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How A Composer Made The Scarf Stylish | Butterfly Whisper

During particularly long and particularly bitter winters, a luxury wool scarf can be not only a wonderfully stylish accessory but also an essential item to keep yourself warm.

Scarves are one of the oldest garments to be invented, but for the first few thousand years of their existence, they were used either for practical reasons or as a symbol of military rank such as the cravat used in the Croatian military or in Chinese military dress.

However, by the early 19th century, the scarf had started to become a fashion essential, and one of the trendsetters in this regard was a somewhat unlikely person.

Most people know Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the most prolific composers in history, with almost every person having heard part of Ode to Joy or Moonlight Sonata, as his pieces are often used in other forms of media to convey particularly strong or intense moments.

Whilst his influence on the world of music is well known, his influence on the world of fashion is often unheralded, in no small part due to being overshadowed by the infamous likes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In what is believed to have been the only portrait he ever sat for in 1820, he is wearing a bright red scarf as he pens a composition. He had been wearing scarves with sharp suits and shirts as early as 1810, in his attempts to woo a fellow composer.

Baroness Therese von Malfatti was born three weeks after Mozart died in 1792, and in 1810 Mr Beethoven was believed to have fallen in love with her, sending letters and changing how he looked to try and catch her eye.

She is also believed to be the “Elise” in one of his most famous pieces, Fur Elise, although others have suggested it was opera singer Elisabeth Rockel or a young Elise Barensfeld.

His scarves started a trend of people without military backgrounds wearing scarves as a fashion item, a trend that has continued to this very day.

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