Dear Sharon: On a recent plane trip, the woman sitting next to me was draped in a shawl to keep warm. I asked her what it was and she said “pashmina.”
Then, I started to notice a stole revolution all over the place… everyone seems to be wrapped up, except me! I spoke with a fashionable friend about shopping for one. She said I shouldn’t waste money on last year’s trend. My friend even offered to give me one of her old pashminas if I really was so desperate to covet this look. Is pashmina really passé? – To Have Or To Has Been
Dear Has Been: Overdone. Overcooked. Saturated. Totally five minutes ago in real fashionable circles. So last century in current style. Yes, this could describe a pashmina.
But, you just noticed pashmina (pronounced, “pash–mee–nah”) now?!?! Where have you been for at least the past 18 months? By the by, fashion is measured in dog years. Have you been in a place where trends are announced through a yawl’s foghorn? My sweet sister of style, please let me explain a few things about pashmina…
Q. What is a pashmina?
A. It’s a super-light gauge silky cashmere fabric (available in a gazillion high-pigment shades) worn in the shape of a draggy shoulder-dusting shawl with skimpy strings passing off as tassels. It has suddenly sprung a life of its own and has taken on the of-the-moment moniker that describes a schmatta in that same fabric. Only on three separate occasions in one given New York mega-event weekend, was I told to speak to the hostess in the pink pashmina–ouch!
Q. How can the idea of pashmina make me crazy?
A. Maybe because it reminds me of the 1960’s craze of wearing a mink stole on a chilly Florida evening– doesn’t the rest of you need to be warm?
Or, maybe because pashmina sounds like cash-mina, which brings to mind cashmink– a textile I would rather forget. Oooh, you remember cashmink– it was some shoddy acrylic knock-off of cashmere in the same era as banlon.
Or, really because for some peculiar reason women with otherwise no iota of their own personal style, turn out in cookie-cutter droves bedecked in what they now think is chic– except my dears, true chic is not marketed in bulk.
Q. Why pashmina?
A. First seen draped around the shoulders of society babes, then spotted plopped on dressed-by-a-stylist celebs, eventually dangled over pretty young sun tanned things that cluster in herds attached to the same fad, and thereupon yakked about on radio graveyard shifts as the ultimate oxymoron: “Below cost mail-order chic”. Yes, my class-seeking desperados, pashmina as a shawl has passed its prime!
Shhhhhh, here’s a little tickle of inside information: When you start to see a trend, any trend, advertised in tiny little classified ads in the back of magazines next to an ad for earning extra money by licking envelopes at home, a give-away at a bank for opening an IRA, or any other place that’s pretty incongruous to fashion, PLEASE take note that the look in question is absolutely drained of any true fashionableness and is a total style goner!
Do not hesitate to explore the fashionable unknown, move on to what is new, or experiment with what has not completely exhausted its mass appeal to even be considered a fashion classic. There is something to be said about over saturation– next!
If you are a die-hard fan, then by all means, wear your pashmina! Make it your personal moniker… be “the girl in the pink pashmina,” but don’t think it is something it’s not. It is only a fad.
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