Viva La Velvet






By Michelle Crowe



Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford for Gucci, 1996


Is it velvet time yet? No, too early?

Other years I might agree but similarly to the fall of 1996, when Tom Ford for Gucci suits were everything, on everyone from Madonna to Gwyneth Paltrow, this year it feels right to ensconce oneself in a velvet fog from right now straight on through the end of the year.

Black velvet is eternally chic and always a lovely choice. Jewel tones though add a fresh twist to the luxurious favorite as do lighter fabrications that drape divinely, giving the formal favorite a louche insouciance.



Velvet goddess dress by Monse


Monse designers—and Oscar de la Renta alums– Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia created a perfect pink spin on Grecian goddess style, it’s an ideal choice for fall galas and winter weddings.

At Valentino, a flattering yellow velvet dress was shown layered over a turtleneck, a great styling trick we love. As it made its way onto the international red carpets, celebrities like Blake Lively chose to forgo the base layer. Either way, it has the feeling of something Angelica Huston or Faye Dunaway might have chosen once upon a time.



Lovely yellow at Valentino


For anytime wear consider a bold velvet ankle boot or ladylike pump—either will look wonderful with denim and tweed during the day or an LBD at night.  



Gianvito Rossi velvet boots


For more inspiration, visit Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry, opening October 21 at The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibit demonstrates how velvet production moved from a time-intensive, rarified process during the Renaissance and up to the Industrial Revolution through innovations such as the Jacquard loom, which allowed the lush fabric to be produced more easily.

No matter if it is woven with strands of real gold, or printed to look as if it is, velvet remains special, elevating any ensemble and helping the wearer feel their best.



Faye Dunaway embodies the louche spirit of velvet