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  • June 26, 2015

    Pitti Uomo June 2015

    Summer Scarves: How do you wear yours?

    Scarves are too good to be kept just for winter. These stylish visitors to menswear exhibition Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy this June told us why.

    1. Alan Nam
    Fashion consultant and founder of The Alan Company

    Alan Nam, Fashion Consultant and Founder of The Alan Company, wearing Wispy Superfine Cashmere Scarf in Orange. Available now. Alan Nam, Fashion Consultant and Founder of The Alan Company, wearing Wispy Superfine Cashmere Scarf in Orange. Available now.

    Explain why you believe more men should adopt the summer scarf into their wardrobe?
    Less men are wearing ties so there is now a need for an iconic piece of clothing to express a person's character and a scarf is a nice option to replace said tie.

    For you, what are the three main criteria of the perfect scarf in warmer climes?
    -Length should not too long or bulky
    -Soft-but-light cashmere which still provides warmth for early mornings and evenings
    -Must have a summer character in either colour or design

    Do you go big on colour or keep it neutral? And is it all about plain or do you prefer pattern?
    Loud colours and patterns.

    How do you wear yours and what do you wear it with?
    Worn loosely during summer and added to an outfit as a reflection of self to others.

    Is there a style icon from film, music or perhaps the fashion industry around Pitti today that you believe completely nails the summer scarf?
    Franco Minucci (the well-respected owner of the Italian institution Tie Your Tie)

     

    2. Hugo Wiik
    Creative director of Nitty Gritty

    Hugo Wiik Creative Director of Nitty Gritty, wearing Staffa Konyak available in Spring 2016 Hugo Wiik Creative Director of Nitty Gritty, wearing Staffa Konyak available in Spring 2016

    Explain why you believe more men should adopt the summer scarf into their wardrobe?
    More comfortable than wearing a tie - it can be used to add something a little more flamboyant to an outfit. A scarf is an easy way to complete a look.

    For you, what are the three main criteria of the perfect scarf in warmer climes?
    -Light
    -Soft
    -Matches your style

    Do you go big on colour or keep it neutral? And is it all about plain or do you prefer pattern?
    Always neutral but not necessarily plain especially in warmer seasons. 

    How do you wear yours and what do you wear it with?
    Wrapped but with a casual look to avoid looking restricted.

    Is there a style icon from film, music or perhaps the fashion industry around Pitti today that you believe completely nails the summer scarf?
    Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia and Hiroki Nakamura Founder and Designer of Visvim.

     

    3. Leo Fenwick & Adam Kelly
    Brand Communications and Buying & Merchandise Director at Fenwick 

    Leo Fenwick & Adam Kelly of Fenwick, wearing Superfine Wispy Cashmere Brighton Scarf and Fiji Machardy Scarf, Available Spring 2016. Leo Fenwick & Adam Kelly of Fenwick, wearing Superfine Wispy Cashmere Brighton Scarf and Fiji Machardy Scarf, Available Spring 2016.

    Explain why you believe more men should adopt the summer scarf into their wardrobe?
    Adam: It is a really versatile way to dress up a T-shirt with a little jacket  which adds  more expression. A scarf can take you from day to night.

    Do you go big on colour or keep it neutral? And is it all about plain or do you prefer pattern?
    Adam:The scarf allows your mood to show through, some days a neutral vibe is needed other days a real pop of colour.

    How do you wear yours and what do you wear it with?
    Leo: Depends on the weather, mood, event, time of day and the material of the scarf.

    Is there a style icon from film, music or perhaps the fashion industry around Pitti today that you believe completely nails the summer scarf?
    Adam: Paul Newman
    Leo: Steve McQueen

  • June 9, 2015

    Simon Crompton visits Begg & Co HQ

    The Begg & Co team were lucky enough to have the fantastic Simon Crompton, classic men’s style journalist take a look behind the scenes  at our factory. We couldn't resist asking him a few pertinent questions in our exclusive interview.

