What the neck?

Christiane Hultquist, the brilliant mind behind Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O's outlandish, showstopping costumes, demonstrates how to make a kerchief worthy of a punk diva.


Karen O in a Christian Joy kimono jumpsuit, $345, at TG-170.

Photograph: Christian Joy

Though Christiane Hultquist is known for more theatrical designs—she’s daubed a skeleton onto a fringe-bedecked bodysuit, and liberally applied metallic tinsel to outfits for O as well as British psychedelic-pop band Klaxons—her new womenswear line, Christian Joy (available at TG-170, 170 Ludlow St between E Houston and Stanton Sts, 212-995-8660; christianjoy.us), cultivates a more demure aesthetic using a palette of black, white and red. For thrifty rockers like us who will be taking advantage of NYC’s free outdoor summer concerts, she recommends wearing this quick and surprisingly easy-to-make scarf with an ’80s-esque print. “It keeps the sun off your shoulders, and you can tie it around your head as well,” says Hultquist.


Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

1 Cut a yard of cotton gauze (available at textiles sources like Paron Fabrics, 206 W 40th St at Seventh Ave; 212-768-3266) to the desired size of your scarf (Hultquist snipped hers into a 45-inch-by-32-inch rectangle). In a sink, wash the fabric with soap and water to remove any starch, and wring out excess water. If you’d like to dye the piece, don a pair of kitchen gloves. Then pour about a quarter of an eight-ounce bottle of Rit liquid dye (available at joann.com) into a pot and add cold water and the fabric. Using a plastic spoon, swirl the fabric for two minutes (longer if you’d like a darker shade), rinse it out with plenty of cold water and let it dry.


Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

2 Using a small paintbrush and red screen-printing ink (available at dharmatrading.com, or you can substitute with fabric paint), draw hearts onto the fabric. To create a more abstract print, Hultquist suggests splattering the fabric with ink, before using a plastic knife to outline the hearts in black ink. If desired, smudge the design by crumpling up the wet fabric into a ball.


Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

3 Let the ink dry and run a warm iron over your scarf to soften it up. Secure it into place using an antique-style kiltie safety pin($1.25, at Steinlauf and Stoller Inc., 239 W 39th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-869-0321).