Fashion is wrapped up in scarves, throws, and shrugs this season – but it’s a lot more polished than you think

From soft tailoring at The Row to Toteme’s viral scarf jacket, draped fashion is creating considerably more noise this season, writes Trudy Feenane

Bunched and layered swathes of fabric cocooned the models at The Row’s autumn 2023 collection preview

Could a five-second video of Lenny Kravitz portend one of the season’s most trending fashion moments? If it’s a five-second video of Lenny Kravitz swathed in a gargantuan scarf, then yes.

The singer made his TikTok debut last month with a clip that sees him stride towards the camera enveloped in a brown knit trailing scarf. “Grab your big scarf. It’s the first day of fall,” he quips in the video, which has since clocked 10.3 million views.

Those of the pop culture-subscribed internet were quick to corroborate the video with Kravitz’s meme moment in 2012, in which he wrapped the mammoth scarf in question around his neck to run errands in New York.

Lenny Kravitz made his TikTok debut last month swathed in the mammoth scarf he wore previously in 2012, which led to a flood of online memes. Image by Mia Ross / @LennyKravitz on X

Naturally, this elated the paparazzi and Kravitz described it as the reference he “cannot escape” in a 2018 interview with Jimmy Fallon.

This time, however, Kravitz isn’t alone in his affinity to the maximalist accessory; scarves, throws and shrugs are being draped everywhere from the runway to the high street this season – and it’s a look that carries a lot more polish than you might think.

Draped fashion is garnering 20 per cent more online traction this year compared to last, according to the search engine TagWalk which offers data on trends, collections, and designers.

Soft tailoring is a statement feature of The Row’s winter 2023 collection
Founders Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsens played with Integrated wraparound scarves and bunched fabrications in their winter 2023 collection

It started with soft tailoring at The Row’s autumn-winter 2023 collections: oversized double-breasted coats – crafted from fabrications like alpaca wool and brushed cashmere – featured integrated wrap-around scarves.

In other outerwear notes, bunched and layered swathes of fabric cocooned the models as they breezed past the front row with the kind of nonchalance that makes sense for a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen-founded brand.

Meanwhile, Daniel Lee took things in a more tonal direction for his debut collection for Burberry, where he reimagined the house code’s check motif in novel colourways across deconstructed blanket coats and knits.

Francesco Risso’s new season collection for Marni would beat a similar drum, as he returned to the house’s roots to muster up bold prints like his chunky, tartan scarf which overlaid a grid-patterned coat and polka dot slingbacks.

A model walks the runwayy at the Saint Laurent autumn-winter 2023 show during Paris Fashion Week in February
Paul Smith’s autumn-winter 2023 collection featured smart tailoring overlayed by print-laden scarves
Stylist Sonia Lyson wears the Toteme grey scarf wool jacket in Berlin, Germany

The luxed-up power shoulders of Saint Laurent were given an interesting accent too, as draped shawls were fastened on the shoulders of models and looped through a gold orb. From tartan to leather and houndstooth to tweed, the wraps were gloriously akin to a blanket in a way that could walk the line between comfort and class.

As for the most zeitgeist-defining styles, Toteme’s embroidered scarf jacket in dark grey melange (for a cool €880) is decidedly the most duped piece of the year, while interest in Acne Studios’ mohair checked scarf is up 20 per cent this month, according to fashion forecaster Madé Lapuerta, the creator behind Data But Make it Fashion.

But how does this translate to the high street? Brands like Cos, & Other Stories, Arket, and Mango are dreaming up scarf coats this season in cape, quilted, and wool forms at a much neater price point.

Ruched, draped, swathed, or gathered, the scarf coat is one we’ll gladly rubber stamp – not least because it’ll make the next cold spell that little bit more sufferable. And that’s an add-to-cart justification, right?