In Praise of Natural Fabrics
Nothing can feel so heavenly against one’s skin than natural textiles that breathe – silk, crisp cotton, linen, baby alpaca and of course cashmere – it’s practically beatific. At Etoile de Marie, based in the Luberon,using natural organic fabrics is their mantra. They make beautiful clothes using the finest natural materials in traditional artisan ways. They believe clothes should be made to last for years not just the current season. Styling is classic and timeless. It’s about being chic and understated and not falling victim to the latest trends sold to us by global chain stores in often unpleasant synthetic fabrics. Investing in a piece of clothing made from natural materials that will last years is so much better than buying into this season’s ‘look’ that becomes outmoded after a few short months. Choose a beautifully designed item from Etoile de Marie made from the finest organic natural fabrics. These are clothes that feel lovely to wear and which make the wearer look lovely.
What’s more, natural fabrics are better for your health. For a start they let your skin breathe and help to regulate your body temperature. Natural fabrics are naturally anti-microbial and absorb body moisture. People, especially those with skin sensitivities, should choose natural fabrics because they are kinder to the dermis and chemical free. Organic cotton and linen don’t use harmful pesticides whichare bad for the planet as well as our health. Synthetics are made with chemicals which pollute the environmentand can cause a host of skin allergies.
Diana Vreeland, one time editor of Harper’s Bazaar,believed in natural fabrics, timeless style and not ephemeral trends. True style for her was based on being an individual and finding your own look and not being a fashion victim. She loved wearing the finest fabrics. She summed up her personal style: “I’d like to have on the most luxurious cashmere sweater; the most luxurious satin pants, very beautiful stockings, very beautiful shoes — marvellous — and whatever would be suitable around the neck.” Diana Vreeland had (and still has) a big impact on those who value style over the whimsy of trend and who prefer to strike out in creating their own personal look. She advocated the best of the best and the most beautiful clothes made from the finest natural fabrics. This was her religion.
As the days are getting cooler and crisper, time to start donning wool and cashmere. A fresh white shirt under a cashmere sweater, a baby alpaca cardigan, a wool shrug or shawl are good transition pieces. Wear your summer dress with a roomy sweater over it for a relaxed look. Drape a cashmere scarf around your neck and you are ready to face a bracing walk. Look no further than Etoile de Marie for the finest cashmere and baby alpaca pieces to ease you into autumn and prepare you for the cold winter months ahead. Cuddle up to these pieces because they will be your friends and keep you feeling cosy and warm.
Natural fabrics can last for years particularly if you look after them. Treat silks with care by avoiding contact with perfume (which can stain) and snags from jewellery. Either hand wash with the most delicate laundry soap, special silk wash or dry clean. Cottons and linen are more robust. Linen in fact gets better with age. Baby alpaca and cashmere can remain in perfect condition year after year. Beware of moths though! The best advice is to keep your baby alpaca and cashmere clean and store carefully in a drawer with tissue paper. If you suspect moths lurking, take immediate action before they gobble your best sweater. Vacuum clean your cupboards, wash or dry clean your aby alpaca and cashmere, (put sweaters in the freezer if necessary), invest in cedar wood balls and anti-moth sticky tape. If the situation is really bad, call in the pest control and have them fumigate. This advice comes from very hard learnt lessons having had some exquisite items were eaten by hungry moths.