Making an impression during a recession
To be able to sport a different outfit every day in these times of recession seems like a wild fantasy but, thanks to a happy marriage, here we go.
The fashion is known as ‘Basc’ and is the combination of a Basque-type beret and a certain little square scarf. I discovered their affinity myself when idly trying on the beret a friend had acquired on a visit to Spain and realised that it was the only headgear that I did not look like a monster in.
Another friend, this time from Germany, had a selection of little scarves and the idea of mating the two occurred to me with endless possibilities opening up.
However, it was not plain sailing; it turned out that the particular square scarves seemed to be indigenous to Germany, although occasionally one turned up at home. They can also be found in some holiday resorts abroad but it helps to have a German friend.
As for the berets, much the same difficulty applied. Also, they tend to come in sober hues, whereas my idea was to brighten up and stimulate a dull existence and perhaps a dull personality with vibrant colour at a minimum cost.
Enter Pat Overton, a crochet expert from Kilsallagh, Westport, who had herself recently launched an enterprise making all sorts of fashion accessories. When she heard of the problem, she immediately produced the solution – a crochet example of the famous beret, available in any shade desired. We were in business.
I was lucky enough to have a selection of jumpers, as it transpired that a plain background provided the best foil. Thus, with endless combinations to play with, my wardrobe was transformed at the cost of very little space and money.
During the course of the experiment it became obvious that I had hit on something that looked extremely smart and that conveyed an air of insouciance that had an uplifting effect on oneself, as well as others, and that it could, moreover, be adopted by any age group.
Meantime Pat Overton has gone from strength to strength, exhibiting at trade fairs countrywide, giving workshops and teaching classes in schools. She also makes scarves, Christening shawls and Communion shrugs, as well as a range of cheery tea cosies sure to chase away those recession blues.
To view more of Pat Overton’s work, visit www.flickr.com/photos/west-of-ireland-pat. She can be contacted at 098 66228.