inspiration alley: drowning in the [velvet] ocean.

I’ve never been much for sparkles and sequins; even during the holiday season and subsequent New Years shenanigans, I remained safely away from the highly-sheened items of party wear. The hilarious thing is that most of the clothing purchased for the sake of NYE and surrounding times ends up… in the back of the closet. Covered with a plastic sheath that becomes a tombstone of the Good Times Gone By. Spending tons of dollas’ for a one-time deal? Erm, no thanks.

That’s why velvet is my sartorial savior — lush, imperial, and with just enough sheen to be an eye-catcher. Who needs to be obvious when subtlety is more favorable (and comfortable)? Not to mention, you can wear it more than once a year!

madonna we premiere

[1] mixmaster

The original entertainer, Queen Madge pulls off a velvet gown that’s been attacked by tulle, appliques, and lace… and somehow it all works! Since the dress is doing the talking, she keeps it simple with retro waves and minimal accessories for the W.E. premier in 2012. Making a statement without saying a word.

collage mixed media

clockwise / mcqueen belt / dolce and gabbana headband /  betsy johnson stone pearl cuff

What’s a little mixing without some rhinestones and pearls? Without the hassels of excessive bling, but still creating a contrast against the black velvet, both rhinestones and pearls manage to look regal without being dowdy. Grace Kelly without granny. Whether or not you’re wearing it during the holidays specifically, the autumn and winter months can always use a decorated velvet piece to create a grand statement.

Fullscreen capture 1152014 12754 AM.bmp

[2] dangerously accented

A different take on the trend, albeit pretty difficult one to pull off if you aren’t a fan of multiple pieces or if you’re afraid of channeling a bit of an S&M vibe, but the contrast of soft and hard is evident with the inclusion of leather (straps, here) with the velvet. At least in the case of the skirt here, with its hi-lo hem and the leather straps falling near the knees, the simple black skirt is re-imagined with the addition of these straps.

collage leather velvet

givenchy velvet and leather jacket / saucy glossie in the combo / givenchy leather detail

Even this Givenchy moto jacket is ultra-cool with the plush velvet base and leather detailing; we know moto has been big recently, but in a fabric like velvet, you’ll be able to make it badass and elegant at the same time.

wednesday addams

unif wednesday dress 1

[3] Wednesday for errryday

Nerdiness has taken a darker turn over the past year or so with the resurgence of horror couture. You can thank the popularity of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story for allowing the Halloween-fication into the everyday. Most recently, the long-sleeved velvet dress + white collar combination has been seen with an uber-feminine fabric as lace against the dark, lush velvet — an homage to the character Wednesday Addams. No doubt, even the UNIF dress has been named the “Wednesday dress,” so why not channel your inner homicidal, dead-pan-not-so-sweet-heart?

collage lace and velvet

More lace and velvet, but this time in a deep berry with a lace overlay on one fabulous Keiko Lynn. With the coloration reversed from the usual ‘Wednesday’ attire, this version is more sweet and less film noir, and Keiko accents it with a wide belt to tie together the two fabric choices.

So what’s in store with this throwback-meets-project? Well, its safe to say that there will be a bit of Madonna and a bit of glam, but most of all, there’s sure to be head-turning “that’s so fucking cool’ coming from the street and office spectators…

— Nita


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