Zika and Lida Ascher were a husband and wife team who were Czech refugees that settled in London and started a textile biz in 1939. During WWII, sales for their scarves went down and fashion became quite drab and depressing. To revive the industry they had the bold idea to invite prominent artists of the day to design scarves that would be 3ft x 3ft silk prints in limited edition. The silks for making these scarves was the same silk used in making the parachutes during the war. They became not only a fashion statement of the day but also a way to be patriotic during very unsettled times. All screens were destroyed after printing, making these scarves truly collectible pieces of art. "These (scarves) are an extraordinary combination of fine art, fashion and print making" - Tariana Navas-Nieves, Curator
I browsed the Internet the other day for more of these celebrated scarves and came across quite an impressive collection at Rennies Seaside Modern in Kent, England. The scarves above and below are from Rennies. The Picasso scarf was done for a 1950's World Youth Convention.