Velvet may not be a fresh trend, but it is certainly one you can always rely on to show up like the relative who visits every winter holiday season like clockwork, and then is never heard from again until the following year. Except, unlike people, velvet comes back better, stronger and keeps evolving with time.
This year however, more and more designers have shown a penchant for net, which was easily the most popular style at L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week, while velvet took a backseat. This is rather unfortunate, because the fabric has much potential as both Eastern and Western formal wear. It instantly adds a scoop of affluence, falls beautifully and keeps you toasty and warm all at once. Today we bring you a parade of all things velvet, in case you’re not already convinced!
Maheen Karim, HSY and Misha Lakhani
When we think of velvet for weddings our minds are immediately filled with visions of decadent Sabyasachi Mukherjee saris. The Indian designer is as smitten with velvet as he is with net, and the combination of both is quite magical. A signature accent of Sabyasachi’s is his long luxurious velvet pallu and full-sleeved blouse that he fills with rich gold detailing. While we haven’t come across saris of the same stature locally, top designers such as Nida Azwer, Sublime by Sara Shahid, Maheen Karim and Shamaeel have created some stunning embellished jackets and tapered formal kurtas using velvet.
Nida Azwer, Sublime by Sara Shahid and Sania Maskatiya
Equally enchanting are the splendid royal velvet trousers and ghagras from the house of Sania Maskatiya, with handcrafted borders and the beautiful izaars, jumpsuits and couture vests courtesy Umbereen & Sharmeen, which are part of the label’s latest winter couture collection.
Shamaeel Ansari, Manish Malhotra
Another designer who loves and brings velvet to life and is deeply inspired by Sabyasachi is Misha Lakhani, with her exotic creations.
Umbereen & Sharmeen, Sabyasachi Mukherjee
Slip on Velvet:
Fendi , Miu Miu and Jonathan Saunders
As a truly universal fabric, velvet is as popular for slip on traditional khussas for a mehndi as it is to add texture for loafers and pumps. Suede, which was a leading favourite, has quickly been replaced with this more lasting yet supple choice for a canvas.
Dolce & Gabbana Winter 2013, H&Z Khussas
With an increased focus by international design houses such as Dolce and Gabbana, Balmain and Alexander McQueen, who have chosen to show gold embellished handcrafted pieces with velvet as the go-to material for a base.
Roberto Cavalli, Missoni
Aside from your closet, add some velvet comfort to your home with fluffy throw covers along the lines of theses delicious Cavalli and Missoni cushions. You will thank us when you’re hugging them while watching a weekend movie or your favourite TV show. They will add an undeniable luxe yet comfortable feel to your living room, and they have a lot more feel-good factor than synthetic fabrics. If you have kids running around, they are a much safer option as compared to suede!
Chanel Boy Bag, Juith Leiber and Alexander McQueen
Devore velvet is a current technique that is being used beautifully for cut-out accessories, such as in this stunning Judith Leiber clutch spotted at the Labels Pop-up exhibition for the brand, held a few weeks ago. However if you’re looking for some over-the-charts glamour, we love both the signature knuckle duster and folded clutch by McQueen.
Mango, Alexander Wang
Over to the other side of the world, velvet created major waves on the New York runway for Fall/Winter 2013. The velvet tailored pantsuit is now considered a staple, and the fabric was best used by Christopher Kane with sheer cut-out inserts and by Alexander Wang in an elaborate draped context, among a host of other runway hits including DVF, Tom Ford and Valentino.
Christopher Kane and Alexander Wang, Tom For and Valentino
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2013.