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Style Counsel: Stole the show

Everyone owns at least one winter scarf. Mostly they are practical, woolly things, but those made from jewelled silk and velvet are the ultimate way to dress up any outfit says Melanie Rickey.

Georgina von Etzdorf's scarves are the kind of fashion accessory that don't lose their desirability before you can say "must-have". Her silk velvet prints and devore patterned scarves are so popular they have their own fan club. "When new stock comes in, the collectors buy up the newest designs," says spokesperson Charlotte Lurot. "They tell us how much they love seeing other women in our scarves, they nod at each other and smile."

Harriet Anstruther, like von Etzdorf, began her career with textile design, but has moved into clothing. She sees the addition of a colourful scarf as the best way to dress up an outfit. "A scarf frames the face, it's personal, sensuous, and absorbs the scent of the wearer," she says. Judith Proctor, designer at Calver & Wilson believes people are opting for crushed velvets because it's the easiest way to wear a precious fabric. "It's dressing up in a quiet way," she says.

The biggest scarf conundrum however is how to wear one. In the book Chic Simple Scarves Christa Worthington writes: "a sense of helplessness tends to overcome a woman faced with tying a scarf. If it's well tied, the scarf relaxes the look of what it's worn with." She suggests not fighting the fabric's fluidity, but to let it flow. Try tying silk under the chin; with velvet or cashmere double up the fabric and pull one end through the other.

Georgina von Etzdorf scarves begin at pounds 45, up to pounds 1,500. Call 0171-245 1066. Harriet Anstruther scarves, made to order; phone/fax 0171-584 7312 for details. Calver & Wilson's mainline range begins at pounds 39, up to pounds 99. Couture range items can cost up to pounds 1500.