     

    Simon Crompton Founder of Permanent Style Simon Crompton Founder of Permanent Style

     

    What do you do?

    My official title is ‘Founder’ at Permanent Style founded eight years ago. It is the world’s leading blog on tailoring and sartorial style, informing men about the benefits of dressing simply and well with the best quality items. My background as a professional journalist and editor for several years impacts the way in which I write and investigate topics.

    Where do you do it?
    Based in London but with lots of travelling. I enjoy trips to interesting places like your factory. My next stop is Sweden where I will visit Böle the last standing spruce bark tannery in the world.

    Why do you it?
    Because it’s eight years later and there is still a surprising lack of understanding of menswear and the quality and value of the different processes involved in men’s clothing.

    Which Begg & Co scarf must be yours and how will you wear it?
    Kishorn Washed Flannel Grey with a leather jacket or suede zip up.
    Today’s choice was Wispy Army in a braid knot as this quality works well tucked into tailored/ suit jackets.

    Quickfire Scarves For Him Questions
    Pattern or plain? - Plain
    Lightweight or classic? - Lightweight
    Tucked in or worn over? - Worn over
    To knot or not? - Knot
    Pop of colour or subdued tones? - Subdued tones

     

     

    Behind The Scenes at Begg & Co with Simon Crompton from Begg & Co on Vimeo.

     

    Read more about Simon’s Begg & Co factory tour on his blog.

  • May 12, 2015

    A Very Short History of the Men's Scarf

    Esteemed men's style writer G. Bruce Boyer takes us from ancient China to Hollywood's Silver Screen glory days in his enlightening whistle-stop historical tour

    G. Bruce Boyer, photo credit- Permanent Style G. Bruce Boyer, photo credit- Permanent Style

    G. Bruce Boyer has more than forty years experience as a noted men’s fashion editor, style writer and fashion historian so is the voice of great knowledge on all things sartorial and menswear related. For fifteen years he was the men’s fashion editor of the US magazine Town & Country and has also contributed to an impressive list of US publications including Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Forbes, The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Rake. He is also a prolific writer of books on the history and the direction of menswear including Elegance, Eminently Suitable, Rebel Style: Cinematic Heroes of the Fifties and Fred Astaire Style. He is contributor and consultant to The Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion and he co-authored Gary Cooper: Enduring Style with Cooper’s daughter Maria Cooper Janis. He has also worked closely with The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In 2013 he was asked to co-curate its Ivy Style exhibit and contribute to the accompanying book Ivy Style: Radical Conformists. Along with Patricia Mears, Deputy Director of The Museum, he also co-curated the exhibition Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930’s and co-authored the resulting book.

     

    A Very Short History of the Men's Scarf by G. Bruce Boyer

    The beginnings of wrapping a length of cloth around the neck are, like many things, lost in the mists and bogs of time. But there is one definite point in the timeline we can note with certainty, thanks to a group of industrious Chinese farmers who decided a few years ago (1974 to be exact) to dig a water well in their local district of Xi’an, the capital of an small agricultural region of Shaanxi Provence in Northwest China.

    To cut to the chase, what they discovered when they started digging was the now famous terracotta army of Qin Shih Huang, China’s first emperor. When he died in 210 BC, his terracotta “army” – molded statues of 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, and over 650 horses, all life-sized and exquisitely detailed – was buried with him. It was a stupendously unparalleled archaeological discovery. For costume historians it was a particularly auspicious find because these statues gave clear evidence of what sort of clothing was worn in that part of the world over a thousand years ago.

