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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘How to Wear Fringe’

Three Ways the Stunning Swedish Actress Greta Garbo Wore Large Shawls as Elegant Vintage Evening Wraps

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

There are even more beautiful ways to wear a large square shawl. As I promised I am continuing with my demonstrations using my 43″ square blue silk shawl with the 6″ hand tied fringe. Because I am showing more methods of styling this size and shape of shawl or scarf with this blue shawl I am continuing to identify them as part of the sequence of large blue shawl styles and they will be numbered as style # 6, #7,and #8 accordingly. You can find the previous styles in these former posts:

In an old original publicity shot for the movie The Tempest the great Scandinavian film actress Greta Garbo is wearing just such a long elegant evening shawl draped around her shoulders and pinned in place. The photo was taken shortly after her arrival in Hollywood. The studio was determined to capitalize on her exotic European elegance and extraordinary beauty to turn her into a top grossing international star. I searched and searched on the internet but could not find that photo to add to this post. I saw it years ago in a museum retrospective on her films and it has stuck in my memory ~ it was a full figure shot and she was leaning against a wrought iron wishing gate wrapped in a long shawl much like this one. Of course Garbo, in a lovely setting, wearing a beautiful vintage shawl shot by a professional Hollywood glamour photographer made a magnificent and alluring fashion photograph! In her honor I will name these three styles which she inspired after her!

Style #6) Greta Garbo ~ Version A Simply Drape Shawl Evenly Across Shoulders

Style #6) The Greta Garbo ~ Version A. Hold the shawl spread fully open. Fold the fringe of the shawl and about 2 inches of the top edge of the fabric forward so it will hang toward the inside facing the back of your neck. Place the folded edge of the long top side of the shawl at the middle of the back of your neck, bring it across your back and forward over your shoulders making sure the center is in the middle of your neck and back so both sides hang down in even equal lengths. Make sure the fringe is hanging straight. You have very simply draped the shawl evenly across your shoulders. This is the classic way to wear a large shawl in every country and every culture, for both warmth and graceful feminine beauty. It shows off the fabric, the design and style of the shawl, and the woman!

 

 

 

Style #7) The Greta Garbo ~ Version B

Style #7) The Greta Garbo ~Version B. Arrange the shawl as shown in Version A, Then bring both sides of the shawl together in the front and cross it over a bit in the center and clip it together in one or two areas to hold it firmly in place so that it doesn’t slip off your shoulders and fall to the ground.

That’s all there is to it! It is amazingly simple and lovely.

You can use one or more brooches or pins, a shawl clip or clips, a stick pin, or, as I did here, two vintage clip earrings. I have discovered that I can use clip earrings from the 1950′s which are too big and heavy for me to wear on my ears as shawl, scarf and sweater clips! It is great to have another use for these earrings because many of them are very pretty.

Clip Earrings Used as Shawl Clips

These vintage clip earrings are made of blue butterfly wings used to create little tropical landscape pictures complete with palm trees and sunsets! Jewelry and other objects made of butterfly wings were popular souvenirs from South America in the 30′s, 40′s and 50′s.

This is a good place to mention that I found this lovely large square fringed scarf/shawl at a thrift store for only $4! Isn’t that amazing as well? I recommend looking for scarves and shawls on a regular basis at vintage stores and thrift shops. I think people get rid of them because they don’t know how to wear them! Which is lucky for us who are willing to work with them and learn how to style and use them.

I have also realized that many different and interesting types of ethnic scarves and shawls become available on the second hand market. I think this happens when people get tired of things or think they are old fashioned. And when people immigrate to the United States or Europe, and want to wear the new contemporary clothing to fit in in their new homes, they often get rid of the ethnic styles and national costumes of their homeland!

Many lovingly handmade scarves and shawls are also given away or gotten rid of.  I have found an East Indian sari, silk scarves from occupied Japan, a Ukranian shawl, a handwoven Tibetan silk scarf, an embroidered Spanish shawl, a French Leonard of Paris designer silk scarf, four British Liberty of London scarves, an Italian silk scarf, 3 Italian Missoni designer scarves, a hand knitted traditional Irish scarf, a Mexican rabosa shawl, an Indonesian batik sarong scarf, an Estonian hand knitted lace shawl, a hand made Breton lace scarf, a Scottish cashmere shawl, an old East Indian paisley shawl, a Russian flowered wool challis shawl, a Thai silk stole, a mink fur stole, a British wool and cashmere muffler from Burberry of London,  several American designer mufflers, a Spanish mantilla, and many more in second hand and thrift shops! I am often happy to rescue a beautiful ethnic textile or a handmade or historical vintage piece! I realize I have accumulated a pretty good collection of beautiful and historical  international scarf styles which is why I am now completely committed to learning how to wear them all!

