We are well placed to see that blankets of luxury homes are used as status symbols in people’s homes. There they stand, proudly displayed on the arm of an original Pierre Jeanneret chair or flip-flop Frette sheets. But a new clutch fashion blankets make a compelling case for the use of throws, not only to pull out furniture, but also our bodies.
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 does not involve dressing, and yet you get every grain of comfort and joy from it. Blankets make me much more excited as a designer handbag. ”
Rick Owensa blanket of choice is more of an eider down – a giant, duck down filled black square of nylon quilted in a star motif. “I love an elementary gesture – a blanket in a meadow next to a stream under a sunrise – who needs clothes?” says the designer. Although this time of year, this blanket will be just as useful indoors, as something to hide under in the evening.
And with fashion designers so set up to think about how things feel against our skin, it’s no wonder their blankets are so often a pleasure to touch. That sensitivity is evident in the cashmere content of Virtues beautiful, floral Merino throws, Brunello Cucinelli ‘‘s brushed his blanket, and the tangible edge on Loro Pianacashmere presentation.
“Seeing blankets from designers whose aesthetics our customer knows and loves is a great way to bring fashion into the home,” says Lianne Wiggins, head of women’s clothing purchasing at MatchesFashion. She points to the launch of Scottish designer Jonathan Saundersa new lifestyle brand, for which the blankets come in chunky patchwork knits and heavy fringe-look-soft patterns, reflecting its textured knit sweaters.
Gabriela Hearst has been showing blanket-like garments for several seasons now, including ruanas knitted by artisans from the Manos del Uruguay women’s collective, and worn clasped at the front for winter, and more poncho-like for spring. This season’s ruanas have translated into cardigans and real blankets (the blanket can be worn just as easily as a cozy second coat). “We’ve kept Hearst’s blankets in stock for the last few seasons,” Wiggins adds, “and have seen strong performance since they’re really like works of art.”
With many of us now accustomed to eating out or hanging out – the blanket has come of age. They are now standard on roof bars and restaurant terrace. But you will be so much chicker if you bring your own.