top of page

Blog 46 - Surreal Winged Lady

I wrote two days ago how I missed the Richmond Fair this year. I doubt whether the Ham Fair will take place either. It always was a little later in the year and the weather more dependable. Usually, I went to this on my own by bus, so large cumbersome purchases were out of the question. Now, silk scarves are light, fold up small and I have found several exciting vintage beauties there. I justify my purchases, thinking I am helping some deserving charity, but truly I love the thrill of the treasure hunt.

Imagine my pleasure in finding this vintage Emilio Pucci Surreal Winged Lady, a limited edition made for the Danish Maersk Shipping Line. It’s in fine quality silk twill, a beautiful flowing design in blue, and always important for me, it has hand rolled edges.

I have tried to find out why a commercial shipping line would commission an eminent Italian designer to create such a scarf. I could understand if they were a cruise ship company and passengers would want an expensive souvenir from their trip, but blue rinsed ladies don’t travel on huge container ships. I wondered if it had some connection to the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre, representing Nike, the Greek goddess of victory dropping from the heavens onto the brow of a ship. Yes, that would be a good symbolic design for a shipping line to keep their vessels safe from the waves. They could have used it when one of their smaller ships, the Alabama was seized by armed Somali pirates off the coast of Africa in 2009 and their brave Captain Richard Phillips was taken prisoner. I must see the film they made about this, starring Tom Hanks as the Captain. The Ancient Greek design of Nike has been copied throughout the world from Brazil, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, even to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and maybe inspired Banksy’s CCTV Angel. Yet, as I look at it anew, the wings are of a dragonfly and, as far as I know, they don’t fly over the oceans of the world. If any reader has an idea about the symbolism of my scarf, or why it was designed, leave a comment. For the moment, she remains the Surreal Winged Lady or Dragonfly Woman.

At the same fair, I bought this odd carving which seems to echo a similar mythical fantasy from the sea.

I leave both to your imagination. As I go out for a walk, my scarf will be rolled and tied around my neck, my lady’s wings will be hidden and I hope she will keep me safe from falling in the Thames or from any viruses spread from speeding cyclists or frantic gasping runners along the towpath.

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Blog 46.

210 views2 comments


Janine Phillips
Janine Phillips
May 11, 2020

What a beauty! So interesting to know it's history! Thank you 😊


Susan PRAG
May 11, 2020

I looked at the scarf very carefully this morning and thought before I read your blog is this a mermaid, or is it a ships figure head but why the lovely butterfly wings, it should have been a design for Rolls /Royce, maybe the shipping company decided to give it instead of dividends that year, but we should all try to find the reason, possibly the boss just admired Emilio Pucci and it was a celebration present to valid workers. It does go together with the lovely extraordinary carving. In any case it is a truly lovely scarf.

bottom of page