    Terracotta warrior, photo credit - Your Shot National Geographic Terracotta warrior, photo credit - Your Shot National Geographic

    Or at least what sort of clothing warriors wore. These men were dressed for battle. One of the more interesting details shows that many of them wore scarves, and that they tied them in much the same way we tie our scarves today: the cloth was folded around the neck back-to-front, and then looped so that the ends hung down the front of the chest. It’s so interesting because we see the same sort of garb worn in the same way on Roman soldiers depicted on the famous triumphal column of the emperor Trajan erected in Rome in 113 AD. The bas relief spiral frieze that celebrates Trajan’s military campaigns again clearly shows soldiers wearing scarves.

    Trajan's Column, photo credit- St Andrews Trajan's Column, photo credit- St Andrews

    Art historians have surmised that these scarves might have been symbolic badges of honour befitting exceptionally brave warriors, because we don’t have much evidence that scarves were worn by the common populace. But other historians have noted that we simply don’t have many statues or other evidence of what ordinary people did a thousand years ago. Or that soldiers may in fact have been smart enough to invent ways to keep their necks warm and even ward off a sword blow or two. It’s worthwhile to remember that many styles of dress have evolved from military use.

    Which brings us to the next point, another military connection. During the Thirty Years War in Europe (1618 – 1648), Croatian mercenaries in the pay of the French King Louis XIII were accustomed to wearing long, colourful, knotted neck cloths as part of their battle dress. When these troops succeeded, these festive-looking accessories became wildly popular in Paris. It’s believed that the French word “cravat” is a corruption of the word for Croat. Whether true or not, it very nicely brings us ‘round the corner and up to the door of the modern age.

    Somewhere along the timeline since then, this military neck cloth divided into the necktie and the scarf, but that had not yet happened when the most famous practitioner of tying a bit of cloth around the neck came along. George “Beau” Brummell (1778 – 1840), that consummate Regency dandy known for having a way with a strip of starched muslin, raised the accessory to a badge, not of field battle, but of prestigious society acceptance. A.B. (After Brummell) neck cloths would never be just a matter of protection.

    Beau Brummell statue in Jerymn St, photo credit- wikipedia Beau Brummell statue in Jerymn St, photo credit- wikipedia

    In the Nineteenth Century, men’s neck cloths began slowly to shrink, and adapt themselves, to the newer fashion of smaller shirt collars and frock coats. But small, silk neckties could hardly be expected to take the place of neck cloths in inclement weather. And so, by the dawn of the Twentieth Century, scarves – the manly word “muffler” had now come into existence as the name for a scarf that was long and narrow, rather than a folded square – became a distinct standard part of a gentleman’s wardrobe. The men’s fashion magazine Men’s Wear noted in 1928 that “All the best dressed men show a generous amount of muffler above the coat collar and the muffle is folded always in such an apparently careless way that it appears to have blown up about the neck by the wind.” A bit of sprezzatura seems to have always been an accent of scarf wearing with well-dressed men.

    By the 1930s it was all there: Tartan cashmeres and white silk formal scarves, paisleys, school stripes, jacquarded patterns. About this time Hollywood’s influence was also seen, as the debonair Fred Astaire started to wear a silk scarf as a belt, and Cary Grant, among other well-accoutered actors, favoured a cashmere muffler with his tweed sports jackets.

    Fred Astaire, photo credit- Fine & Dandy Fred Astaire, photo credit- Fine & Dandy

    Advances in scarves since then seem to have been more in the nature of finer fabrics, those whisper-weight cashmeres and gossamer blends which have truly made them dulce et utile, a chic complement to the contemporary wardrobe, a nice note of disclosure of the style and personality of the man who wears one.