For me, and many other women, scarves are purely fashion and style statements – beautiful expressions of the art of femininity! I was initially interested in them as textiles and clothing and only later realized they were not only means of expressing oneself fashionably and  artistically, but also embodied complex social, philosophical, cultural  and religious issues and beliefs. I learned that these squares, rectangles and triangles of cloth often represent much more than geometric shapes or beautiful ways to drape the body or set off your face. And I will write more about that at a later time.

I also noticed, in artists renderings, that many great beauties of history have often been draped in flattering shawls and scarves! Queen Cleopatra is beautifully draped in artists portraits. Helen of Troy as well! The notoriously beautiful Spanish dancer, Lola Montez, was wearing a magnificent Chinese embroidered piano shawl with long silk fringe when I “met her” in the photographic portrait gallery of the Metropolitain Museum of Art in New York City. I first discovered her and developed an interest in her when I viewed her portrait on exhibit there! The modern dancer Isadora Duncan was also famous for wearing her reconstructed versions of draped Grecian style dresses and trademark blue shawls.

The list of glamorous and beautiful women in shawls goes on forever! Because I became interested in this subject I noticed them everywhere! That is how I eventually got to Greta Garbo! Years ago I saw several of her silent movies at a museum in Los Angeles and noted the shawl she wore and how she was wearing it in the film The Tempest right away! She was so beautiful and carried it off so well that I committed the image to memory and have often worn and fastened my own large shawls inspired by the way she wore them! This one is my favorite!

Style #8) The Greta Garbo ~ Version C ~ as she wore her shawl in The Tempest

Stlye #8)  The Greta Garbo ~  Version C ~  Another way Garbo the great wore her long fringed shawl in the film The Tempest. Wrap the shawl over the shoulders bringing the Left side all the way across the front overlapping it to the Right shoulder. Secure it in place with a brooch or shawl clip. I used my Eissenberg Ice blue and silver brooch because it is a lovely look with this shawl. It is there on the Right shoulder of the mannequin, but it is so sparkly it is almost blinding! That makes it hard to see in the photograph. I assure you, it both attractive and very noticeable in person!

This manner of styling makes a beautiful long formal evening wrap over a long columnar dress. It would be lovely worn over a simple bias cut spaghetti strapped gown! I would ideally have that in a dark royal or navy blue with this particular shawl!

I have always loved Garbo. I love to reference her in her films for clothing designs, makeup ideas, hair styles, and, of course, the incredible evening gowns designed for her by Adrian. Together they created great art in film fashion and, it epitomized femininity as an art form.

In my opinion no one, and nothing in the world that came before or after Greta Garbo, could possibly be more elegant!

I will continue to search for the publicity photos I saw of her wearing a shawl like this for The Tempest and post them here if and when I find them.

Speaking of artist’s renderings of supreme beauties there was another film, starring Garbo, in which she plays a popular artist’s model in Paris. A long and dramatic story that I cannot remember much about, including the name of it, although I distinctly remember the artist studio scenes with her posing for the painters and sculptors in them. As with most of the horribly melodramatic stories in the majority of her films it is not memorable as a movie, but it is worth seeing to see her and her fabulous clothes. I am always amazed at how Hollywood dressed the actresses playing starving artist’s models and other poor working women in those movies in extravagantly beautiful and outrageously expensive designer clothes.

Of course, like all the girls and women who saw these actresses, it made me want to be like them and dress like them.  And that was the point, wasn’t it? The movies did a lot for fashion in their heyday! I think that they are hugely responsible for the fact that women were more glamorous in general back then and dressed as much as possible like these stars in their real lives.

Because I love that period of fashion history and it inspires me so much I try to dress that way myself now, whenever I get the chance.Of course this takes effort and time but it is well worth it to bring more beauty and pleasure into the world for people to enjoy!

