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Ideal for those women with a long neck like Marella Agnelli or like all Modigliani’s women, but also for those who have a curvy body and wear it nonchalantly. Worn by eternal Audrey Hepburn matched with blacks skinny pants, she made it become a symbol of timeless elegance. Made iconic by Maria Callas and rival Jacqueline Kennedy, and by Marilyn Monroe who wanted to emphasize even more her breasts and hips by wearing tight-fitting versions, but also by celebrities such as Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss, in a looser-fitting version, to accentuate even more their shoulders.Dolcevita-nero-1 Dolcevita Il-dolcevita-nero-2

It’s definitely one of my favorite garments, my reason for joy for the arrival of winter after red wine and chestnuts. It is said that in Italy it owes its name “dolcevita” to the movie “La Dolce Vita” by Fellini, because of the black turtleneck worn by Mastroianni, but in fact the actor wears a white shirt throughout the movie and only in the final scene he wears a black scarf around his neck that resembles a turtlenek.

The first turtlenecks date from the early 20th century, when sailors and workers who work in windy places wore it to protect themselves from the wind. In the 20s they became popular in some British cities to copy the look of Noël Coward, playwright of the time. But the first true icon who transformed the turtleneck in a trend was French singer Juliette Gréco, a friend of many Parisian intellectuals of the time and a symbol of existentialism.

In the 50s and 60s in England this garment became the symbol of the counterculture of the “angry young men” (a group of working class writers), while in the United States it was worn by the representatives of the Beat Generation and the Black Panthers, whose members fought for the movement of African-Americans. So the turtleneck as a symbol of those who had something to say, something to believe in, something to fight for. In the 70s these sweaters were worn by anyone and in many different ways, both in formal situations, and to replace the shirt. Currently, it seems to be back in fashion (although I’ve never abandoned it) and it can be found in the latest collections by Valentino, Stella McCartney, Gucci and Fendi that invite people to wear them in a contemporary style, matching them with a jacket, shirt or t-shirt.

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Extremely confortable and refined, there are different versions, cashmere or wool,  bright or neutral colors, smooth, corduroy, braid plait. But for sure the total black version will always be a must have. To be included on the list of must-have garments, the turtleneck gives every person who wears it a touch of understated harmless elegance. Steve Jobs in the eighties asked Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake to design a model for him. Miyake gave him a hundred, all the same and black. Maybe not all of us have 100 sweaters of the same type, and that’s why you need to be very careful when washing them, to avoid damaging the garments you love. What you see in the picture is my favorite pullover, and I must admit that I do everything possible to always treat it with the utmost care. Cashmere is a precious type of wool that is obtained from cashemere goats.

The annual global yield of this wool is approx. 5,000 tons, and in addition to being very expensive, it also requires special care. Can you wash cashmere in the washing machine? You sure can, and it is precisely those who invented the washing machine who told me that it is possible: Miele. Well, you will be wondering how to wash it. I’ll tell you. The water should never exceed 30° C (86° F) and the garments should be washed with a detergent for woollens. This has a neutral to weak pH value, which prevents the fibers from deflating like your soufflé after opening the oven at the wrong moment. Miele suggests liquid detergent for delicates WoolCare that contains components that protect the fibers and keep the colors intact. Remember that cashmere garments should be rinsed several times in cold water because any detergent residue can destroy the fibers, exactly as you did with the relationship with your mother-in-law. Also, be careful never to hang cashmere garments on a radiator to dry, or outside in the cold winter air, you may have to say bye bye to your pullover in a thousandth of a second, as you did to your beliefes when in kindergarten the nuns told you that Santa Claus does not exist. How should you dry it then? Place it without fear in your Miele tumble dryer and select the program “Woollens handcare”. It will leave your pullovers soft and fluffy after drying.  Suddenly everyone will want to hug you, kiss you, love you, marry you. Because a wool like yours is difficult to find anywhere else.

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