Scarves and shawls – most of us would never travel anywhere without at least a couple, and two new lines to home in on exemplify an understated chic. Oyuna is the brainchild of Mongolian-born Oyuna Tserendorj and her London-born husband, David Bernasconi. They’ve taken the cashmere and skills of Tserendorj’s home country and married them to a sophisticated fashion sense. If I tell you that Calvin Klein and John Pawson are clients, you’ll get an idea of the aesthetic.
They work only with the finest cashmere; the home collection is made in Mongolia, while the womenswear is produced in Italy and Scotland. Tserendorj claims to be hugely influenced by the brilliant skies and colours of her native land, yet the colours are in fact highly tuned to urban life – soft beiges and greys, gentle checks, a bit of coral, light bluish-grey and a few subtle patterns. The Aria shawl (£349), for instance, comes only in the palest of pinks, taupe, ivory and black. For men it would be hard to beat the Kuadro shawls (£349), with their chic charcoal and red, or brown and orange, checks. And for those wanting one great wrap-around for travelling (use it as a blanket, wear it as a shawl, or belt it and wear as a coat), there’s a series of large Travel Set throws (from £475), which come in muted colours and patterns with a leather belt to hold them together.
If you’d like more decorative appeal, there’s Ahilya, another newish name on the scarf front, which also allies an artisanal tradition with a modern edge. It, too, uses mostly cashmere (though it also does some pieces in merino wool), but its design aesthetic is more instantly impactful, in large coloured (£340) or gold metallic (£265) stripes. For even more decorative effect, there are fine-merino-wool versions that feature bands of lace (pictured, £270) – very delicate and pretty.