I am grateful for the inspiration I receive from all the people who worked  in the old movies to create the glamorous effects we associate with the great stars of the old Hollywood films! These actresses were beautiful women to begin with but their memorable images were also created with the help of many experts. The makeup artists, hair dressers, costume designers, lighting experts, photographers, brilliant film directors and publicity departments and the writers all contributed to create the final images.

The making of a great legendary Hollywood beauty and star of the old days of high glamor depended on a lot of people doing an incredible amount of high level creative work!

I think about that every time I set out to get dressed up for a high level social effect on my own! I think it must be a lot harder for me than it was with all that professional help! But this is real life, not the movies. I am only inspired by the old movies. I don’t live in them!

Thus, I try to get organized well in advance as I have found that that really helps me. By this I mean laying out my clothes and jewelry and shoes. Trying them on a couple of days ahead of the event for a dress rehearsal. That way, if anything needs to be repaired of altered I’ll have time to take care of it in advance. Figuring out any color co-ordinated makeup I need to plan on wearing in advance, etc. And figuring out some kind of wrap if it will be necessary to get from place to place on a cold winter’s night without freezing to death! Fur coats were popular in the old days for good reasons! They kept you warm as you went from place to place.

A shawl such as this is a good evening wrap in the late spring and summer, but in fall and winter it will not be warm enough worn alone as an outdoor wrap. In such a case you can wear a fur coat or long evening cape to the event and either carry or wear the shawl as neck scarf. When you arrive at the event, check your cape or fur coat, then go to the powder room and style your shawl as shown in one of the photos above. This way, if you are in a cold drafty venue, which is often the case, wearing a lightweight  evening dress with bare shoulders or no sleeves, you can wear the shawl to both stay warmer and look more glamorous! I did this at a winter black tie event this year and was the only woman there who was not covered with goose bumps! I also got a lot of compliments on my beautiful shawl!

I can imagine someone saying carry it? What does she mean, that would look tacky! Here is what I did. I carried a black satin evening purse, sort of a pouchy style between small and medium size. I rolled the above scarf up in a tight and quite small roll and put it into the purse along with a lipstick and a folding comb, and my brooch to pin the shawl. When I arrived, in high style, I checked my long black velvet evening cape and went to the ladies lounge, took my shawl out of my evening bag and put it on in front of the mirror. Then I checked my hair and lipstick, went out and checked my purse, because I don’t like having to hold onto those during an evening, and joined the guests. Many women who were purple with cold commented on how smart this was and said they had never thought of doing it!  I got through the evening looking grand and managed not to catch a cold! Silk is amazingly warm, in case you don’t know. It can actually be too hot during the summer.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I felt glamorous because I was not cold. I was comfortably warm. I do not find suffering in any way to be glamorous and, I really enjoy being glamorous. In order to feel elegant and beautiful I have to be comfortable in every way as well as feeling assured that everything I am wearing is properly co-ordinated and put together and the proper choice for whatever I am attending or wherever I am going. I love coats and capes and shawls and furs and knitted sweaters and winter scarves because they are beautiful fabrics and designs, but also because they keep me warm and comfortable. Greta Garbo wore a lot of gorgeous furs in her movies! And I always take note of this fact!

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Be Your own International Scarf Stylist ~ How to Tie The Glamorous Version of The Cowgirl Scarf or Cowgirl Bandana with a Large Square Shawl with Fringe

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Glamorous Cowgirl Scarf Tie ~ Front View

To create a glamorous version of The Cowgirl I began with a Large  Square Shawl with Fringe measuring 43″ square with 6″ long fringe.

To tie and style the Glamorous Cowgirl Scarf or the Cowgirl Bandana: Simply position the triangular folded shawl evenly in front of your chest like a bib and tie the ends around your neck. Adjust the drape and fringe attractively.

This works well with smaller fringed or beaded shawls as well and you often see cowgirls in old western movies wearing fringed shawls and scarves this way – which is, of course, the way it got its name!

Below are the side and back views of this style: It is very elegant with a sheath dress and a lovely little clutch bag for evening wear.

 

 

 

 

Glamorous Cowgirl Scarf~ Side View

Cowgirls were very glamorous! And they had a true love of fringe! I noted it on their shawls, their boots, their bags, their leggings, their skirts, the reins of their horses, their saddles. everywhere! And I was falling in love with it too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glamorous Cowgirl Scarf - Back View

I say, watch a few Westerns for Fringe Fashion inspiration!

