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Silk Scarves Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio

One of the world’s most valuable literary treasures has received a unique tribute from printmaker and accessories designer, Rory Hutton.

Rory Hutton is an artist, designer and historian who has worked collaboratively with some of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious arts, heritage and cultural organisations.

Inspired by history, art, architecture, theatre, opera and dance, Rory lends classic themes a contemporary edge with his distinctive lino print illustrations and vivid use of colour. His designs are most elegantly displayed through his highly coveted collections of luxury, silk scarves. Rory has worked extensively with the British Museum, creating collections for their blockbuster exhibitions Troy: Myth and Reality, I Am Ashurbanipal and Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece.

shakespeare scarves

In 2018 The Royal Opera House commissioned Rory to design collections inspired by Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Wagner’s epic cycle Der Ring Das Nibelungen to coincide with the opening of their newly refurbished building. In 2019 he designed a range of six scarves to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Ballet’s most celebrated dancer, Dame Margot Fonteyn. Rory is currently working on a collection for the house’s forthcoming production of Madame Butterfly.

2020 marks the centenary of Noel Coward’s West End debut, and Rory is working with the Noel Coward Archive to create a range of commemorative pieces to celebrate the playwright’s achievements.

Rory has worked with a number of charities including the Art Fund, designing rewards for their crowdfunding campaign Conserve Canaletto and is currently embarking on a collaboration with the Hands Up Foundation for Syria.

shakespeare scarves

Not limited to silk scarves, his collections have also included ties, pocket squares, bow ties and socks. Rory’s prints have also been licensed by museums and galleries for use on a number of complementary products including tote bags, greetings cards, stationary, ceramics and even soap.

Rory’s work has been featured in numerous publications including Tatler, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, The Irish Times, Men’s Health, Savile Row Style Magazine and Time Out London.

Available from late September the collection will take centre-stage in Rory’s extensive range of signature silk scarves during the Christmas period – the new additions feature bold colours, dramatic linocut designs and includes two long scarves, two square scarves, a pocket square, and a hand fan celebrating the 400th anniversary next year of the publication of the 1623 First Folio.

shakespeare scarves

Resplendent in black, gold, red, and grey, the new collection features the titles of Shakespeare’s plays, references to the First Folio’s publication date, Shakespeare’s birth and death years, and his portrait, as well as figures dressed in Elizabethan costume, and recurring motifs in the plays, including a rose, crown, dagger, skull, and quill pen.

Published seven years after Shakespeare’s death, the First Folio includes 36 of his plays, thanks to the hard work and dedication of two of his friends and fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, who gathered the plays together. If they had not committed to collecting the work for the book, modern day experts on Shakespeare’s life and work have stated that half of all of his plays (including Macbeth, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra) would have been lost forever.

shakespeare scarves

The First Folio was printed in London and published in an edition of around 750 in November 1623. Just over 230 copies have survived to this day.

Speaking at the launch of his ‘First Folio 400’ range, Rory Hutton said:

“The ‘First Folio 400’ scarves, pocket square, and hand fan have made a dramatic entrance into my collection, and I hope that they will appeal to Shakespeare lovers, theatre goers, and anyone who enjoys adding a theatrical flourish to their favourite outfits.

shakespeare scarves

“As well as celebrating the anniversary of this hugely important book and recognising Shakespeare’s enduring legacy as a playwright and poet, these pieces serve as a ‘thank you’ to Heminge and Condell for saving so much of Shakespeare’s work for future generations.”

shakespeare scarves

Alongside creating his own collections, since 2018 Rory Hutton has designed over 100 silk scarves in collaboration with many of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious arts and heritage institutions, responding to their collections, performances and exhibitions. Known for his lively linocut illustrations and bold block colours, Rory Hutton delights in reinterpreting historical themes and imbuing them with a contemporary twist.

shakespeare scarves

Rory Hutton’s ‘First Folio 400’ collection will be available to order from the website and will be available to purchase in store at the British Museum, The National Theatre, The Royal Opera House and Westminster Abbey. The long scarves (45 x 180cm) and square scarves (90 x 90cm) are both priced at £95; the pocket square (33x33cm) is priced at £38; and the hand fan is priced at £65.

The scarves and pocket square are made of 100% silk with rolled edges, and are printed and finished in Italy. The fan, which features a screen print design, is handmade in Spain, and has a sustainable redwood frame.

shakespeare scarves

The featured lifestyle images were shot exclusively on location at Garrick’s Villa, a Grade I listed country house on Hampton Court Road, Richmond-upon-Thames, which was owned from around 1754 by the renowned Shakespearean actor and theatre manager, David Garrick (1717-1779).

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