  • April 23, 2015

    Testing the limits with Wispy

    How light can cashmere go?
    With five miles of the finest yarn in every scarf the Begg & Co Wispy is woven cashmere at its lightest reveals Nicola Campbell* from her factory tour with Operations Director, David Woodhouse

    Since the brand’s launch in 2013, the biggest success story for Begg & Co is its Wispy scarf. As Operations Director, David was instrumental in the creation of this unique and beautiful lightweight scarf. The Wispy is cashmere at its finest. “The development of the Wispy goes back to 2004, it started with a conversation between myself and one of our yarn suppliers in the back of a car on the way to restaurant in Italy. We were discussing just how far you could push it in terms of making the finest, most lightweight cashmere product. How close to the edge could you go, to the point where it was so light and wispy (the name stuck) before it was impractical to make? That was the challenge I put to the yarn supplier. He came back with the idea of using a very, very fine cashmere thread spun from a fantastically fine cashmere fibre of which there is very little on the market. He said that the resulting yarn is way too fine to weave however he had this idea of a technique where we could use a supporting thread on the yarn that would help it through the weaving but that would later be dissolved in the finishing process,” explains David, who spent the next 18 months to two years working on making this revolutionary idea a reality. “At first it was a complete disaster – hopeless. I nearly gave up so many times along the way because it wasn’t working and every trial cost a lot of money. But eventually we perfected it. The supporting thread [for the delicate cashmere yarn] is actually a hardened PVA glue spun into a thread, which we then twist with the cashmere. The resultant thread is quite strong so we can weave it. After it is woven, we treat the fabric in an aqueous solution at a high temperature and the supporting thread transforms into liquid form and disappears. It leaves behind this very fine cashmere that otherwise you would not be able to weave.”

    Begg & Co's superfine wispy being produced in our mill in Scotland

    So David’s Wispy dream has become a reality: “It’s fantastic for us. It is unique in that it is the lightest cashmere product to come out of Scotland.” So the Wispy and its revolutionary yarn were perfected and developed for market in a range of plain colours and screen prints and its success grows and grows.

    Ann Ryley, Begg & Co’s Sales & Marketing Director, concludes: “The Wispy is a firm Begg & Co bestseller. When I am out talking with our retail partners about the collection they tell me that they love being able to tell their customers there is an impressive five miles (8km) of this superfine cashmere yarn woven into each scarf. That they can say the yarn in the scarf would take you the length of Manhattan or from Clapham to the centre of London, so their customers can visualise just how fine the cashmere in these scarves is, underlines the beauty of The Wispy. It really is cashmere at its finest.”

    Begg & Co Superfine Wispy Cashmere Scarf

     

    Nicola Campbell is a fashion and lifestyle journalist with 18 years experience. She spent a decade honing her trade at the UK fashion business bible Drapers  before taking the role of deputy editor on consumer shopping title Happy. Since then she has discovered the world of customer publishing for several brand clients at Redwood and has contributed to national newspapers and a number of glossy consumer magazines.

    WHO LOVES WISPY & WHY

    "Begg & Co does insanely covetable lightweight cashmere scarves in all the colours of the rainbow"
    Hilary Rose in The Times Magazine

    "Soft-as-soft, light-as-air cashmere scarves"
    Lucia van der Post in Financial Times How To Spend It

    "All in all, it is the perfect garment"
    Nick Foulkes in Financial Times How To Spend It 

    "The Wispy was ideal for travelling, so light and soft, it took up hardly any room in my hand luggage but once wrapped around my neck was incredibly warm- it’s perfect for keeping cosy during a flight"
    Kate Pittam, PR & Partnership Manager at Scott Dunn

    "A Wispy Superfine Cashmere Scarf by Begg & Co makes a great travel companion."
    The Conran Shop

    "My wispy has become like a best friend...always a comfort and makes me feel great. It packs to nothing and I take it everywhere."
    Sarah Murray of Jane Davidson

    "The Wispy is the perfect travel companion and is equally popular with both men and women. Super light and a great way to add a little texture and/or colour to your outfit. And some gentle warmth around your neck when needed of course. Makes a great gift as well."
    Mats KIingberg of Trunk Clothiers 

     

     

  • March 31, 2015

    Trend Talk

    Angela Bell, Begg & Co's consultant designer as well as founder and designer of luxury Scottish fashion label Queene and Belle, reveals her inspirations for the current collection

    Angela Bell, Begg & Co's Consultant Designer Angela Bell Begg & Co's Consultant Designer

    What first appealed to you about working with Begg & Co?
    I loved the craftsmanship and quality of their product, and I also admired the fact that they produce ultra lightweight luxury scarves using traditional techniques, it was a lovely mix of heritage and modernity. It's very much what I do with Queene and Belle but completely different to my own collection with Begg coming from weave and my collection being predominately knit.

