Blankets to wear in and outside the house
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We’re well acclimatised to seeing blankets from luxury houses used as status symbols in people’s homes. There they are, proudly displayed on the arm of an original Pierre Jeanneret chair or slung over Frette bed sheets. But a new clutch of fashion blankets make a compelling case for using throws not just to dress out furniture, but our bodies also.
Connolly designer Isabel Ettedgui is a blanket nut. “I was raised in Lesotho,” she says, where blankets are used both ceremonially and for warmth. “For me, a blanket is that incredible cross section between lifestyle and fashion. It doesn’t involve dressing, and yet you get every ounce of comfort and joy from it. Blankets excite me way more than a designer handbag.”
Rick Owens’ blanket of choice is more of an eiderdown – a giant, duck-down filled black square of nylon quilted into a starburst motif. “I love an elemental gesture – a blanket in a meadow next to a stream under a sunrise – who needs clothes?” the designer says. Although at this time of year, this blanket would be just as useful indoors, as something to huddle under in the evening.
And with fashion designers so attuned to thinking of how things feel against our skin, it’s little wonder that their blankets are so often a pleasure to touch. That sensibility is evident in the cashmere content of Erdem’s pretty, floral Merino throw, Brunello Cucinelli’s brushed silk blanket, and the tactile fringing on Loro Piana’s cashmere offering.
“Seeing blankets from designers whose aesthetic our customer knows and loves is a great way to bring fashion into the home,” says Lianne Wiggins, head of womenswear buying at MatchesFashion. She points to the launch of Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders’ new lifestyle brand, the blankets for which come in chunky patchwork knits and heavy fringed zig-zag patterns, echoing his textural knitted jumpers.
Gabriela Hearst has been showing blanket-like garments for several seasons now, including ruanas knitted by artisans of the Manos del Uruguay women’s collective, and worn pinned together at the front for winter, and more poncho-like for spring. This season’s ruanas translated to cardigans and actual blankets (the blanket can just as easily be worn as a cosy second layer). “We have been stocking Hearst’s blankets for the last few seasons,” adds Wiggins, “and have seen strong performance as they really are like works of art.”
With many of us now used to outdoor dining or socialising – the blanket has come of age. They are now dispensed as standard at rooftop bars and restaurant terraces. But you’ll be so much chicer when you bring your own.
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