Concorde 004: It's time for H.O.P.E.
Swaggy scarf secrets, cool squashable shoes and one-of-a-kind compost-dyed clothes
Welcome to Concorde, a new 2x monthly creation from Blackbird Spyplane where Erin takes the lead. You could call it a women’s vertical, but the insights, intel and “cute swag information” transcend gender. The Concorde archive lives here…
Heyyyy, welcome to Concorde!
Today we’re going to dive deep into COOL scarves — exploring an accessory that can elevate an outfit to Mach 3+ levels with more power, economy & esprit than any other…
…except possibly a fuzzy pom-pom beanie??
And we’re going to get into the ins & outs of various COOL ways to wear them.
Also, we’re going to REJECT the kind of punishingly, sadistically stiff footwear that insists that there is some “nobility in suffering.” No! Instead, we’re going to sink our feet into some soft, supple recon on beautiful, SUBLIMELY SQUASHABLE shoes…
PLUS: intel on very sick, very kindvibed unisex camo clothes hand-printed with foraged foliage.
Let’s get to it !
— Erin & Jonah
Who among us doesn’t long to commune with that “wild & free” part of the soul? To be (and be seen as) the type of person who’s so moved by the sight of lichen running up a tree trunk, by the glow of the stars, by the dizzying magnetic currents of l’amour fou, etc., that she feels compelled to whip out her pocket Rhodia and dash off some free verse?
That’s where my mind went the other day as I looked at these swagged-out old pictures of certified “Welsh stanza-god” Dylan Thomas and his wife, the author Caitlin Thomas, who (despite their legendarily deranged personal relationship) give me abundant H.O.P.E. — a.k.a. Hot Old-School Poet Energy:
Yes, the tousled hairdos, beautiful knits, and insouciant darts they’re blasting all look very cool. But the most H.O.P.E.ful things here are those rolled & knotted scarves. Look how cavalierly they tossed them on. They’re like two mischievous little winks at the neckline 😉😉.
We’re extremely pro-scarf and -bandana at BBSP. Jonah and I wear them to hike, ride bikes, and garden, and despite (or because of) the “old-school” notes a jaunty scarf can communicate, I’ve noticed more and more people wearing them recently — and not just for sport or warmth, but for style. Last month in Tokyo, Rashida and I both rolled up to dinner one night wearing short silk bandanas peeking out of the tops of our sweaters on our synchronous “Cary Grant at the start of To Catch A Thief” flow. H.O.P.E. is having a moment, friends!
Scarves can go wrong. They can flop goofily, create a traffic-jam of fabric at your throat, and otherwise push an outfit over the top, on some “looking real extra” s**t. But over many years of trial-and-error I’ve figured out the dimensions and fabrics I gravitate towards, and tabulated those findings into 3 distinct scarf modes. Try these on for size, and play around with what feels good:
SCARF MODE 1 —
I like tying a classic 16” to 22” silk or cotton square — the more washed-and-worn the better — in a neat little knot at my throat for that jolt of H.O.P.E., much the same way the eternally swaggy (and very poetic!!) Daniel Day-Lewis is doing in picture 2. below left.
If the scarf falls toward the 22” end of things, I either tuck the tails inside my collar or let them fly gloriously like Angela Davis (4.), photographed in 1975 by Sophie Bassouls…
You can also treat your scarf like a wide choker and finish it off with a little rosebud knot like Gloria Vanderbilt (1.) did in the ‘70s, or tie it in the back like Phoebe Philo did for her Fall 2012 Céline collection (3.).
BTW, there’s a colorblock leather scarf from that runway show (A.) on eBay right now, asking $775 (!!) here.
But that’s just the start. You can find a million classic bandanas on eBay, Etsy and other vintage sites — some quite special and extremely cheap…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Blackbird Spyplane to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.