    What was the original Begg & Co brief?
    I worked with the team to create a brand concept which comes from a traditional/classic base but modernising it by giving the scarves a contemporary twist. Everything we do comes from this point and is the underlying theme to every Begg & Co collection.

    What was the starting point for Spring 15 then?
    The starting point for Spring was taking traditional tartans, ginghams and madras checks and reinterpreting them into our ultra lightweight Spring qualities, this forms the basis of the collection.

    The wispy Lowland and Avignon are a beautiful re-interpreted view of Scotland which is timeless yet pepped up with their bloom colour inspiration - lightweight and perfect for modern life.

    Begg & Co's Wispy Superfine Cashmere Lowland Tartan Scarf is available online now Begg & Co's Wispy Superfine Cashmere Lowland Tartan Scarf is available online now

    The Cottlea Broncho and Burma (coming soon) are fresh and cool coming from their madras and gingham inspiration, they work perfectly with casual summer khaki's and denim. I always think of how each and every scarf is going to be worn, how I would wear it myself or see others wearing it.

    What are the other key themes for the season?
    I am a lover of the Naga tribes (tribal people from North Eastern India and North West Burma) and the textiles they create. I have found them a continual source of inspiration for the Begg & Co collection and for Spring the new Nagas style is the Cottlea Maravar (coming soon) which has been designed in three colour combinations, it's a beautiful check which looks like a stripped down tartan - timeless and cool.

    The final inspiration for Spring is the work of artist Ellsworth Kelly, I love his simple blocking of colours, it is like looking at traditional checks in their most basic form and I thought that would be a fresh way to play with colour in the womenswear collection.

    Ellsworth Kelly, Angela's inspiration for blocking ideas Ellsworth Kelly, Angela's inspiration for blocking ideas
    Ellsworth Kelly, Angela's inspiration for blocking ideas Ellsworth Kelly, Angela's inspiration for blocking ideas

    Styles like the Wispy Ellsworth, Cava Donan, Staffa Murano and Wispy Kelly Rose were all inspired by this theme.

    This picture inspired the Kelly Rose Wispy print This picture inspired the Kelly Rose Wispy print

    And what else has come through?
    Well in my own work I love looking at other ways to interpret camouflage, so I brought this to Begg via the Cottlea Berber Camo (coming soon) it combines a traditional Berber stripe with a traditional khaki camouflage and the resulting scarf is a great piece to be worn with denims.

    How do you decide what colours will work through the collection?
    I always like to think about what is on-trend in fashion but I also think about how people are going to wear things. With those two things in mind a scarf will literally speak to me and I will know what colours will work. Overall though I tend to go with traditional navy's, grey's and beige's because those bases reflect the luxury of the expensive yarns and they take on shots of colour so beautifully. This season I used the gorgeous pale greys and beiges as warps and wefted them with pops of fluo yellow, pink and blue in the Staffa collection, the Venetia, Murano and Mayanmar are great Spring scarves to lighten the mood and set you up for summer.

    Fiona Curran inspiration for fluo and natural colour pallets Fiona Curran inspiration for fluo and natural colour pallets

    What are the best bits about working with Begg & Co?
    My background is fashion design specialising in cashmere knitwear so working with a luxury weaving based brand is all new to me. It is really magical to see what can emerge from the finest strands of yarn on a warp, how they are crossed with the colours coming through on the weft - such beautiful things can be made. It's really inspirational.

