>> It's no secret that Waris Ahluwalia is into craftsmanship. The jewelry in his House of Waris line has always been made using traditional techniques, with everything — right down to the chains on the pendants — fashioned completely by hand. It should come as no surprise then, that Ahluwalia's debut scarf collection employs that same dedication to history and artisanal techniques. Superfine cashmere is hand-loomed and hand-embroidered in a precise honeycomb "Kundun" pattern, handwoven silks and gauzy silk-cotton are batik-dyed, block-printed, hand-dyed, or silk-screened, and hems are all neatly finished by hand. It's not just the attention to detail or the heirloom fabrics that make this new collection of scarves so appealing, however — it's also the gorgeous color combinations and striking graphic patterns. Though meant to be unisex (or, as Waris says, "We don't believe in unisex, just more sex"), it's easy to imagine these pretty prints and super-soft fabrics evolving into a collection of dresses, skirts, and blouses. Waris's next project, perhaps? It's a suggestion the designer seems to have heard before, but if it's in the works, he's not talking. When pressed, his answer is a shrug, a wry smile, and a quiet: "I hope not."
Click through the slideshow for an up-close look at the first season of House of Waris scarves, available online now at Barneys.com, as well as at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills, Dover Street Market, and Colette. Plus, a look at the House of Waris Fall 2011 jewelry.