Just recently I’ve had a real hankering for some velvet, and not just in my wardrobe. I’ve always loved this sumptuous fabric, but it seems I’m a little obsessed at the moment.
I think it all started in May at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, where in the Star lounge, front and centre was an amazing blue velvet winged backed arm chair. So, naturally when I laid eyes on this piece of furniture, it was love at first sight.
I’m pretty convinced I need one in my life. It would be the ultimate boudoir accessory. I couldn’t recline in it quick enough! Being blue also cemented my attraction.
I’m hopeless with any shade of blue, be it baby, Tiffany or navy.
Velvet is a sensual fabric, not only to the touch, but to the eye also. It makes you want to touch it, how could you not want to run your hands over a fabric that makes any colour look divine.
The word velvet comes from the Latin “vellus” meaning “fleece” and it has been around since the middle ages. In England and Europe velvet made its appearance in the closing years of the thirteenth century.
Large motifs such as Tudor roses, double headed eagles, and fleur de lis, pomegranates and other designs were worked on linen and applied to the velvet.
In it’s early incarnation, it was made from 100% silk but, in the twentieth century it was made from acetate or rayon.
It’s a short, closely woven fabric which produces a soft, thick pile.
Ultra luxurious, it was mainly used in evening wear, but the 1970’s changed all that.
Think rock’n’roll hippie chic, a la Stevie Nicks, singer from super group Fleetwood Mac.
Her look was all handkerchief hemlines and floaty fabulousness.
And it wasn’t just the ladies who embraced this tactile cloth.
English bands The Rolling Stones and the Who, all donned the dandy style in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s.
Following suite were US rockers Aerosmith, in crushed velvet flares and 3/4 length capes.
Think about it, imagine velvet in any colour. From brown to yellow, red to green and my favourite, any shade of blue, it just works.
Why, on the weekend I visited my local second hand markets where I picked up a gorgeous Diane von Furstenberg dress in a divine blue velvet.
I love scouring markets for hidden gems and I did well on this trip.
If only there was a fab chair on offer!!
Velvet is stunning for homewares too.
Think cushions, large and small and if it’s your thing, curtains for the bedroom.
So will you give yourself over to the absolute pleasure of the plushness of velvet?
I know I have surrendered already.
Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2016