  • February 11, 2015

    Pitti Uomo January 2015

    How To Wear It

    We challenged four stylish men attending the January 2015 edition of the ultimate menswear show, Pitti Uomo in Florence, to reveal how they will be wearing their favourite Begg & Co scarf

    1. Yasuto Kamoshita
    Creative Director at United Arrows 

    YASUTO KAMOSHITA, Creative Director at United Arrows in Japan, wearing Kishorn Box Check Scarf in Khaki Mix. Available from AW15. YASUTO KAMOSHITA, Creative Director at United Arrows in Japan, wearing Kishorn Box Check Scarf in Khaki Mix.
    Available from AW15.

    Which accessory can take any menswear look from run-of-the-mill to runway-worthy?
    For autumn/winter a scarf and its colour is very important as well as a neutral handbag of any style to coordinate with clothing. For me it is the quality of the accessory that is most important. I like simple, subtle accessories; nothing too showy!

    How would you describe your day-to-day style?
    A jacket is always incorporated in my look- whether it’s a casual or dress jacket. A key piece for me is a neatly tailored jacket.

    What trends did you see coming through at this season’s Pitti Uomo that you can’t wait to see men wearing?
    Updated classics with a twist. I'm always looking for something new and unique nothing too classic or boring. What always stands out for me is the craftsmanship, branding identity and quality of a product.

    Whether you’re working away or holidaying- what item never gets left out of your suitcase?
    A jacket or my music speakers.

    Who is your timeless style icon?
    There are always so many! At the moment my style reflects that of English painter David Hockney.

    How did you wear your Begg & Co scarf in these pictures we took on our Pitti stand… what would be the ideal outfit to wear it with?
    As colour is very important to my look I chose this scarf to match my suit and tied it in a way that would show off the design. The balance of colour and volume is key.

    For formal wear I would match this scarf with a traditional tweed like flannel suit. I think it would look best with a countryside style rather than a city modern vibe. For a more casual look I would wear it with an MA1 military jacket to create a dapper vintage look.  In general, when I wear a scarf I like to have it fitted to keep warm, so normally wrapped around and then tucked neatly in place. I wear it either over or inside a jacket depending on how the style and design of the scarf works with my outfit.

     

    2. JAEYOUNG KANG
    Managing Director of Unipair

    JAEYOUNG KANG Managing Director of Unipair  wearing Wispy Hanover Scarf in Burgundy. Available online Now. JAEYOUNG KANG, Managing Director of Unipair in South Korea, wearing Wispy Hanover Scarf in Burgundy.
    Available online Now.

    Which accessory can take any menswear look from run-of-the-mill to runway-worthy?
    My style is classic and simple so I like to use ties, scarves and handkerchiefs with a little bit of colour to make my look a little more interesting.

    How would you describe your day-to-day style?
    For formal wear a classic suit, either in solid navy or navy pinstripe, and for casual wear I like the vintage American military look featuring key items such as Levi’s 501 and leather jackets. I tend to stick to classic looks, basically I don’t try many different things.

    What trends did you see coming through at this season’s Pitti Uomo that you can’t wait to see men wearing?
    Shoes that are slightly dressier than the country styles that were big last year.

    Whether you’re working away or holidaying- what item never gets left out of your suitcase?
    Navy blazer as it goes with everything and is transeasonal.

    Who is your timeless style icon?
    There is not one specific person but more an era; circa 1930.

    How did you wear your Begg & Co scarf in these pictures we took on our Pitti stand… what would be the ideal outfit to wear it with?
    With a grey flannel suit, plain would be perfect as the scarf would work as a colour accent.
    A very fine light scarf worn with a suit and either tied as shown in the picture or worn open underneath a jacket to add an extra layer.

     

    3. Simon Crompton
    Founder of Permanent Style blog

    Simon Crompton Founder of Permanent Style wearing Arran Semi Reversible Scarf in White Silver.  Available online now. SIMON CROMPTON,  Founder of Permanent Style, wearing Arran Semi Reversible Scarf in White Silver.
    Available online now.

