Accessories Of Dress - Shawls
( Originally Published 1924 )
In grandmother's day every woman had several shawls, a different one for each dress. The return of these quaint wraps was heralded by the Spanish shawl which today is worn by the grande dames in the country of Carmen. At first this shawl was worn merely as an evening wrap, or thrown lightly about the shoulders. Then Fashion dictated that the tall and slender should wear the luxurious square thus: folded into a triangle, one point brought around under the left arm so that the fold comes up well across the bust line and the fringed point hangs down around the back and up over the left shoulder, and held closely or pinned at the breast and waist-line.
A garment's popularity is sometimes its defeat. This was only too true in the case of shawls; for, as soon as they became so popular, even those women of Venice who had worn them for centuries began to lose their original joy in them. The air of cheap imitation in the new ones detracted from the charm of the really old shawls whose luxurious colors had been softened by the gentle hand of Time. The old and romantic shawl, which once seemed so attractive, became horribly common.
Treasure chests have given up their loot of the shawls of Queen Victoria's time in delicate Persian and Chinese designs or embroidered antique squares. The modern shawls of net are gay with Beauvais embroidery.