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AW11 Key Texture: Velvet

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Within the autumn and winter season, it’s all about layering and combining a variety of textures and fabrics. Typical fabrics are forms of wool such as cashmere, heavy weight cottons and tweeds; it’s always good to implement a texture, which will add another dimension to a look. Velvet has risen in popularity since last season, and has carried through to AW11, and today at MFM we’ll be highlighting some key pieces for your wardrobe.

Velvet is a fabric, which is woven on a special loom, weaving two thicknesses of velvet in tandem. The two pieces produced are then cut apart to create a pile effect. Finally, the two lengths of fabric are then wound on separate take-up rolls. The material itself used to be expensive to make, but nowadays with the industrial power in place, the market has a string of affordable velvet garments.

Velvet is a hard fabric to pull of; if you implement it incorrectly it can completely ruin your whole look. Velvet is going to make a statement, so getting it wrong can leave you looking like an old school pimp from the 70’s. Getting it right, and that statement can be a bold one, expressing style and getting heads turning.

Key Tip: Don’t put a lot of effort into implementing velvet into your look. If you’ve got a velvet blazer, wear it, as you’d normally wear a blazer, don’t focus too much on the fabric. If you’ve got velvet trousers, again wear them as you’d normally wear a pair of trousers. Just focus more on combining colour tones, fit and putting effort into your whole look, not just the velvet.

The Velvet Blazer

One of the most common ways to implement the key texture of fabric into your look is through the blazer. It can be worn to complete a variety of looks, from smart casual to extremely formal. Wearing a t-shirt, slim fit denim and desert boots creates a casual look, but adding a velvet blazer adds elegance and creates a smart/casual element. You can formalise a look by wearing the velvet blazer, wearing a buttoned down shirt, layering a waistcoat, tailored suit trousers and brogues. Here are the pick of the bunch on the market today.

Other Alternatives

A velvet blazer, velvet coat and pair of velvet trousers are going to create a statement, so if you didn’t want to go the full length you can opt to add a subtle touch of velvet.  Simply opt for velvet accessories of velvet shoes. Accessories and shoes won’t be the focal point in your look, but will allow you to add the key texture of velvet into your look. Look towards detailing on statement pieces, a blazer may have velvet detailing on the shawl collar or a shirt may have velvet detailing. These are all great ways to add a subtle touch of velvet without opting for the full statement.

Great for this holiday season, velvet is the perfect fabric for a “party outfit”. Let us know what you think of velvet, is it for you?

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Paul McGregor
Paul McGregor

Founder of MFM, and short course lecturer at The London College of Fashion teaching all things marketing. Read my personal blog here.

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