THE TALE OF SILK: something campy…something captivating…







An Hermès exhibition by Hilton McConnico; via Sant’Andrea 6, Milan;

Museo D’Arte Contemporanea, 10-19 October 2008, 10.00-19.00


Hermès is celebrating 70 years of selling silk scarves by hosting a two-week exhibition firstly in Hong Kong, and after there in many countries all over the world. The exhibition, called “Once Upon a Silk”, gives an overview of the French fashion house’s use of silk throughout the decades. The company commissioned US artist Hilton McConnico who designed a show that uses a Chinese legend about the origins of the Silk Route to best showcase the Hermès silk archives. According to the tale, a bird with wings of silk sets of on a journey to discover the meaning of life and shed its feathers along the way. These created the Silk Route. Using this storyline, McConnico illustrates the evolvement of and themes used in Hermès’ silk scarves.

The first silk scarf the company made was in 1937 and was called “Jeu des Omnibus et des Dames Blanches”. The scarf is included in the exhibit. Since then, Hermès has introduced about 1,500 scarf designs.



“A DELICATE STRENGTH: … Before the astounded eyes of the child, the shell suddenly cracked, revealing a strange creature, soffused with magic. Powerful. A ruby-coloured sea horse with the face of a thoroughbred and delicate silken wings stood proudly before him. …”

“DESERT SPLASH: in the course of its long voyage, the sea horse discovered extraordinary plants and animals, such as the giant green hand with the three fingers coveres with thorns, or the blue fish that swam against current.”



“THE GRAPHIC FORCE: in a final surge it took off again. On its way, supernatural landscapes in black and white filled up with colours.”





With this new mise-en-scène, Hilton McConnico once again lets us follow the thread of his imagination along the captivating Silk Route, blending surprise, light-heartedness and laughter.

Hilton, you are a master story-teller and enchanter… Thank you!