Wearable Art: Karen Mabon


The designer silk scarf is a genius accessory. What other item of clothing can be chic, quirky, colourful, glamorous and casual all at the same time? It is both current – Paris Fashion Week saw silk scarves all over the catwalk – and timeless. Think Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, and Grace Kelly. For an accessory that is as classy as it is fun, the picturesque towns and sparkling blue waters of Italy’s Lake Como makes a perfect backdrop. This is a place where the likes of George Clooney come to escape the demands of stardom, enjoying all of the beauty and seclusion that the lake offers – and it is the setting for Karen Mabon’s latest photo campaign. Karen describes her designs as ‘whimsical’, and ‘surprising’. The scarves in this latest shoot have certainly been created to delight; from afar they appear vibrant and abstractly decorated. Up close, amusing illustrations of cats, carousel horses and flamingos reveal themselves. Karen’s colourful palette and hand-drawn images come together beautifully in scarves that blur the distinction between fashion and art. From humble beginnings in Black Isle, Scotland, to a prestigious education at the Royal College of Art in London and coverage in Vogue, Karen has worked hard to create a brand that celebrates style and personality. Although she has occasionally branched out into designing jewellery, bags and other accessories, Karen’s main passion lies in scarves. Their versatility gives her scope to be creative with the notion of wearable art – and besides, scarves are not going out of fashion any time soon.

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