The Daily Practice | Dial up your Zoom style with Burberry
Walpole CEO writes: One of my favourite new twitter feeds is Bookcase Credibility – strapline, ‘What you say is not as important as the bookcase behind you’. It has attracted 65.3 thousand followers since the beginning of April, suggesting we’re finding the shelfie more gripping than the zoom selfie. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have an interesting bookcase behind me when on Zoom that I’ve become self-conscious about looking dull on camera. Bright lipstick and good earrings or a statement necklace will take things up a notch, but if you’ve only your head and shoulders in shot, the silk scarf is your new best friend. I asked Burberry’s Carolyn Langenhoff, who looks after the brand’s private clients, for her cleverest ways with a silk scarf so that every Zoom call can be a style moment.
Firstly, counsels Carolyn, you have to fold your scarf properly, if you don’t, either the fabric will be too bulky and won’t sit right or you won’t have enough volume to create impact. Most styles start with either a flat fold, which gives a smooth, long length, or an unequal triangle, giving a lot more volume than simply folding it in two. Here are nine zoom-ready styles, using either the flat fold or the unequal triangle…
The Flat Fold
Lay the square on a flat surface, fold in two opposite corners until they meet each other in the middle, then fold each side in, and in again (I’ve photographed this step and put it on the @walpoleceo instagram) until you have a long, flat strip. The flat fold is a revelation – it makes a classic large square scarf instantly more versatile and Carolyn’s first four styles all start from this point.
I love a pussycat bow on shirts and jumpers and it’s always flattering. I particularly like it because staring at myself like narcissus has made me very conscious that my neck is not as smooth as it once was, and this hides a multitude of sins.
This is a more flamboyant, bohemian take on the basic pussycat – give two scarves the flat fold treatment, tie them together at one end (this goes under your hair at the nape of your neck) and you can then make a much more extravagant bow, perfect for giving a boring white shirt a lift.
Sometimes scarves can be a little too, well, scarfy. This turns it into a necklace which works equally well with a light jumper as with a shirt. Starting from the flat fold, knot the scarf at regular intervals and tie the ends under your hair
You will be able to make this look super chic and either a little bit sixties, or bang on the 70’s trend. I like it because it hides my dark roots (please will the government open the hairdressers?). You can keep the tails of the scarf at the back, or shift the knot round to the side a little and lay them over your shoulder.
The Unequal Triangle
Lay the square on a flat surface, fold in one corner towards the centre about a third of the way. Turn the scarf round so you’ve a flat edge, a triangular shape and plenty of volume.
Put it over your head in the manner of the Queen out riding, but tie the ends over the top of the scarf at the back. This is equal to the Bandeau for hiding one’s roots, but requires more seventies sprezzatura than I’ve given it here.
Probably the simplest way to wear any scarf, but starting it with the ‘uneven triangle’ gives it more volume and makes it more attractive. Drape it over your shoulders, and tie it in a very small knot, close to the ends of the scarf. This, as Carolyn pointed out, is just what you need if your zoom meeting is about to start but somehow you’re still wearing gym kit – the Shawl can transform you from downward dog to top dog in the time it takes you to switch on the camera.
Worn off the shoulder and over a shirt, the capelet can look very modern. When Carolyn showed me, it tied higher in front. Worth experimenting with.
The Boy Scout
Start with either Shawl or Capelet and pull it backwards off your shoulder: all the fabric is at the back, so all you have showing at collarbone level is a small edge of scarf – looks smart from the front, and gives a chic cape behind (though disappointingly, only you will know that.)
The Cowl Neck
This is where the volume of the unequal triangle comes into its own – the trick is to create an elegant fall of fabric at the front. A great way to show off a print.
I’ve used a scarf with Riccardo Tisci’s TB monogram print, inspired by an original drawing from the Burberry archive. There are some heavenly scarves on the Burberry website – my favourites feature an antique print of a troop of monkeys and a fabulous huge red heart inspired by an archive design. Huge thanks to Carolyn Landerhoff of Burberry for being so generous with her time on a video call, and for giving me lots more scarf styling ideas.