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Fringed Scarves as Collectable Accessories in New York City

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 12/5/2004 - www.Littleviews.com ]

>>  Have you ever wondered why New York women go crazy over accessories, especially handbags and scarves? For prices between $25 and let's say $400, they can pick up fabulous, high-quality, wool, silk and glove-leather items that are more splashy than jewelry in the same price-range, and are practical, too.

The following gallery shows off a variety of wearable-art scarf styles available in New York and their approximate prices. These scarves were found at the best stores (Saks, Bergdorf Goodman), craft fairs (like mentioned in our article on New York City's Craft Fairs), and small clothing shops. Fringed scarves are somewhat rare, however, making the hunt to find them a challenge.

Can you buy too many scarves? Probably not. They look great and are exceptionally easy to store. Simply place into a partially sealed zip-lock plastic bag, squeeze out the air by rolling the bag into a cylinder, then seal completely.

Burberry wool scarves (above) with rare, long-edge fringing range in price from $150 (the "Happy Scarf" on the left) to just under $400 (right) and are available at the Burberry Boutique on 57th Street as well as in all the big-name department stores. For a deal, do not hesitate to comb through Bergdorf Goodman at the end of the season to find sales on Burberry, or to strike up relationships with Burberry salespeople at various locations for potential discount-days. You never know when you'll get lucky.

Kristina Akkerman, whose display area is seen in my New York City's Craft Fairs article, is a Chicago Art Institute instructor who specializes in fine fabrics. In addition to scarves, she also creates fabulous silk blouses and wool hats. Most of her pieces are personally hand-dyed. She uses the resulting dye patterns as inspiration for stitching and fringing. The scarf seen to the left is stitched from end to end in ribbon-like rows. Even the fringe is fully hemmed along the edges. Prices start at $75 (pictured), with many in the low to mid-hundreds. Contact her at: Krisline@onebox.com

The designer of the scrunchy boa and lacey scarf above, Anna Shapiro, can be seen in my article on New York City's Craft Fairs. Ms. Shapiro's specialty is wearable art, with an emphasis on scarves, capes, and boas. Styles change radically from year to year, making Ms. Shapiro's work well-known to collectors, and highly prized. Prices range from $150 to $300, with special sales in the $50 range. Contact her at: www.AnnaEsthetic.com

This lush, hand-woven, double-fringed, soft chenille scarf (left) is designed by Marsha Fleisher, a well-known weaver from Woodstock, NY,

Ms. Fleisher's scarves currently cost between $175 to $250 at boutiques and better stores, with some discounts available direct-from-the-artist at art fairs. For a complete look at her line, as well as the opportunity to purchase a fringed scarf, visit www.Loominus.com. Also request wholesale pricing information if you run a boutique or specialty shop.

The above two imported scarves sold for $25 and $30 respectively. The scarf on the left is seven feet long, hand-dyed, feather-soft, pleated silk, and fringed with seed beads. It can be worn as a stole, or scrunched at the neck. I found it at a stand in the 2005 Union Square Winter Holiday Tents.

The second scarf represents a one-of-a-kind find at a small 7th Avenue shop. Also seven feet long, the body of this scarf is made up of loose strands of brown and pink, silver-thread-wrapped chenille, caught every four inches into multi-color knots and/or fringe. The ends culminate with long, slender and feathery pink strands mixed with chenille and silver thread. Although hard to see in the photo, the whole scarf glitters.

While scarves approaching $100 and above seem reasonable to some people, they are way too expensive for others. With a keen eye and urge to poke around in just about any shop (including resale), there are bargains to be had. I've seen, for example, very cool, rare, spiral wool boas ($15) buried under common piles at Bolton's. I've also seen great sales at high-end stores, and in mini discount-bins at craft fairs, so for your best buying opportunities, let your scarves and your attitude about where to shop for them hang loose.

Questions or comments?
Karen Little

Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 12/5/2004. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.

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