It’s well-known in historical texts and artifacts that falconry has been practiced for over 3,000 years and possibly even longer as it pre-dates written records. Places such as Arabia, China, Mongolia, Japan, Germany and Europe (to name a few), are rich in tales of falconry for sport and hunting. Even during the time of Marco Polo, there were more than 10,000 falconers (at one time) and their associates participating in this ancient activity.
Here we are circa 2011. Ages have passed, people have come and gone, the landscape of the world has changed and yet not only is falconry still present, it seems to be resurfacing among the tattered pages of history. Many of the customs have stayed intact (see this interesting post on The Value of Apprenticeship) and many I am sure have changed.
This autumn/winter, falconry will hit the fashion world. Hermès, the classic French luxury brand has added a new creative director to its team – Christophe Lemaire. Lemaire (who seems to have had a penchant for sporty-chic and evidently proved that with last year’s Lacoste line) is boldly bringing the sport of falconry to the luxury label. Magazine ads will portray beautiful models dressed in creams, winter whites, tans, cashmere, wrap-jackets, leather, tassels, suede, tunics, boots, fringe and of course, a wild falcon on their forearm. They’re going “back to the basics,” and I guess if you’re really going to go back, falconry certainly has the clout.
The origins of Hermès as a saddle-maker and obvious connection to the equestrian world seems to go hand and hand with falconry. Other lines will most likely follow suit and incorporate falconry into their designs – I guess we’ll see! Anyway, I’m not usually this much into fashion, but I couldn’t resist this topic and the sublime thought of riding a medieval looking Friesian horse with a bird of prey on one arm and making a fashion statement at the same time!
Ok, imagine you on this…
Friesian Galloping (photo by LarissaAllen)
With this on your arm…
European Kestrel -a beautifully colored falcon. (photo by quaddie)
Wearing the garb of your choice – leather, suede…whatever suits you (you’ll have to use your imagination here and I’d love to hear your thoughts!)