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"SOFT TOUCH" feature story on everything you need to know to buy luxury cashmere: what to look for, information on ply, the hottest labels, and how to care for.

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  1. 1. HAIRCUTS THE IOGOT.TO.HAVE OF STARS Ilemi Moore Rule 25Fashion Teri Hatcher You Kno Must Noah Wyle Best-Ever Shoe KevinBacon MinnieDriver AtHOm LauraDern nith Antonio SabatoJr: Elton John Show in Londo Dolce & Gabba inMila fhe S E PTEM BER 1997 ll ll llilili il
  2. 2. SHOPPER It's fitting that the word cashmere startswith cash. After all, centuries ago,it was only the royalty of Europeand India who could afford to wear cashmere The name shawls. itselfconjures images luxury, up of and there'snothingthat compares to the feelof cashmere the body: on soft, sensuous, seriously sexy. But what, exactly,makesit .'::; so pricey?Firstoff, it is made The cauiar only with the silkyunder- fleece goatsthat liveat high of '"ligfoloitlrrrr, (thepure-white goat, altitudes Kel found only in Mongolia,China, ij,;l Kashmirand Tibet, is thoughtto producethe finestdown).Goats produceaboutfiveounces fleece of a year,and it takes20 goatsto make Then the down hasto onesweater. be transportedto a factory where it can be separated from the rough Luscious color is the hot trend in cashmere: Mint cashmere and-silk throw by Mala ouch outer hairs(which give poor- quality cashmere scratchyfeel), its Testa, $590; 212-343- purifiedand spuninto yarn.Sure, 9399. Lemongrass it's labor-intensive work. But the crew by Rebecca result-a fabric that hasretained Moses, $528; at Berg- its allurethroughthe ages-is dorf Goodman. Ralph worth it.'What bettertesramenr Lauren fuchsia scarf, than the words that follow every- $275; at select Polo touches "Ooh! time someone it? Ralph Lauren stores. Cashmere."-Nancy Angiello David Lawrence
  3. 3. THE IN STYLE SHOPPER low to high The bestin classic cashmere twinsets: from beautifullybasicto luxurious couture r-4)l ---t L,,/ rg: t' I i' I i I |, ,,J ., I ,/ l, --,/ Land's End cardigan J. Grew Collection Ballantyne cardigan Heidi Weisel cardigan Ghanel cardigan and and short-sleevesweater, cardigan and shell, $480; and short-sleeve sweater and shell,$1,200;to short-sleeve sweater, $265: 800-356-4444. at select J. Grew stores. $690; 212-988-5252. order at Neiman Marcus. $ 1,750; 8oo-550-ooos. label fables careand handling Onc of tlre rno st cor r f us ingt hings about buy ing c it s h - What's the bestway to cleancashmere? Someexpertssay hand- nrere is th c lab el. H er e' s whr r t it nt eilns - or c loes n' t . washingdone wrong can ruin a piece,and recommend using a dry-cleaner who knows how to handleluxury fabrics.Other pros I " M ac lc in Sc ot lanc l"or "M ac le in swearby hand-washing, sincedry-cleaning chemicalscan strip r, ,. [t:rl1'" rlletrnsthirt lt rvrrsselvn irnc]fin- t1 cashmere natural oils, leavingit rougher and drier. If you do of ishectrhere. But virtually all rirw cash- I hand wash,do it right: Soak garment in cold water with nonde- . "mere is from the high irltitLrcles Asia. "- a' of -r71<.t-a' tergentsoap(like ForeverNew, available Neiman Marcus)for at I Labels cirn lie: roo percel)t cirshnrere no more than ro minutes,rinse well in cold water, then roll in a is often anything but. The best rest for white terry towel to get rid of excesswater. Reshapegarment; quality is touch-if the piece feels dry flat on a towel out of direct heatand sunlight.Storein a cloth coarse (no matter the labelreads), bag (to allow breathing), a cedar chest or with cedar balls. in the raw cashmere w cleaned cor- rectly,or zrnythingfrom 's wool Turtlenecks (top to camel hair may have been woven in. and bottom) by , I Arrother quick qualiry test is to shake Michael Kors, the garment:If it sheds, short fi or Pale.greenV-neck fall out, it's a reject. sweater by J. Crew Collection, $275. Gollectionturtleneck, $495.
  4. 4. THE IN STYLE SHOPPER trendwatcb Cashmere hasn'tbeenleft out of fall's softsell:scarves stretchy, body-huggingtrend; when it's C O M PAN Y D ET AIL co sT combined with Lycra or nylon, cashmere ultraglamorous. practical becomes A Malo Born in Italy z5 yearsago, Malo is Variegated blue plus:The mix makescashmere tight fit known for vibrant colors showcasedin scart, $395; at under jacketsand keepsit from getting bold stripes,patterns and weaves. For select Malo baggyand losing its shape. Add body- the true sybarite:a cashmeretravel boutiques, or call consciousfit to barelythere shapeand pillow and blanket in their own case, 212-755-7915. the result is pure sizzle-as seenin this cashmere-Lycra halter by Randolph The hipsters of cashmere.Trend- Han4knlt wide Duke for Halston Signature($jzo; at setterslove the edgy, earthy colors- ribbed muftl6r in Neiman Marcus stores), For cashmere burnt sienna,mustard, deep plum- lir green, $gSS; at that's alluring evenwithout stretch, in the newest shapelystyles:wide, TSE boutiquos, or look for it in tight, revealingstyles straightJeg trousers, natty pea coats, @ll800-522-2276. meant to be worn againstthe skin, like Heidi'Weisel's sleeve cap Loro Piana Since r8oz, this Italian family business Fringodgold gowns with deepsideslits, has done everything from processing scart,t290; at Ralph Lauren Collection's raw cashmereto weaving the fabric- LoroPiana plunging V-neck or off- which the fashion housesof Armani boutiquo,N,Y.C., the-shoulder sweaters, andJil Sanderbuy for their lines. 2't2-98G7961. and tight halter dresses by RalphLauren The king of classicshas his luxurious Purplascart, RebeccaMoses. staples-hand-knit socks in zz colors, $275;availableat chalk-stripe blankets-but he's also soloct Polo Ralph myths: plylie the gone sery: new this season, glittery gray cashmere eveningdress. a Laurenstores nationwide. "The more plies,the better" is the single biggestcashmere out there.Most people lie their pricier Collection label, Besides Ribbed charcoal think that thicker is better, and the more plies J. Crew hasa catalogueline with a muffler with a garment has,the more it's worth. The truth: selectionof classic crewsfor only long fring€, Ply is simply the number of singlestrandsspun $r85, which makesit the placeto $150; at solect together to make the yarn; it isn't a designa- spring for that must-havefun color. J. Crew stores. tion of quality. Having tons of pliesmeans nothing if the original raw materialand yarn Ballantyne Tried-and-true Scottishcashmere Red scarf with that's usedis poor; a garment may feel thick, sincethe late r8oos.They're masters ribbod edge, $475; better quality.The best but it's not necessarily of the cashmereargyle (the classicdia- at Cashmsre stuff, whether it is single-ply six-ply,will or mond pattern) and triumphantly tra- Cashmere, N.Y.C.; havethe bestfeel.So,touch it: All cashmere ditional rwinsets. crewsand V-necks. 212.s,4&5252. should be light, breathableand utterly soft. In S t yl e se p te mb e r ' 1 997