Legend has it that, on the advice of his doctor, the third Duke of Krakow, suffering from an annoying torticollis, in 1793 knitted a scarf – the very first to date – so long, so large, that it would have become stuck in the runner of his sled. Doubtful, this anecdote of death by self-strangulation, which resembles the real accident of the dancer Isadora Duncan in 1927 in Nice, fills a historical void on the origins of the scarf, it seems more modest , more distant and more anonymous.
A good century later, the winter of 1914 was harsh, the soldiers shivering with cold. With the industry mobilized, women are called upon to overcome the general lack of preparation by sending woolens. Essential on the forehead, however, the scarf owes all the splendor of its throw behind the shoulder to the automotive and aviation worlds.
In Oxford, Cambridge or in all the prestigious Anglo-Saxon establishments, the students, proud to display the values of their clan, wear it striped with the colors of their university, like Harry Potter. Their parents preferring fur and wide coat collars.
Rolled rock shrimp
Outside the campuses, a few broke writers and hoarse comedians, the scarf is discreet. It was in fact only from the 1980s that we saw a shift. Faithful sidekick of the beanie, the scarf abandons its drip-nose image and bursts the screen with Sophie Marceau in The party, then in Winter tale, One endless day, Love Actually, Eyes Wide Shut… François Mitterrand makes it a socialist emblem. Soon, rappers will develop a certain fascination for the iconic Burberry model marked with the famous Nova Check.
In his fall 2005 collection for Dior Homme, Hedi Slimane shows rock shrimp as if rolled up in three-meter scarves. Success. In 2015, with almost everyone, the trend for giant scarves, between shawls and plaid, took over.
Around the parades, rather than fading into coats, fashionistas use to keep angina at bay while revealing the layering and draping work of their setting. Discovering yourself in winter is very chic. Five years later, parkas, down jackets and oversized coats protect them from hypothermia. The scarf then returns to its role of security blanket, its best known to date.