 

 

 

In a more casual vein this scarf/shawl tying method works well over a western shirt or a blue chambray work shirt. You can use it on large, medium and small shawls, with and without fringes and in all fabrics.

I will photograph and post some more variations soon!

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Be Your Own International Scarf Stylist with Two Pretty Side Tied Shawl Styles From France and Italy ~ Gorgeous International Shawl and Scarf Tying Techniques That Are Easy to Do By Yourself to Wear and Add to Your Spring Wardrobe Right Now! Perfect for Fashionable and Lightweight Traveling!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

As a professional ballet dancer living in New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC; and traveling extensively, I picked up many ways to wear scarves and shawls along the way that I would like to share. I also collected quite a few scarves and shawls because they were nice momentos of the places I’ve been and easy pieces to pack and use to transform the looks of the two dresses I traveled with. I love to travel light and I call them transformers! Two dresses and and a mixed selection of five scarves and shawls can create many different looks. I haven’t counted them and I know I haven’t discovered them all! It seems there is always a new way to wear a scarf just around the corner or in the next country you visit! Scarves are an international staple of style. They are worn by women everywhere and how they are wrapped, tied, and worn is a wonderfully interesting feminine art that is practiced all over the world.

I have already shown you Style #1) the Sash, Style #2) the Dorothy Lamour Sarong and Style #3) the Cowgirl Bandana with this square blue shawl in the previous blog. Here are two more wonderful ways I like to wear a large 43″ square silk shawl with 6 ” hand tied fringe. I am using the same blue shawl to demonstrate and will number the styles accordingly. I ended with Style# 3) The Cowgirl, and continue here with Style #4) The French Bateaux and Style #5) the Italian Side Tied Sling.

Begin with Style #3) The Cowgirl Bandana Tied at the Back of Your Neck

Style #4) The French Bateaux: Begin by folding the shawl in half in a triangle and hold it up like a bib in front of you, just as you do to create the Cowgirl Bandana. Tie the ends of the shawl around the back of your neck.

Then rotate the shawl so that the knot is nestled on your Left shoulder and the long pointed centers of the triangle are hanging down your Right side. Arrange the drape of the silky shawl so that it appeals to you and make sure the fringes hang down neatly. I like to arrange a Bateau ~ a more or less square shaped neckline ~ for this style.

 

 

Style #4) The French Bateaux

This is an easy to execute way of tying a shawl and makes an elegant look for both day and evening. It creates warmth around the shoulders on slightly chilly occasions. You can both decorate it by pinning a brooch at the shoulder.

Style #5) The Italian Side Tied Sling

 

 

 

 

Style #5) The Gorgeous Italian Side Tied Sling: Simply begin with the shawl folded in half in a triangle. Place it, centered, on your right shoulder, with half the shawl coming across the front of your body and the other half going around and across your back. Gather the ends together on your Left side near the waist and tie in one overhand knot! Arrange the shawl to your liking and make sure the fringe is hanging nicely.

I often saw shawls worn like this when I was in Italy. It is lovely, graceful and very sexy!

Vintage Eisenberg Ice Brooch on the Hip

 

 

 

 

 

This is also incredibly easy to execute! I have added a vintage blue Eisenberg Ice and sterling silver brooch at the side on the hip to create a bit of jazzy evening dazzle!

Eisenberg Ice is Very Nice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A jewel at the hip is gorgeous bit of glitzy vintage Hollywood Glamour inspired sparkle so rarely seen these days and so lovely to emulate. You can see many examples and get many ideas of how to wear it in old films.

Enjoy trying, tying and wearing these large fringed square shawl styles and I promise there will be more to coming soon!

These large square shawl styles I have demonstrated are truly international with origins and inspirations coming from The South Seas, Hollywood, The Cowgirl from the SouthWestern United States, France and Italy so far!

I think we could cover the world with ways of wearing shawls there are so many! The more I discover, the more I want to know! They are such an easy way to add elegance, grace, and a touch of the feminine arts to any outfit. There is no reason, with access to the internet, that you cannot be your very own international scarf stylist! Isn’t it wonderful?

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Beautiful Ways From Old Hollywood Movies to Wear a Large Fringed Square Shawl – the Exotic Waist /Hip Sash, the Dorothy Lamour Sarong and the Glamorous Cowgirl Bandana

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

I’ve been watching old movies and studying the styles of the actresses wardrobes of course. I note many lovely shawls as part of their costumes imparting real glamor to their looks. (Good old fashioned time tested still holds true glamour! ) I’m inspired to try them out of course! The movies, especially the old ones, are a great source for beautiful vintage styling ideas. You can find almost everything there!

