The first sweater I loved was a black cashmere cardigan with tiny rhinestones sewn onto the left side sleeve and body. My mother, whom I prefer to call by her maiden name Rosemary Magdalena Descarfino, came by it at an estate sale in the 1970s. Until Madonna sang “Like a Virgin” in costume jewelry, the black rhinestone cardigan was my daydream magic. For special occasions, my mother’s friends would stop by to borrow it. Remember that this was before Chinese cashmere and the world of cheap real. One friend reported that the rhinestones shimmered by the candlelight mimicking fire so much so that a party guest tried to put her out.
My second love was a white angora cardigan with several tiny buttons that my eleven-year-old fingers would nervously twist. I think it was a Christmas gift from Rosemary Magdalena Descarfino. I wore it to school the day our class rabbit died. The bunny passed in my arms; when we gave her to the earth she was wrapped in white angora. My teacher was unsure of my sacrifice, but in the end she could not refuse.
The third sweater belonged to my stepfather, Cameron Blake Webb. His mother knit it for him out of marled grey wool. It was in the style of a tunic with a single intarsia image of a house and tree to the right of the chest. It looked like a dress on me and I loved it, but the sweater was a sentimental gift that my stepfather preferred to keep for himself. In the end I secretly made off with it and flaunted it shamelessly at a beach party bonfire.
Designer Ezra Descarfino.