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fashion trends

Friday, May 02, 2008

We’ve been seeing a lot of the larger trends like yellows, turquoises and patent do well but one that took off (and took us by surprise) was the prayer scarf. Remember the pashmina craze a couple years ago? It’s like that, only with more love and peace and optimism (and style) involved. Unlike pashminas, these scarves are a more manageable size, come in engaging patterns with sewn details and are a much more versatile accessory.

Sir Alistair Rai, by Kiran Rai, kickstarted the trend by co-opting the Tibetan khata (a ceremonial scarf offered at the start of a relationship to indicate goodwill and positivity) and hand-embroidering it with feel-good prescriptions of “Love,” “Peace” and “Faith.” Throwing in the color scheme of Tibetan prayer scarves (representing the five elements of earth, air, water, fire and sky) and Sanskrit patterning, these scarves become a microcosm of Tibetan heritage, spreading a codified message of understanding and compassion through fashion. They’ve since been spotted on a range of young celebs such as Jessica Alba, Nicole Ritchie, Ashlee Simpson and the like.

Scarves are an essential wardrobe item because they are so versatile. These prayer scarves, with their festive colors and embroidered detail, are fantastic for gussying up an outfit when you don’t feel like putting in the effort. They are perfect for seasonal transitions or micro-climate locales like San Francisco where weather changes are unpredictable and sudden. Wear them instead of a jacket for quick jaunts, or with a light coat for extended walks out of doors. Lastly, the sheer fabric lends itself to delicate layering and folds, giving additional texture and character to anything from a plain tee to business attire. And in a time of seemingly unending conflict (are we fighting Eurasia ... or Eastasia?), what better look to promulgate than peace, love and understanding?

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