I was at an art show in an old bookstore in York, England, when I spied a girl wearing a curious scarf. When I stopped to ask her what the graphic was, she unfurled it to reveal the most lively and detailed illustration of Coney Island. Rarely have I come across an item of clothing that I’d frame, but this was frame-worthy. Later that evening, I met the maker of the scarf, Karen Mabon, who runs her own Yorkshire-based scarf and accessories line, Red Brick.
Mabon hand-draws all of her illustrations before having them either digitally or screen printed onto wool or silk. Her imagery is whimsical yet precise with clever nods to everything from circus scenes and wild sweet shops to laboratory mice and a manic Mad Men-era stock market scene. Each scarf comes from a piece of art and feels like one too.
There’s a delicate silk scarf depicting a famous scene from the movie The Birds and a series of “Weeping Women” handkerchiefs that are both easily transformed into wall-mounted art. Mabon makes accessories too, like greyhound pins and necklaces of flying seagulls or stretching gymnasts. I’m biased about her latest piece, a large silk scarf depicting LA’s Griffith Park Observatory (full-disclosure: it’s made in collaboration with one of my loved ones), but that’s mainly because I live in and love Los Angeles as well as illustrated, carousel-jumping cougars. Check out the entire Red Brick line here.