I have a large blue silk 43″ square shawl with especially lovely 6″ long hand knotted fringe. There are many ways to use this shawl shape.  To begin fold the shawl in half in a triangle across the center. I promised instructions on tying sarongs in my postings on Dorothy Lamour a while back and here they are!

The Exotic Waist/Hip Sash and Sarong

 

Style #1) The Exotic Waist Tied Sash com Skirt or Sarong: Simply wrap the shawl around your hips with the point of the triangle hanging down over your bottom in the back and tie the two ends in an overhand knot in the front. Be sure to adjust the fringes so they are all hanging down neatly.

 

 

Close-up of Knot & Fringe

 

 

 

 

 

The Dorothy Lamour Sarong: as a Lovely Side Tied Skirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style #2) Sarong Skirt: Tie the shawl in the same way and rotate it so that the knot is on one side, usually the left, and position it at a jaunty slanting angle below the waist. The point of the triangle should be hanging down one side, the tie ends down the other. Voila! You have made one version of the lovely Dorothy Lamour Sarongs – the side tied skirt!

This is pretty over a dress or skirt as shown. It also works beautifully over slim pants and leggings. and makes a darling little skirt and coverup over a swimsuit!

Watch some of Dorothy Lamour’s movies for inspiration on how to wear these!

And I promise more versions of the sarong and the sarong tied as a dress to come soon.

 

 

The Glamorous Cowgirl Bandana: Front View

Style #3) The Glamorous Cowgirl Bandana: To create this style simply position the triangular folded shawl evenly in front of your chest like a bib and tie the ends around your neck, Adjust the drape and fringe attractively.

This works well with small fringed or beaded shawls as well and you often see cowgirls in old western movies wearing fringed shawls and scarves this way – which is, of course, the way it got its name!

Below are the side and back views of this style: It is very elegant with a sheath dress and a lovely little clutch bag for evening wear.

Cowgirls were very glamorous! And they had a true love of fringe! I noted it on their shawls, their boots, their bags, their leggings, their skirts, the reins of their horses, their saddles. everywhere! And I was falling in love with it too!

I say, watch a few Westerns for Fringe Fashion inspiration!

In a more casual vein this scarf/shawl tying method works well over a western shirt or a blue chambray work shirt. You can use it on large, medium and small shawls, with and without fringes and in all fabrics.

The Cowgirl: Bandana Side View

The Cowgirl: Bandana: Back View

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Instructions for Tying International Scarf Stylist Tricia James Beautiful Orange Pashima Scarf/Shawl

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

I am happy to present the instructions for tying and styling Tricia’s original and unique way of wearing an Orange Pashima Scarf/Shawl. This demonstration is by Tricia James, photos and written directions by Lady Violette. You can also visit Tricia at her website, scarfgenie.com. Tricia is an International Scarf and Accessories Stylist

The finished pashima scarf beautifully tied.

 

Begin by folding the scarf in half lengthwise.

 

Drape over shoulders.

 

Loop scarf around neck & adjust with both ends coming forward in even lengths.

 

Take Left side of scarf loop end and bring it under & around…

 

under & around…

 

several times…

 

as shown…

 

on Left side…

 

Do the same thing with the Right side of the shawl wrapping the end under & around…

 

under & around…

 

until both sides of shawl are fully wrapped,

 

and hanging down in the front.

 

Next, slip your finger into one of the loops on the upper Left hand side of the shawl as Tricia demonstrates here.

 

Next, pull that loop up and out a bit,

 

then continue to “style it out” by spreading it apart with your fingers,

 

as she demonstrates in the photos…

 

To complete the style arrange the extended loop to your liking, adjusting the fullness of the scarf to fit attractively on your neck.

 

Make sure the ends of the scarf and the fringes are hanging down and arranged neatly as shown!

 

Admire your work! You have just tied and styled your pashima beautifully!

 

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Elegant & Flattering New Tie On a Pashima Shawl

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Pashima Shawl Folded & Tied as a Scarf to Ring the Neck & Light the Face in Flattering Color

In her never ending creativity with scarves and shawls International Scarf Stylist Tricia has just invented this new way to wear a pashima – as a beautifully styled scarf to ring the neck and light the face in flattering color.

