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Thu Oct 23 11:27:39 SAST 2014

How to wear: The flamboyant headscarf

Honey Makwakwa | 05 December, 2013 00:00

Headscarves owe their origins to modesty and royalty. In Africa, both the women of Orthodox Ethiopian Christianity and ancient Egyptian royalty wore a form of headscarf. The Ethiopians wore them as a sign of modest devotion to divinity and the Egyptians as a sign of being divine themselves.

In 1785, New Orleans governor Esteban Rodriguez Miró passed the Tignon Decree forcing women of colour to cover their hair with a scarf in public as a sign of belonging to the slave class. This led to a defiance campaign of sorts. Women wore headscarves elaborately tied and made of fashionable fabric.

In the 1930s, a mysterious Russian actress arrived in New York wearing her headscarves with the austerity of a nun. Valentina would go on to become designer to the stars, a favourite actress of Katherine Hepburn.

Hermès introduced its first scarf collection in 1937. The Hermès scarf would later be immortalised by Grace Kelly when she became an avid collector as Crown Princess of Monaco.

There has been a resurgence of the headscarf in the past two years . Fashion houses like Ferragamo, Dolce and Gabbana, Rag and Bone and Paul Smith have shown the headscarf on the runway .

Wear it the African way; tie the fabric upwards towards the sky, exposing the forehead, extending the neckline. This draws attention to the face and will make your features appear more striking.

Or try wearing it like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn did, by folding your scarf into a triangle and tying it under your chin. This style is ideal for windy days or if you happen to be driving a convertible.

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