I am on a mission to bring back one of my favourite items from my late 90’s/early 2000’s wardrobe: The Pashmina. When it comes to vintage styling, you don’t get much more vintage than the pashmina – it’s an accessory that has been in existence since 3000 BC after all.
I must confess that I have been re-visiting episodes of SATC, and this has brought me back to the pashmina and shawl love. Don’t groan! Bear in mind that I am a costume designer and that Patricia Field is an actual genius. Obviously Carrie isn’t an incredible role model – and she definitely needs to woman up – but Pat’s styling is just magical. The costume design across the first few seasons is so exciting – every time I watch, I notice something new. Pat had next to no budget to start with, and many of the clothes were from her shop, her own wardrobe or thrift stores. These outfits are what inspired me to become a stylist and designer after leaving college.
Anyway, I think more women should wear shawls and capes. My favourite accessory at the moment is the Acne ‘Canada’ Scarf in mint green lambswool. It’s oversized and weighty, yet soft enough to wear round the neck or over the shoulders sans coat. It looks glam just hanging down too. I take it everywhere; it doubles as a blanket on flights and in the cinema. I think it may have actually become my security blanket I wear it so much.
Shawls and the like are actually a very sensible idea in Europe, where temperatures fluctuate bizarrely, and the temperature inside and outside rarely matches your clothing choices. And when you wear a super wide scarf it becomes more useful and more wearable than just a scarf. And when the heat starts blaring, it’s time to fish out those light floaty shawls. When you are directly in the sun they provide the perfect cover for the shoulders, as well as taking the chill off when the sun goes down.
My latest designer accessory discovery is new brand Memetic. Their scarf /cape/cover-up hybrids slip sexily off your shoulders whilst covering those problem burn areas; shoulders, arms, back of necks. Available in an array of digital printed silks and chiffons, the magic is in the construction as the scarf has been folded and stitched in order to create armholes so the fabric sits across your shoulders.
Adding a light brooch here would ensure it stayed out if louche shoulder slide is not your thing. The piece can then also be worn another way round, using the ‘armholes’ to pop it over your head enabling it be worn round the neck for drapey all year round scarfiness. Classic or fashion-forward, the pash is most definitely back…