She actually just invented this new method of tying the shawl! It amazes me because I have seen stacks of these in department stores in scores of pretty colors and wondered exactly what one was supposed to do with them, beyond the obvious thing of wrapping your shoulders with a stole.

Now I feel like I need a stack of pretty colors to wear in all the ways she ties them! If you find a color that flatters your complexion, eyes, or hair (or all three) and learn how to tie it, you have an instantly unique accessory that lights up your face and also adds a bit of warmth around your neck and shoulders. And is unique to you!

The right scarf/shawl and way of tying it can transform any simple dress or blouse into a stunning outfit. I have begun to think of them as transformers! This is a traditional cashmere Pashima shawl size 28″ x 80″ and is folded and tied to wear as shown.

We are working on writing and photographing the directions for tying a pashima like this so you can learn to do it yourself. I’ll post them soon. meanwhile you can visit International Scarf Stylist Tricia James at scarfgenie.com

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The Fine Art of Draping the Human Figure

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

The Fine Art of Draping the Figure

Artists have drawn and painted the human figure draped in beautiful folds of cloth to enhance its intrinsic grace for as long as they have been making art.

And I have been thinking about this all week as I have studied the pictures of Tricia’s beautiful scarf tying techniques.

What could be more stylish and feminine in any time in history or in any culture than a beautifully draped human figure? I can’t think of anything! But I can think of many beautiful examples of draping.

There were the, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the East Indian Women in their exquisite saris, Isadora Duncan the modern dancer, and more beautiful sculptures and paintings than anyone ever could list – just to mention a few examples. Every museum is full of them!

Draping the female figure alluringly is most definitely an example of the Feminine Arts throughout History.

Here Tricia has again used her basic wrap of the white silk shawl, then decorated it with a Ficcare Maximas Clip. These are designed to use in the hair to hold French twists and buns in place, but we have found them to work as excellent shawl and scarf clips as well.

I will post instructions for tying and styling these scarves soon. In the meantime you may visit International Scarf Stylist Tricia James at scarfgenie.com

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The White Shawl “Scrunched” to make a Fresh Stylized Flower Blooming in the Cold and Snowy Dead of Winter!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

White Shawl with Schrunchy Flower Styled by Tricia James

Here is yet another variation on the same basic wrap of the white shawl – this time “Scrunched” with a brown taffeta hair scrunchy. This flowery variation blew me away!

Tricia took a cloth covered hair scrunchy edged in beads, and pulled a section of the shawl through it, then fanned it out to create a Stylized Flower on one shoulder. After shaping it with her fingers she secured the “flower” with one corsage sized long straight pin, hiding the pearl pin head in the folds of the flower.

It is snowing outside and this is a way you can make and wear a fresh flower corsage in spite of the weather! And what a clever way to actually use that stack of seldom worn hair scrunchies made of pretty fabrics that have accumulated in a drawer! I must have 1/2 a dozen of them in various colors that I am now excited to try out as flowers on scarves!

Tricia will come back next week to help me write up directions for tying and styling these scarves which I will then post for you to follow. Meanwhile you can visit International Scarf Stylist Tricia James at scarfgenie.com

I am going to make myself some hair scrunchies  just for the purpose of wearing them as cloth shawl flowers. This seems like a great way to utilize a small bit of pretty fabric, doesn’t it? When I figure out how to make them I will post the instructions as well.

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The White Shawl Again – This Time Antiqued with a Vintage Gold Brooch by Sara Coventry

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

White Shawl - Antiqued with Vintage Gold Brooch

Here is the white shawl yet again! Tied in the same basic way and accented with a lovely vintage 1950′s gold double pin brooch with a chain and dangles designed by Sara Coventry. This would be beautiful paired with a simple gold bangle bracelet , gold rings and gold earrings. I like all the looks we have tried so far, but I think this one is particularly  glamorous. It demonstrates my belief that vintage glamor is timeless.

The creamy natural white silk shawl is a perfect foil for gold jewelry which in turn is very flattering to every skin tone. The reason gold jewelry is popular is that it actually does softly flatter women and, if carefully chosen, can be worn with just about anything.

The gold is lovely here paired with the white shawl and would be equally so with a perfect white blouse. I have put it over a basic dark velvet sheath dress. A dark sheath dress, or a dark skirt or pants always work as base pieces under scarves and shawls.

