Velvet is an enduring fashion trend, reinventing its appeal in different ways each time it reappears back on style radars.
This luxe fabric is back on trend, and you’d be hard pressed to find a celeb who hasn’t been rocking some velvet glam recently. This season’s velvet revival sees it arrive in a array of brighter hues than it is generally known for. That’s right; it’s no longer the moody, romantic, evening-only fabric it once was.
Velvet adds a touch of glamour to your wardrobe. While blazers are the usual go-to, what we’re seeing this season is much more versatile use of the fabric, from short sleeve tops, to camis and even boots.
So, what is it exactly?
Velvet refers to the structure of the fabric, not the actual fibre. It is characterised by its short, dense pile, which give it a soft shine that catches the light. It can be made with either synthetic or natural fibres.
A brief history of this lush fabric in fashion
There are several theories as to where it first made an appearance. It has a strong association with European nobility, however it is more commonly believed to have originated from the East, as pieces of velvet dating back to several ancient dynasties have been found in China. Samples found were typically woven from silk, using a complex and time-consuming technique, hence it became associated as a high-end, luxury fabric that was at the time only available to royalty or the very rich. The Renaissance saw a boom in velvet production, with decadent pieces for the church or wealthy families. As the Industrial Revolution made production faster and easier, velvet became cheaper and more readily available, however the association with luxury still stuck, and the fabric was largely used for glamorous evening gowns.
In more recent history, that many of us may remember with a slight cringe, the 80s and 90s were definitely a time of crushed velvet and devore, largely inspired by pop culture icons of the time.
Where is it today?
Ok, so skip forward to 2017, and velvet has come a long way. While the element of luxe still remains, it’s certainly a fabric that is much more accessible and affordable. Designers are spinning their own take on classics. And while black, navy and bottle green pieces seem to be enduring staples, designers are getting more risque and bold with their colour choices and patterns, and also juxtaposing velvet against other textures and fabrics.
How to wear
While velvet gowns and jackets will always have their place, it is no longer restricted to formal wear. It’s an equally perfect addition to your corporate wardrobe as it is to your weekend one. A good tip for keeping your velvet look cool and casual is to blend high with low. Think, our Emerge Blazer with boyfriend jeans, or a velvet skirt with your favourite tee and Chuck Taylor sneakers, to give off a more vintage-inspired look.
- Blazers have been around for a while, and while there are have been some fabulous styles through history, it’s best to keep your mother’s blazer at the back of the cupboard where it belongs. Today’s velvet blazers take on a more slimline silhouette, with narrower sleeves and torso. Style your blazer with slim fitting trousers or jeans, a stylish pair of pointed-toe heels or ankle boots and a white shirt. For a vintage touch, add a statement brooch to your lapel (Buy the blazer and get the brooch for $5).
- Tops may push many of us out of our comfort zones, but it’s a fashion statement you won’t regret making. Pair with jeans and a leather jacket for the ultimate in fabric and texture contrasts.
- Boots are a fun way to add the shimmer and style of velvet to your outfit without trying too hard. Wear with jeans, leggings or tights. If you go for black, just treat them as you would a standard pair of black leather boots and pair them with practically anything.
Every girl needs at least one velvet piece in her wardrobe. Why not dare to be a little different and choose a statement piece for this season. Whether it’s high-end luxury or a glam-rock look you’re going for, velvet is such a fun fabric to experiment with!