Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Ever since Christopher Kane sent a succession of skater dresses down the catwalk in 2008, velvet lost its eighties connotation and became the festive season’s must have fabric. Originally a fabric considered fit for a monarch, velvet is a luxurious alternative to the sequins that dominate every dress, skirt and jacket each Christmas. Today’s velvet is no longer the crushed, tacky material worn by Wham groupies, it is a far more refined, better quality fabric. A well made velvet piece is an investment as the wearer will feel luxurious and spoilt for years to come. For Autumn/Winter 2010 designers including Richard Nicoll and Antonio Beradi sent a variety of soft, feminine, wine coloured dresses down the catwalk; which, have spurned copies all over the high street. As well as the obligatory party dresses, velvet has gone in a new direction this season covering shorts, trousers and even jackets. Just in time for the party season, here is our selection of the best velvet pieces.

O&O Velvet Maxi Dress (£50)

Embracing this seasons maxi trend, this dress is reminiscent of Courtney Love in her nineties heyday or possibly Jen Lindley on a night out in Capeside. The stunning wine colour, super flattering nipped in waist and scoop back give the dress a 2010 update to ensure it will turn heads. This also has the added appeal of becoming an of the moment maxi skirt, if paired with chunky knitwear.

Topshop Premium Velvet High Waisted Shorts (£36)

These shorts are a great alternative to this seasons leather trend, they are not only warmer, but are similar to a pair from Alexa Chung’s much talked about Madewell collection. Just team with a silk blouse, heels and lipstick and you will have created the perfect party look.

ASOS Velvet One Shoulder Playsuit (£38)

This asymmetric playsuit, which comes in black and oxblood red, is the 2010 update to the questionable seventies velvet suit. With a nipped in waist, one shoulder detail and moulded cups, this is one of the most flattering pieces on the high street, can I get one in both colours?

ASOS Velvet Skinny Trouser (£32.00)

For those who wish to try something different this season, there are a number of pairs of velvet trousers available. A personal favourite are ASOS’ skinny berry style which will look stunning with heels and a simple top. ASOS have even created an alternative for those of us who have eaten one too many mince pies, their tapered velvet joggers (£28.50) with a drawstring waist are perfect for overindulgence.

MinkPink Floral Velvet Blazer (£94.00)

This blazer, a true statement piece, is reminiscent of the floral, leather look seen at Christopher Kane. Team with jeans and a simple blouse to stand out whilst avoiding resembling your eccentric RE teacher. For those who prefer a simpler look, Silence and Noise have created a plain black blazer (£60) that would be perfect for any party.

Velvet is all over the high street this Christmas and this is only a very small selection of what is available. For those looking for a party dress, Oasis’ one shoulder number (£75) is reminiscent of eighties power dressing at its best and TBA have created a wonderful peter pan collar number (£150). If you are not brave enough to wear an entire velvet piece, there are headbands, clutches and even shoes available (Topshop’s Premium Patti Sandals, £100 are a favourite). Just remember, simply add lipstick and a glass of wine and wear with confidence!

Harriet Tisdall

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