The same white raw silk shawl, again, is tied by International Scarf Stylist Tricia James of scarfgenie.com

Soon, Tricia will give us instructions with pictures to follow on how to do these shawl and scarf ties and variations  ourselves. then we will have to practice! I for one am determined to master this!

I should point out that i antiqued the photo one step as I could not resist doing so to enhance the antique feeling just a touch. It just made the photo a tad warmer.

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Lady Violette’s Knitted Neckpiece ~ The Unique Tie~on Scarf in Fleurific Colors & How to Make a Version of it for Yourself

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Lady Violette's Fleurific Neckpiece/Tie-on Scarf

My Lady Violette Neckpiece is actually a little scarf made of scrap yarn – albeit, very elegant scrap yarn! And scrap ribbon! I used about 10 different kinds of yarns from mohair through shetland wool to novelty yarns, tweeds, smooth, fluffy, sleek, and some bias tape ribbon sort of stuff which is what you see in the grayish sheer lavender bows. I had lots of little odds and ends left over from larger projects or single balls of yarn I had collected in my personal color way.

I began with all my yarns in a basket and a pair of straight 10 ” long size 10 US wooden knitting needles. That’s it! I have found that the yarn looks and knits differently on wooden versus metal or plastic needles and I far prefer the look of knitting done on wooden ones. I have made swatches, even entire gloves on different types of needles using the same yarn in order to compare the end results. If you have a choice, use wood. In my opinion it makes a more beautiful stitch.

I didn’t knit any swatches. You don’t need to! You can just jump in and make this. It took me less than two hours. I made it while a friend was reading a draft of his novel to me. Which just goes to show that you do not have to concentrate too hard on this knitting project either! No counting of stitches or rows is necessary, nor do you have to follow any patterns or chart! Isn’t this easy? This is a simple little knitting project that you can do quite quickly for pure enjoyment with no frustrating side issues!

Finished scarf should be about 5 – 6 inches wide. The length can be whatever you want. I put it around my neck crossing the ends over each other and stopped knitting when I felt it was long enough. At that point I cast off. Then I inserted the ribbon through a few knit stitches on each edge where I wanted to tie the scarf together to hold it around my neck. I tied the dangling ends into little bows and trimmed them to the lengths I decided looked nice. Et Voila! C’est fini!

To start knitting: cast on enough stitches to make a 5 – 6 inch wide finished piece. I worked at an estimated gauge of about 3.5 stitches per inch. I combined yarns of various thicknesses as I went along, maintaining the feeling of the gauge between my fingers. Thus, I begin with a mohair and a tweed held together, knit a couple of inches, then added  in a different  thin yarn, knit a couple of rows, removed one of the yarns I had been knitting with and started with another thicker, bolder one. When I added a yarn I did not weave in or cut off the yarn tails. I left them for incorporation into the design at the end as little ties or dangling tassels. Some yarn ends I tied into yarn string bows.

I tied the over lapped ends in place permanently so there is no fiddling with the positioning of the neckpiece when you put it on. You just pull it over you head and arrange it into your desired wearing position. It will stay in place, never slip or fall off because it is, essentially a collar or cowl neck ring, not a rectangular scarf. It is like a lovely, cozy, soft, knitted necklace around your neck! It is there to envelope you softly and keep you warm and make you beautiful with it’s flattering flower colors.

Choice of yarns: be sure they are soft, non-scratchy or non-itchy types. I cannot tolerate any irritating yarns around my neck. I know, from experience that children will discard itchy hand knits! And adults will make every excuse not to wear them! Of course yours can be any colors you want to use.

I cannot advise you how much to knit up in any one yarn. You have to be the judge of that as you see your handiwork unfurling before you! That is a nice thing about this little project! It will be very personalized because you will be using your own yarn choices and your own unique judgement as to color and textural combinations. I only used knit and pearl stitches, but you could use pattern stitches or combinations if you want to try it. Anything goes! Because this is Making Art!

My finished Lady Violette Fleurific Neckpiece Tie-on Scarf, can be worn over many things. I wear mine over a long sleeved jewel-necked Michael Stars t-shirt or a very plain thin knit rose-colored sweater. I can wear it atop my hand knitted striped poncho for a really dramatic combination which is also extremely warm. It also works for me over a long deep purple wool coat, or over the top of a turtle neck sweater. It is very lightweight and soft so it s an ideal and extra beautiful top layer. A nice final icing to the cake in winter!

