Don’t get me wrong. Style-wise, I adore everything Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn stood for. But when it comes to their headscarves – silken folds of Hermès and Gucci – I can’t see me going there.
Scarves have been all over the catwalks for the past two seasons – at Versace, Kate Spade, Alexa Chung, Gucci, Acne Studios, Thom Browne, Tom Ford (although these were more Jackie O than Jackie K) .
On the one hand this is an easy win for brands – a nascent consumer’s baby step into a luxury house, relatively affordable and something we all fall for. Buy, fondle, put away. Forget. Repeat.
But we haven’t seen them on heads for years. Was this a way to make the hijab – increasingly seen on catwalks – a less isolated exemplar of hair cover? Possibly.
And you can’t discount the nostalgia factor in any fashion movement.
It’s not as if the 1970s – the last time anyone tied a silk scarf under their chin without feeling weird – is an alien style decade to us. We’ve disinterred most of its tropes and they’re pretty much all a good fit. Something about fluid cuts, fit-and-flare longer lengths, chunky heels and chiselled or squared-off toes repeatedly feels fit for modern purposes.
But not those scarves. They just feel quaint. Pragmatically speaking, they’ve got a lot going for them: great for bad-hair days; ideal when your outfit needs proportional adjustment, colour or pattern up top, but you’re not ready for an actual hat; good for insulation or keeping the sun off freshly applied highlights… So why haven’t I seen a single person wearing one? Not even to hide rollers (I’m looking at you, Liverpool).
I’ve got as far as wrapping one around the handle of my bag (à la Mulberry). It’s an excellent way to revive interest in an old (OK, last year’s) favourite. Will any of us graduate to full-on Jackie K/Grace K/Audrey H? This one’s worth watching.