Fashion Month is drawing to a close, but one particular accessory is here to stay. As many will know, New York Fashion Week began in 1943, after Americans saw the need to establish their own trends during WWII and set themselves apart from French design. Well, that distinction has trickled away over the years and it seems now that there’s direct inspiration to be drawn from the Continent for the Americans, as scarves – those thoroughly European accessories – became a crucial component in many designers’ collections this year.
Although some have remarked how technology was the necessary accessory for the Big Apple’s shows this month, it should be noted that scarves were the staple inter-seasonal piece showcased, promising fashionable adaptability. And now the British company Accessorize has set itself the task of continuing the trend here.
Just as the feminine scarf bun was prevalent in Sophie Theallet’s show, Derek Lam went for an all-white tasselled look and Donna Karan was unusually drawn away from black by Indian scarf patterning and colour, so too has Monsoon-owned Accessorize taken a leaf out the Americans’ style book and thoroughly joined in the revival of the scarf as key accessory. They want us to “add a pop of colour or a flourish of print” to the months ahead and carry on the positivity of the catwalks by global use of the scarf.
Certainly, the myriad ways to wear them exhibited by Monsoon HQ extends beyond the influence of France or Italy (though many a woman – both in Britain and the States – has been influenced over the years by that “Roman Holiday” European flair of Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe in the 1953 Hollywood movie). For example, the neck bow tie is a look that can often be seen in Japan, but then the Far East has always been a source of inspiration for Monsoon. Rather, what is key in the scarf’s revival is not necessarily its modernisation, but its vintage appeal.
That’s not to say just European vintage, either. For, although this trend could be interpreted as Hermès-inspired and the headscarf option seen as influenced by Eastern Europe, so the latter styling option also appeals to those channelling an American vintage feel that harks back to the Pin-Ups of the 1950s and on – think open roads, convertibles and a touch of the Mad Men vibe. However, Accessorize has also anglicized the scarf’s many uses, such as the tie around the hat (good for festivals and casual weekending), contrasting with the all-American air hostess look of the side neck tie. Of course, the oversize scarf wrapped around the neck in imitation of a snood is a hit on many a city street globally, but the bow tie on the head is, again, reminiscent of 50s glamour and following the dream.
In short, a scarf is for every woman you are – be that vintage European on Monday or red-lipped and American by Saturday. Monsoon Accessorize have taken New York high fashion accessorising to the British high street with stylish versatility once again.