Full disclosure for the new year: I do not like cold, and that is an understatement. People can't understand how I managed to live in New York for so many years. It was then that I discovered the wonder of scarves, as there was not much need for them in Buenos Aires' winter (and I was young!). I embraced scarves fully, or rather, I allowed myself to be fully embraced by them, for wellbeing and style reasons. Since then, they are part of my life, in their different forms and expressions - shawl, foulard, you name it. They warm my voice, they bring color to my outfit, they cuddle me. I love scarves. If there is one item you want to indulge in, for all sort of reasons (practical, spatial, stylish, wellbeing), it is scarves.
When I saw my sister-in-law with such a delicate and beautiful cashmere scarf, I needed to know where she got it. She then told me about her friend Joan and her cashmere scarves, and she arranged to meet her when I was in LA last week.
Surrounded by three walls full of dreamlike scarves, and a fourth wall giving onto a beautiful sunny backyard shining in the crisp Christmas day in LA, I felt I was floating among clouds, like a kid mesmerized by the view of the Christmas tree surrounded by colorful packages. I wanted to open every single bag and be caressed by every single thread of cashmere in each scarf. These scarves are something else (Italians would say: "ma non esaggeriamo!"). The colors are so bright, the design so artful, the texture so smooth, the quality so exquisite.
Joan and her daughter Elara have started Kate Kanyon (http://www.canyonviewcashmere.com) 18 years ago after a trip to Nepal. Since then, they have engaged local cashmere artisans, provided jobs and support to the community, and contributed to preserve scarf craftsmanship. Kate Kanyon's scarves bring together the amazing scarf-weaving mastery of this community at the foot of the Himalayan mountains and the refined design by Elara. In their words "a union of Western design sensibilities with time-honored craftsmanship."
While telling me the story of their serendipitous start and their now close relationship to the artisans in Nepal (Elara travels to Nepal a few times a year), Joan - who is as passionate as she is sweet - was opening bags and taking out one scarf after another, with one design more beautiful than the next in their colors, texture, and weaving patterns. They are light in weight, but warm if it is cold and heartwarming if that is what you need (And there are even baby blankets with a silk finishing! I wanted to be a baby again!). And there are colors, sizes and designs for all tastes.
I wanted to capture it all in pictures, yet my pictures failed to do it. I was not surprised. Another full disclosure - I am not a good photographer. I felt much better when Joan told me that even with a professional photographer, pictures had to be redone to do justice to their delight.
I left cuddled by a wonderful scarf, wonderful gift by my sister-in-law.
(If curiosity is itching you, you can check the full collection at http://www.canyonviewcashmere.com/fashion_intro.html. Below is a pick from the catalogue. And if there is a scarf you want, just contact me. Indulge! Next blog post is about closet cleaning!).