January 25 2012
Lucia van der Post
You can always tell the tough winters by the glove test. If you can’t quite be bothered to pair them all up (it’s funny how, just like socks, they’re given to mislaying their partners and turning up in singles), then it’s a mild winter. If you’re driven to seeking them out, then there’s no doubt about it: it’s seriously cold.
For those who fancy a new, hugely glamorous pair, check out the collection by Irish designer Paula Rowan. She originally fell in love with leather when she ran some shops selling bags and accessories, but it wasn’t long before she decided to devise her own products – a range of gloves, for men as well as women, using only the finest-quality lambskin, deerskin and sheepskin.
Even though the Paula Rowan brand has only been going for about three years, luminaries such as Ronnie Wood have already been seen out and about in her designs. They are produced in the same factory that creates gloves for Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Prada, Burberry and many others, and she’s made a particular point of making her gloves glamorous as well as warm.
Dame Helen Mirren, for instance, was recently photographed wearing Sienna, some sexy up-to-the-elbow black gloves, at the Comedy Awards ceremony, where, presumably, there were no tundra-like conditions. In other words, she was clearly wearing them because she thought them alluring and not merely to keep the frost at bay.
Rowan does gloves in plain suede and leather, in quilted or plaited (à la Bottega Veneta) versions; for extra warmth they can come lined with silk, cashmere or fur. Many, of course, are trimmed with fur cuffs of varying degrees of lusciousness (chinchilla, fox and rabbit), and some come in wonderfully eye-popping colours (Schiaparelli pink, turquoise blue, olive green). A simple pair of women’s unlined wrist-length gloves is €50, while a long, wickedly glamorous, buttoned-up pair is €170. A man’s wrist-length pair in soft lambskin and lined with wool is €150.
Until the end of February they can be bought from a Paula Rowan pop-up shop at Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush, London, but they can always be found online and at her flagship store in Dublin.