    Which accessory can take any menswear look from run-of-the-mill to runway-worthy?
    A lapel pin put through the button hole of a suit.

    How would you describe your day-to-day style?
    Classic English dress with emphasise on subtle colours and fits.

    What trends did you see coming through at this season’s Pitti Uomo that you can’t wait to see men wearing?
    Some really nice leather goods from Troubadour and Bole.

    Whether you’re working away or holidaying- what item never gets left out of your suitcase?
    My alligator skin glasses case.

    Who is your timeless style icon?
    Bruce Boyer (style journalist and former fashion editor of GQ and Esquire).

    How did you wear your Begg & Co scarf in these pictures we took on our Pitti stand… what would be the ideal outfit to wear it with?
    Tied in a simple up and over knot and worn with a suit.

     

    4. Jonathan Kaiser
    Men's Accessories & Furnishings Buyer at Bergdorf Goodman

    Jonathan Kaiser Men’s Accessories & Furnishings Buyer at Bergdorf Goodman wearing Nuance Cashmere Scarf in Oxide.  Available online now. JONATHAN KAISER, Men’s Accessories & Furnishings Buyer at Bergdorf Goodman in the United States, wearing Nuance Cashmere Scarf in Oxide.
    Available online now.

    Which accessory can take any menswear look from run-of-the-mill to runway-worthy?
    A scarf of course.

    How would you describe your day-to-day style?
    My style tends to be more classic and reserved, but I like to play with style, fit and colour.

    What trends did you see coming through at this season’s Pitti Uomo that you can’t wait to see men wearing?
    There seemed to be more colour this season in both Accessories and Ready-To-Wear which is exciting. I am also a big fan of the oversized statement outerwear trend which seems to be going strong for Fall 2015.

    Which collection at Pitti Uomo was your favourite?
    Besides Begg & Co. (I thought the red Nuance scarf was one of the best accessories at the show), I thought Cucinelli looked fantastic. I appreciated the evolution of their colour scheme and styling this season.

    Whether you’re working away or holidaying- what item never gets left out of your suitcase?
    A great solid colour cashmere sweater, usually crewneck or turtleneck in the colder months.

    Who is your timeless style icon?
    The Duke of Windsor

    How did you wear your Begg & Co scarf in these pictures we took on our Pitti stand… what would be the ideal outfit to wear it with?
    Coincidentally, the outfit I was wearing paired well with the Begg & Co. scarf, but I hope to wear it again with medium blue jeans and a navy sweater.

  • November 20, 2014

    Hattie Crisell, Why Stylish Women Can't Resist A Scarf

    What do you do?
    When people ask what I do, I tell them I'm a journalist – but I think I'm more of a writer. Writing is my comfort zone. Journalism is how I've turned it into a job.

    Where do you do it?
    I'm the London correspondent for New York magazine’s fashion website, The Cut – which means that I cover events like London Fashion Week, and I interview Brits who are doing fascinating work in fashion and photography. I have also written for The Debrief, Vulture, Fashionista, Woman & Home and Never Underdressed, among others.

    Why do you it?
    There’s nothing that gives me more satisfaction than playing with words and meaning, whether that comes in the form of reporting on style and art, or tweeting a silly one-liner. If I couldn't earn a living from it, I’d be very sad, but I’d be a prolific diary and letter writer.

    Which Begg & Co scarf must be yours?
    I've got my eye on the Wispy Superfine Cashmere Scarf in Poppy.

    How will you wear it?
    I’ll wear it with a dramatic, black winter coat, for a shock of colour (it will stand out against my skin, which always disappoints me by fading to deathly pale during the winter). But the scarf will be equally useful when I take my coat off, acting as an extra layer in a cocktail bar – I’ll sling it around my neck over a sleeveless silk top, to keep me warm without need for a sweater. I've always preferred a scarf to a necklace – but I might go in for a statement piece of jewellery on one wrist. A beautiful bangle or a refined, masculine watch would make a pleasing contrast with the softness of the cashmere.

