Once, when I was photographing streetstyle at a thrift shop, a woman told me the blue scarf she was wearing was a Vera Neumann from the 1950s. The savvy shopper (Maria Blakeman) regularly trawled second hand stores for the vintage collectible scarves. Made me think I should pay attention to those wads of silk (and, more often, polyester) in the wire bins reserved for tights, socks, hats and neckware.
Maria in Vera, from AshevilleStreetstyle.com
Fuzzylizzie Vintage Clothing has a bio for designer Vera Neumann (better known as simply “Vera”), along with some great photos of the print scarves. Says Fuzzylizzie, “The earlier pieces from the mid 1960s will often have 100% Cotton, or 100% Silk on the label. Also, the earlier pieces have the ladybug logo, and Vera printed on it, usually in the lower left corner.” Good to know.
Vera at Fuzzielizzie
So far, I’ve yet to find a Vera in a thrift shop (not that I’ve been looking that hard). I do like to peruse the assortment of scarves, though, since patterns come and go and some of the decidedly vintage prints are just so unique. Plus, scarves are a great way to add interest to a basic outfit.
Keith Richards, master of the scarf.
“In the 40s and 50s, scarves were an important fashion accessory worn around the neck, over the head and even on a wrist,” says The Vintage Scarf Blog. “With a twist and a knot, you can quickly and effortlessly turn a bad hair day into an eye-catching hairdo or transform an ordinary T-shirt and jeans outfit into a personal fashion statement.”
Victoria Beckham with scarf on bag.
Personally, I haven’t found mastering the art of the scarf to be quick or effortless — the way French women and rock stars wear scarves with casual cool: Nope, I can’t pull it off. But I have found that practice helps and, if all else fails, a great scarf can be tied around the shoulder strap of a handbag for a Boho look.
That, and the Alexander McQueen skull scarf (above) trend of several years back provided plenty of fodder for my own scarf-wearing.
Lily Gatins, Palais de Chaillot - Paris
9 months ago