Let’s talk about velvet

22 September 2017

by Isabelle Ohnemus

Let’s talk about velvet

Photo: Oasis/ Autumn/Winter 2017 oasis-stores.com

V is for Velvet…


Leave it to velvet to inject a little luxury. With partywear season around the corner, opulent velvet is updating midi-dresses and body-con styles. A trend-led 1980s feel is spotted across styles with ruched sleeves whilst textures stay crushed and jewel tone colours prevail adding decadence.


Photo: Marks & Spencer, Monsoon / Autumn/Winter 2017/ marksandspencer.commonsoon.co.uk

The Rich Romance trend is one of our favourites. Think girlish silhouettes and sumptuous fabrics for sundown. Achieve a day-to-evening vibe with lace-up brogues or chunky outerwear paired with the most elaborate gowns. Look out for midi-dress lengths, cinched-in detailing and metallic touches.

Fashion weeks


Photo: Altuzarra, Jason Wu/ Autumn/Winter 2017/ New York

The trend alert was raised at NYFW and LFW AW17/18 shows. Jason Wu, Lacoste and Altuzarra showed all manner of midi dresses, tailoring, outerwear and sports luxe inspired pieces in the lavish fabric. With the ability to transcend categories (and the seasons), velvet now graces daytime suiting as well as wrapped eveningwear silhouettes. Looks allude to 1990s sportswear as functional pieces become the definition of modern opulence.


Photo: Erdem, Mary Katrantzou/ Autumn/Winter 2017/ London

Continuing to trend at Simone Rocha, Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou, Erdem and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, the fabric’s noble appearance becomes more directional. Covering day and eveningwear, classic pieces are transformed into contemporary luxe thanks to draped applications, panelling and embellishment.

Key messages

What’s more, velvet hits three current key messages – transseasonality, hi-lo styling and the Minimalist Maximalist movement. There’s a clear focus on styling to increase cross-seasonal appeal and offer newness (yes, the velvet bikini came into existence last season). Layering knits and midi lengths work well to extend the shelf life of your velvet.

velvet suit

Photo: Debenhams, Monsoon/ Autumn/Winter 2017/ debenhams.com / uk.monsoon.co.uk

Casual and formal genres continue to be blurred; tailoring is blended with sporty separates in new Clean Sport trend. Meanwhile, casual pieces pair with super-glamorous dresses or velvet suits for a fresh interpretation on partywear styling. Hi-lo all the way.

velvet power


Minimalist Maximalist is championed once again. More-is-more dressing evolves thanks to pops of colour, outsized details and exaggerated sleeves. Once minimalist silhouettes, shapes are now elevated and distinctive.

Key items

velvet must haves trends

Shop On EyeFitU: Party Velvet (London): PIERRE BALMAIN, T BY ALEXANDER WANG

Fashion suits have gained momentum in general but none more so than the velvet option. For AW17 and beyond, plush velvets offer dramatic affect worn on relaxed silhouettes and floor-sweeping styles. Add heels for the party or choose sneakers to tap into hi-lo styling for a look with standout quality.

velvet must haves

Shop On EyeFitU: Party Velvet (London): ANNA SUI

For your wardrobe’s most glitzy update yet, choose a draped or ruched body-con dress to join your partywear assortments. A flattering feminine silhouette is preferred with knee and midi-lengths favoured with a nipped-in waistline. Velvet ensures a nod to swish 1980s influences too.