The majestic master of the fantastical
Once a month, I eagerly anticipate that early morning THUNK that signifies the arrival of the new edition of Vogue on my doormat. Like the excitable child on Christmas morning, I tear open the packaging and, with bated breath and elevated expectations, I enthusiastically flick to the fashion shoots. ‘Please Lord; let this edition feature the wonderful Tim Walker’. Yes, it is photographer Tim Walker who dictates whether an edition of Vogue becomes a highly cherished copy, never to be resigned to the dustbin.
Tim Walker’s quintessentially British and visually exciting shoots, combining gothic fairytales with a touch of eccentricity, make him one of the most exhilarating photographers of today. I was therefore overjoyed to learn of his new exhibition at London’s Somerset House. Having opened last week, the exhibition will run until the 27th January 2013 and will feature work drawn from the world’s leading magazines. Expect the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Alexander McQueen, Tilda Swinton and Lindsey Wixson to crop up as subjects too. I simply cannot wait. Furthermore, an accompanying book entitled ‘Story Teller’ has been published by Thames & Hudson to coincide with the exhibition and features a foreword by none other than Kate Bush, the queen of whimsy if ever there was one.
In celebration of the event, I thought I would select s the most whimsical scarves currently available to buy for all the fairytale fanatics out there.
1. My first fanciful offering is Mulberry’s cashmere blend monster scarf. As the mornings get progressively chillier, who wouldn’t want to be embraced by this lovable beast to ensure a cosy walk into work? Measuring 195cm x 70cm, this scarf is available from www.mulberry.com priced £325.
2. The second scarf is the wolf print scarf by Alexander McQueen’s McQ. I must admit, I am most definitely afraid of the big, bad wolf. This 140cm x 140cm scarf is made from 100% silk and is available, priced £165, from www.net-a-porter.com.
3. My final scarf of the day is Lily and Lionel’s Fontana lion with crown print scarf. Made from 55% wool and 45% silk, this 203cm x 76cm scarf is available from www.matchesfashion.com priced £150. With Christmas fast approaching, I find myself reminiscing over the childhood evenings spent watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. For the children of the 80s, I am sure you understand that it simply was not Christmas until the VHS boxset has been fished out for its annual viewing. The child in me is fanatical about this Aslan style scarf.
My guilty pleasure over a morning cuppa on arrival to work has to be Vogue’s ‘Today I’m Wearing’ blog which can be found at www.vogue.co.uk/photo-blogs. Every month, a new model/actress/presenter/It girl/winner of the genetic lottery (delete as appropriate) will update you daily on their outfit choices. Think the likes of Mary Charteris (my personal favourite to date), Florence Brudenell-Bruce, Liberty Ross and Alexa Chung, all giving you a tantalising glimpse into their wardrobe.
Today I thought I would trawl through the Today I’m Wearing archives (with pleasure!) to find my favourite entries involving the beloved scarf. So, here they are:
1) The gorgeous Florence Brudenell-Bruce (Harry, what were you thinking letting this one go?!) wears the tiger print scarf by Alice by Temperley in November 2011. I am not normally one for pashmina scarves, but I adore the Alice by Temperley scarf range and I know Pippa Middleton and Fearne Cotton are fans of this design too. I am fortunate to own the seraphine design scarf from a few years back, but really must add this one to my collection.
2) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing a Thomas Wylde offering way back in March 2010. Oh, how I loved the Zanzibar clutch. Yes, I most definitely have a thing for skulls.
3) Hannah Holman looking cute as a button in a Yigal Azrouel scarf, June 2012. Unfortunately to all us Brit girls, in order to get our hands of one of these gorgeous scarves by the New York based fashion designer, a quick scour of the internet suggests we will have to order from America. Perhaps try Saks Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom for starters.
Pearly kings and buttons and things…
There is no disputing that Moschino scarf designs are immensely fun and playful. Quite literally in the case of the monopoly board game design I saw on eBay a few months back. Why did I not bid on it?! Just imagine having the option of rolling out your scarf on a slow day in work and indulging in a board game to alleviate the boredom! On demand entertainment worn around your neck – it is pure genius.
Yes, Moschino scarves are most definitely good fun. After all, fashion should be about having fun and, what better way to have fun with fashion than with a little help from the tongue-in-cheek designs to emanate from the Italian Fashion house.
Last year I received a marvellous Moschino scarf from my boyfriend’s parents as a Christmas present (no awkward ‘thank you, just what I have always wanted’ appreciative facade required here!). This particular design was pearlescent pink and lilac in colour with the slogan ‘Moschino is Pearly King’ depicted in pearl buttons. Rather peculiarly, I always find myself attracted to Moschino scarves with designs incorporating buttons or badges. To the majority of people, this is not in the slightest bit peculiar. However, to me it is because (wait for it) I have a slight phobia of buttons! That is correct, buttons bother me. I mean really bother me. In the way that fingernails down a blackboard bother most, buttons have me wincing and cowering (normally, not in the functional sense, but more in the design feature sense - why ruin a perfectly good vest top with button detailing on the neckline? Do I want to look like I am wearing my granddad’s vest?! *Shudder*). I am sure Sigmund Freud would have something to say about that; phobias pertaining to the fastenings of attire are the manifestation of deep-rooted, subconscious desires for the daughter of the aunts’ sister’s husband (oh no, wait, that would be me).
