promise of life. It is up to us to protect this biological reservoir in order to understand its mysteries and to learn its lessons of beauty and health.”

The scarf was re-issued in 2014, with a slightly different design story, which you can read here >>


  1. Thanks for linking to my blog! I love this colourway of Au Coeur de la Vie. My favourite colours are in there. You were very lucky indeed to find it as this scarf goes for £££ on reseller sites. I also like your gavroche in the previous post. I really should get that too as I am a retired librarian.

    Good luck with your vintage scarf search and best wishes, ❤️

    • Annette Rubery /

      Thank you for the comment – I’ve really enjoyed looking at your blog, like you I love accessories. Yes, I couldn’t quite believe my luck with Au Coeur de la Vie. I’m also very pleased with the gavroche – I’m so impressed with the quality of print and colour of Hermès scarves that nothing else seems to come up that standard, which I expect will be quite unfortunate for my bank account!