Fashion

Alexa Chung Gives Skinny Scarves a Comeback

Story by Jocelyn Silver / Photography by Sonny Vandevelde

At Alexa Chung's fall 2019 show, the influencer presented a number of staples that she's known for wearing: pretty pajama suiting, sweet tea dresses, a take on the prairie trend, velvet. The collection, titled "Off the Grid But Not for Long," supposedly referenced dystopia — but if this is dystopia, it really looks quite nice. Like a picnic in a field that happens to be near a toxic waste treatment plant.

All of the pieces were cute, but what I really want is the outerwear. Chung's first look featured a slick black patent leather blazer with a wide collar and belt that I'm sure will be imitated everywhere. There was a full-length patent trench with a billowing hem that veered towards cocoon, sharp blazers, an embrace of the corduroy trend, and a patent coat with practical quilted lining. They felt like the best of new millennium minimalism, like Gwyneth Paltrow could have worn the jackets in Sliding Doors.

But one unexpected element of Chung's collection was an embrace of a long-gone garment: the skinny scarf. Once a 2000s staple, the skinny scarf has been slower to come back during fashion's quick embrace of the naughties, slower to arrive than low-rise jeans or Uggs. The skinny scarf was everywhere in 2006 or so — my first association with the thing is Marissa Cooper, in a pink skinny scarf and tragic CBGB t-shirt, flirting with a baby Olivia Wilde. What a time!

Your Hilary Duffs and Ashley Tisdales mostly wore skinny scarves in chiffon-like materials, floaty fabrics anchored only by a neck. But in Chung's hands they were rendered in multi-colored knits and trailed nearly to the floor, with fringe at the end (American fringe. They didn't have bangs). She's really given them a comeback.

Photography: Sonny Vandevelde

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