Dear me, I am in the ‘rambling off at a complete tangent’ mood today! To prevent boring you any further, here is a quick summary: I hate buttons. Regardless, this scarf is magnificent and most definitely an asset to my collection. However, although a great design, it has always both puzzled and intrigued me as to how an Italian Fashion House came to take their inspiration from an English working class tradition. Irrespective of the answer, I am obviously pleased that they did.
P.S. Check out Lara Mullen as a Pearly Queen in Vogue UK’s ‘London Pride’ feature in the June 2012 edition.
The late night double feature picture show
What a way to start a new month! These are quite possibly my favourite silk satin square scarves currently available on the internet. How enormously fun are they? Hand drawn by Antoni Burakowski of London-based design duo Antoni & Alison, these scarves perfectly combine unabashed British eccentricity with a dash of Hollywood glamour. With inspiration taken from great Hollywood films, it is no wonder that Vogue UK claimed the scarf essential for Grace Kelly glamour. The King Kong scarf is, without doubt, my personal favourite; putting a massive grin on my face and compelling me to sing ‘Apeman’ by the Kinks at the top of my voice, this scarf is a definite must to have you bursting with summertime glee.
Measuring 63cm x 63cm and priced at £60, these scarves are available from www.antoniandalison.co.uk.
This is ground control…you’ve really made the grade
With Tim Burton listed as a great inspiration and the Never Ending Story as one of her favourite films, I get the feeling I am going to like this girl a lot.
Originally from Greece, Athena Procopiou began her career as a pianist before studying illustration and graphic design at London’s Central Saint Martins. With the fabulous notion that a scarf is a blank canvas on which to create designs centered around mythical characters and magical stories, she went on to create her own line dedicated to lightweight scarves. Always keen to add a touch of glitter and glam to life, I particularly love the strong Bowie theme running through the current collection. The Major Tom or Ziggy (both pictured) scarf anyone? Yes please! No wonder Vogue UK have called her their ‘favourite new scarf designer’.
Vassilisa the Beautiful
‘My heart flutters every time I wear them’ stated Vogue UK’s retail editor. Well, that has got me captivated*. I need to know more.
Founded by Nadja Solovieva, a Central St Martins graduate, in 2008, Vassilisa offers an exquisite collection of silk and cashmere scarves inspired by Russian fairytale heroine Vassilisa the Beautiful.
So, what can be expected from the immense talent whose CV boasts training in the studios of both Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen? The answer is a bewitching collection of scarves that exude the imagery of folklore and legends. With designs featuring deer fawns, hearts, sirens, puppies and frogs, the only thing that could make these scarves any more perfect is if the frogs themselves turned into Princes upon kissing. It is hardly surprising then that Vassilisa has featured in the likes of Elle and Vogue across the globe and is a firm favourite with Miss Moss (or should that be Mrs Hince?) herself. Better still, AW 2012/13 sees Nadja Solovieva collaborating with stylist Zoe Bedeaux for a collection described as ‘animalistic, dark and enchanting’. Most definitely, curiouser and curiouser.
With scarf prices beginning at £295, these scarves can be bought direct from www.vassilisa.com, or alternatively from www.couturelab.com or www.theboxboutique.com.
*Gwyneth Paltrow’s profound words of ‘it is beyond cute’ perhaps less so.
My name is Lucy and I am a science nerd. With a job as a research scientist and four degrees to my name, there really is no disputing. I am a nerd. I was recently advised to start blogging about my scientific research in order to get my ideas out to the greater research community and found myself thinking how I would much rather be blogging about my desire to have afternoon tea with George Mallory and Marc Bolan, my shallow love for Alexander Wang handbags, which Led Zeppelin album is the best or how I secretly fancy John Steed, but apparently that won’t further my career. And, I see no time soon that the Natural Environment Research Council is going to start funding me to conduct research on the merit of carrying the Kirsten vs. The Rocco.
Granted, I am a scientist, but, the reality is that I am a girl in my twenties who subscribes to Vogue, can waste hours wandering Selfridges and Harvey Nichols and has an unnatural obsession with silk scarves. In other words, like many my own age, I love fashion.
With the impression that I could put down a deposit for a small house using the silk scarves I own (which is probably the main reason why I am still renting!), I thought what better way to counterbalance the nerdy science blog than blog about something so light and colourful and fun. So, here I begin my musings of a silk scarf devotee.