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An Asian Style Shawl Clip is an Option – Rushing is Not Glamorous! Ever! Relax and Take Your Time, Contemplate Your Options as You Put Yourself Together, Enjoy the Process…

Monday, February 21st, 2011

White Scarf Styled with Japanese Lobster Hair Clip by Tricia James

Here is the same  initial wrap and tie of the white scarf I posted yesterday. Styled by Tricia James. But here she has achieved a completely different look. She has accessorized the shawl with a beautiful black lobster hair clip from Japan that is decorated in a lacquer finish with red flower and a butterfly on a broad black clip underlaid in bright red. This creates an Asian feel of austere elegance. Peace and quiet! Calm! Pure Zen!

I consider the way a scarf or shawl is tied to be an art form. The way a woman presents herself to the world, when she has the time and inclination to do so elegantly styled, is a performance art of sorts.

Of course dressing carefully and artistically takes time. One cannot rush! Rushing is not glamorous. Ever! It makes one feel awful! It is always nice to be able to get ready to go out in a relaxed manner, slowly and methodically. The process is enjoyable then, not rushed and stressful.

I suggest you make yourself a violet or lavender cocktail, and allow yourself a half hour to put yourself together. Relax – and getting ready might just be the most enjoyable part of your evening!

Contrast that idea with the stressful modern practice of rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off to get ready to leave which is just awful! So uncivilized!

I am now going to be gathering up accessories items I barely ever use  - and shawls and scarves I can’t figure out how to tie or drape properly. Barrettes that are too large or heavy or slippery to stay in my hair. Scrunchies I only wore once, headbands and lobster clips. Tricia wittily utilizes all of these varied items in her scarf and shawl styling techniques. Other good additions are finger rings, actual scarf clips, brooches, pins, chains, elastics, feathers and flowers, and all manner of heretofore unusable hair clips that can, hopefully, be redirected to higher and better uses decorating scarves and shawls. Finding out what can be done with them should be great fun!  I will show more of Tricia’s ideas on my blog so keep coming back for more and visit International Scarf Stylist Tricia James at scarfgenie.com to see what else she is up to.

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A Simply Beautiful White Silk Scarf Pinned with a Silk Flower! Exquisite!

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Scarf Styled by Tricia James

This is a large off white gauzy raw silk scarf. It is a 3 ft x 6 ft rectangle. It is artfully draped and tied by my friend, International Scarf and Accessories Stylist, Tricia James.

Tricia has endless ideas and techniques for using the accessory pieces you already have and those you might buy! She is an absolute wizard when it comes to tying scarves.

We are embarking upon documenting her styles in photographs and video. And we will be writing instructions on how to do it yourself. She created 6 looks for me out of this one white scarf!  She also showed me how to use other items I already have to accent it and create different looks. In this particular case – the white silk flower pinned to the shawl with a pearl headed corsage pin.

This is so light, airy and romantic! I just love it! Perfect Lady Violette Styling! It also reminds me of a romantic poet’s shirt! And that is a look I have always loved!

This week I will make 6 different blog posts showing this scarf in each of it’s different renditions. Tricia is returning on Wednesday and we will write instructions illustrated with photographs on how to wrap and tie this or any similar large rectangular scarf or Pashima to achieve  this stunning effect. You can try it then and let me know if it is clear to follow and works.

We are achieving these elegant photographic effects in my kitchen corner nook! The only place in the house with strong enough natural light! Sometimes I actually enjoy the challenge of seeing how nice I can make something look with the most limited or restricted of resources – such as a completely bare bones photographic set up or a very inexpensive item picked up in a thrift shop and made to look amazing, original and expensive.

In this case the white scarf we have used came from a thrift store. It was $2  and was completely clean. It looked as if it had never been used. The silk flower was $7.50 at my local sewing supply store. I believe beautiful items like this scarf end up in thrift stores because people receive them as gifts or buy them without understanding how to use them. Sometimes, as in this case, this becomes a lucky find for the clever thrift store shopper. That illustrates the thrill of the hunt!

Consider this photo a little preview of things to come! More scarves, more ideas on how to wear them, more technical advice on how to wrap and tie them. And more from and about the scarf styling expert! Tricia James is Scarfgenie.com

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