Art (as Scarf) | Notes on the Form

Elegant, timeless, essential – these are three words that come to mind when I think about silk scarves. Scarves have a story that starts in my childhood. From my personal life, to the growth of my own style, to the present in my professional life as an artist and designer.

My earliest memories of scarves come from my Aunt Evelyn, who was a style icon for me growing up. She always tucked a gorgeous scarf in her purse – while she wore one herself – in case someone felt cool. That was often me, and I remember her lovingly draping me with her elegant silk and cashmere pieces – like an embrace. I admired the bright colors and beautiful designs even then – I still have and wear some of them!

Scarves began to play a greater role in my personal style when I split my home between New York and Rome. Italian style and scarves go hand in hand, and no European woman is without this accessory. in her wardrobe. Fashion writer Nina Garcia writes in The One Hundred:

Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself.”

A scarf then, is an expressive way to assert part of yourself.

In designing my line of Art-as-Scarf, each aspect of the form, from the material to the size to the weight of the material, was a deliberate choice. For the material, I experimented with silk “sensation”, crepe and other silk-simulated fabrics. 100% silk proved to be the winner and it’s what all my scarves are made with. It is a fabric that provides some warmth yet is not “hot” around the collar; it has a subtle sheen and a luxurious feel. As for the weight of the silk, I needed it to be light enough to be inter-seasonal, a scarf for all times. Light enough for Spring walks and summery nights, and versatile enough to layer under autumn jackets and glamorous for a wintery night out. This is the kind of piece that is always in your “purse,” like Aunt Evelyn’s!

I chose an abundant length in a rectangular form that allows the scarf to drape luxuriously around your shoulders or trail behind you suggestively when a slight breeze lifts the fabric. Wrapped a few times around the collar produces a frame to the face. Tied in a bow around the neck, it’s a fun eye-catching accent.

Color theory played a decisive role in my conceptualization of the Art-as-Scarf series. After studying color with a specialist in “armochromia” (a newly-invented Italian words that translates to “harmonious chromatics”), I became fascinated with how color can affect one’s appearance. The color adjacent to your face is what can either illuminate your complexion or drain it completely. Each of us has a unique skin tone, which tends towards either warm or cool undertones. I learned from my studies – people see color first, then “you”, then your figure. What color we wear can greatly influence how we are perceived!

Looking around, I found it difficult to find a scarf in my own best colors, and yearned to create the perfect combination for my skin. I then amplified my designs to include all palettes and complexions, and continue to work on perfecting color combinations. A trusted scarf in your “illuminating” or top color, in the palette that suits you best, is a staple for making absolutely anything look fabulous. Even if you are wearing colors that are less complimentary, a well-placed scarf can add dimension and light to your face.

In each collection I design, I include a spectrum of colors from each season: warm, bright colors for Spring complexions; warm, muted colors for Autumn; cool and light palettes for Summer; and vivid cools for the Winter types.

The “canvas” of the silk scarf is a beautiful blank page for me to work on. When creating a scarf, I envision what I would love to see in the world, and create it myself . That is the essence of being a designer: the colors, styles and ideas in my collections are all ones that I desire to see in the world. Some of these come intuitively – others are arrived at through studying and practicing my art.

To browse my scarf collections, visit the online shop at byClù.com. And stay tuned for my forthcoming collection!