martedì 27 ottobre 2015

Repli-Kate Review: Beulah London Personalised Shibani Scarf

On 18 September 2015, the Duchess of Cambridge attended the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham Stadium in London wrapped up warm in a cobalt blue Reiss wool mix coat (the "Emile" style, from the A/W 2014 collection) and was seen carrying a new scarf in a blue heart print that was quickly identified as a Beulah London item, the "Shibani" scarf:


The scarf seems to be a celebrity favourite, having been spotted on the Duchess' sister Pippa Middleton, who appears to be a fan of the style...

...Princess Eugenie...
...Cressida Bonas...

...Andy Murray's wife Kim Sears...


...TV presenter Katie Piper et al. (just have a look @beulahlondon on Instagram for more celebs wearing the iconic blue heart print):

The "Shibani" is described on the Beulah website as "an instant outfit transformer", than can be worn against a monochrome look or with a patterned sweater, to create a stylish clash. Most importantly, to produce this piece Beulah have teamed up with the   'United Nations Blue Heart Campaign ', donating 10% of profits from sales of this scarf to the cause. The 'Blue Heart Campaign'   raises awareness of the problem of human trafficking and inspires those with decision-making power to effect change. 

A gorgeous scarf and the chance to support a good cause - what's not to love?
The distinctive blue heart print is available on the "Shibani" scarf, 45% silk, 55% wool, 80x200 cm, retailing at £85 (€116 / $130):

Or on the larger "Shibani" shawl, which measures a cosy 135x200 cm in the same silk/wool blend and retails at £120 (€164 / $183).
The "Shibani" is the only style currently in the Beulah catalogue that can be personalised:
You can have a message of your choice embroidered in blue thread on a 70x200 cm scarf (so only very slightly smaller than the original). This option retails at £105 (€143 / $160) and when I enquired from Beulah I was told the turnaround for this item is 1-2 weeks.
Disappointingly, it turned out to be closer to 4 full weeks. I placed the order on 25 September, hoping to pick the scarf up in store over the course of a holiday in London I was due to take in mid-October.
By 8 October, I got reassurance from the ladies at Beulah that it was a matter of a couple of days at most before the scarf was ready for collection. However, my UK holiday came to an end on 16 October and still no sign of the scarf...Eventually, it was delivered to my home address on 23 October, so just short of a month after placing my order. Slightly disappointing, as I had hoped to wear it to an event for which it should have been ready in time, according to the timings that were quoted, but I can live with it.
I'm pleased to report excellent customer service on the part of Beulah, who delivered the scarf free of charge (shipping to Europe is usually a rather steep £19.95 / €28 / $31 for accessories, £29.95 / €42 / $46 for garments), so thanks for that! So, some minor drama, but in the end all was well! The parcel came complete with a glossy A/W 2015 catalogue, which was great.
We don't know which version of the "Shibani" the Duchess owns, whether the scarf, the shawl, or indeed the personalized scarf, and I suspect it will be impossible to know for sure, but I like to think she might have had it personalized. After all, she has been seen with her bespoke Anya Hindmarch "Maud" clutch in black satin, embroidered with a discreet letter "C", for years!

The embroidered personalization, front and back:

The first thing that struck me upon opening the box was how different the background colour is in real life, as opposed to the photos on the Beulah website. There it looks almost off white, or a very pale pearl grey, whereas up close it is markedly grey/beige or, as Monsieur Dior would put it, grège. That's what computer screens do to colours! I like it, though, and find the grège background infinitely more practical in terms of disguising stray foundation marks :)
Super soft thanks to the wool/silk blend it's made of, this is a scarf that will see me through winter! I'm so pleased with how it turned out, I don't mind the wait!
So, what are your thoughts? Has anyone else purchased this scarf, or indeed another of the Beulah London scarves the Duchess has worn over the years? Leave a comment and let me know!