"The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness."

~ Massimo Vignelli

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Closet Raid: Scarves

April 11th, 2011

Scarf collection

It’s 21 degrees C outside today; a wonderfully balmy April day. Over the past while, the temperature has been all over the place as the seasons battle it out for their respective turns. On a recent Sunday (not yesterday, but the one preceding), it was sunny and warm at noon, and was snowing by evening – and it’s just the way to catch a chill if you aren’t careful.

Luckily for me, I’m a big fan of scarves and shawls (in fact, when it’s cold enough, I wear shawls as scarves for extra neck warmth) and rarely go without, unless it’s the middle of summer. As much as I adore designer brands, my scarf collection is proof you don’t need to buy designer to have beautiful things of exceptional quality. Here’s a peek:

Scarf Collection

I’ve collected these from various places over the years, from my grandmother’s closet to a small store in Dubai, and I love them all. Clockwise, from top left:

-Kalabandar, fish-scale textured wool and elastic thread (in purple and turquoise)
-courtesy of my grandmother, in indigo
-courtesy of my grandmother, in navy/off-white plaid
-BCBG, navy/white ombre with engineered stripe
-Kalabandar, double-woven hand-loomed jacquard in purple, pink and orange
-Kalabandar, multi-coloured Laotian silk (in raspberry and black)
-courtesy of my grandmother, printed scarves (in plum/olive/white and black/white)
-hand-painted silk scarf I made in my high-school years, in watery shades of blue and green
-Givenchy, printed silk scarf in turquoise, green and white
-Zara, red scarf (shown with a triple-looped scarf ring courtesy of my grandmother)
-Dubai (I don’t remember the name of the store, just that it was near Jumeirah beach), hand-woven embroidered pashmina shawl in deep red
-Kalabandar, wool jacquard shawl in brown
-Tie Rack (now defunct), wool shawls (in camel and olive)
-Tie Rack, printed wool shawl with glass beads in ivory
-Ralph Lauren, diagonal pleated wool shawl in ivory

As you may have noticed, the name Kalabandar comes up quite often in my little list. In case you’re wondering what that is, it’s a company run by a charming couple who travels the world collecting scarves, then brings them back and sells them to stores – but keeps the most exquisite ones for their semi-annual sale, which is held in the living room of their home. It’s marvelous fun to go to these sales, and the shopping experience is much like a treasure hunt with friends you just met.

A few close-ups:

Hand-made red cashmere shawl

The detail in the hand embroidery is gorgeous, and the scarf itself is amazingly light and soft. One of my favourites.

striped Laotian silk scarves

Laotian silk; I love the striking multi-coloured strands and the evenly spaced twisting technique.

Double-woven jacquard loomed scarf

Photos don’t do this one justice; it’s an incredibly delicate scarf with two interwoven layers to it and a subtle circle-patterned jacquard running down the center. Love.

Textured scarves

I adore surface textures.

Silver scarf ring

This scarf ring belonged to my grandmother. It’s a pity people don’t wear these any more!

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2 Responses

  1. Betty says:

    Love your collection!!! I ll have to show you mine!

  2. the Gardener says:

    Oh, please do! I definitely want to see!

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