    A good handbag can be a trophy for your arm, and a pair of shoes can inspire devotion – but I've never experienced a wardrobe love affair quite like I have with the scarf.
    By Hattie Crisell

    It’s got to be a certain kind, of course: wide, cashmere and light as a feather. Get it right and the scarf pulls off the magical trick of combining maximum impact with minimal effort. Just as red lipstick provides instant glamour, a cashmere scarf, looped quickly around me on the way out of the door, transforms me from chaotic to polished – from running-late to fashionably-late. A scarf, to me, is the ultimate in elegance.

    Of course I'm not the first to fall in love with this irresistible accessory; it’s been a staple for some of the world’s most stylish and admired women. Grace Kelly was a fan of a glamorous headscarf, wrapped regally over her hair and tied jauntily at the throat. Kate Moss has a vast collection of trailing, printed scarves to ward off the London chill, and Diane Keaton uses scarves as part of her signature, layered-up look – helping her to remain one of the most distinctive dressers in Hollywood, almost four decades after Annie Hall.

    Perhaps part of the scarf’s appeal is that it’s so versatile – both lightweight and luxuriously soft. You might use it to ward off the air conditioning on a long flight, but it’s smart enough to wear to a party when you arrive. Cashmere is breathable and almost weightless, so you can cover up with it on the beach – yet when the evening turns chilly, it’s the perfect warming wrap. The humble scarf does it all.

    How to shop it

    Of course, the scarf-lover always faces a style dilemma: should it be patterned or plain? Each has its advantages. Pattern makes it easy to be chic; keep your outfit neutral and the scarf becomes a focal point. Loop a luxurious polka-dot scarf over a muted dress, for example, and the effect is like hanging a piece of pop art on a plain wall.

    But then, there’s something powerful about a single, vibrant colour. Think of Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, running down the steps of the Louvre, letting her pillarbox-red scarf billow out like a sail. No wonder Fred Astaire was smitten. That’s the image that springs to mind when I look at the Wispy Superfine Cashmere Scarf, for which I have my own little weakness. Like Audrey, I’d choose it in Poppy – the most vibrant of reds, to turn every head on the street.

    Paramount Pictures via Dr Marco Paramount Pictures via Dr Marco

    Finally there’s the size issue, and on this I feel quite firm. Some women suit a dainty silk square, but for me a scarf is at its best when it engulfs you. I like layers of scarf worn nonchalantly around a woman’s neck and shoulders, or tucked into a coat – an abundance of fabric that makes it as cosy and simple as a blanket. To me there’s something chic in that easy comfort – because as the great iconic women all know, effortlessness is eternally in style.

  • October 30, 2014

    Behind The Scenes: The Autumn 14 Shoot

    Kilos of cashmere, models we adored and a fantastic photographer plus a lot of hard work from everyone and we had the perfect formula for our autumn campaign imagery. Angela Bell, our guest stylist and Begg & Co’s consultant designer said of the day: “I loved styling the Begg shoot. It was great to see my vision brought to life.”

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    Credits:
    Photographer- Annie Bundfuss
    Styled by- Angela Bell
    Director  - Ann Ryley
    Model Male- Jacob Young of Select Model Management
    Model Female- Steph Hall of Models 1
    Location- The Lemonade Factory London
    Hair & Make Up- Camilla Hewitt of S Management
    Male Grooming- Shelia Carton

  • October 29, 2014

    Begg & Co Hits Selfridges & Co

    We are pleased to announce that our cashmere scarves are now being stocked by Selfridges & Co.

  • October 1, 2014

    Our Autumn/Winter Collection Has Now Arrived

    Shop our brand new collection, now available online.