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Textile Takeover

by Julia Seelig

Photography by Mae Davis

In the fashion world, seasons are much more than changing leaves on trees. Designers define their shows and collections by season, creating a style guideline for the public based on the hottest trends. These trends cover everything from color and texture to design. Magazines and bloggers are quick to jump on the newest trends, and you should be too.

As the air grows crisp and summer comes to a close, there is one thing I desperately anticipate: fall fashion! If comfy knits and wine-colored booties are not enough to make you want to put away your warm-weather clothing, the textile that dominated the fall runway shows just might be.

Velvet was a staple during the Fall 2016 shows, appearing in New York, Paris, London and Milan Fashion Weeks. Some of the most renowned designers such as Valentino, Stella McCartney and Miu Miu all presented collections using this luxurious fabric. After seeing the lush material on the runway in every possible form, from a mini-dress to heeled booties, there was no doubt velvet would soon be a must have.

This season, of course, velvet is everything. With ’90s fashion becoming all the rage again, nothing makes me quite as excited as the revival of velvet. Even better, the opulent fabric looks best in fall’s dramatic hues––dark berries and wines.

Boston University students have been quick to pick-up on the trend. Kaitlin Tran (SHA ’18) loves velvet.

“It makes you feel so luxe. I have a velvet dress; it’s dope!”

Whether you choose to rock velvet in your clothing, footwear or accessories, the incorporation of this rich material into any outfit will automatically amp up your style. It can make even the most casual of looks seem elegant.

“I’m a huge follower of the latest fashion trends, and velvet is definitely one of my favorites this fall,” said Joe Gonzalez (Questrom ’17). “It’s so chic and classy. I love how it makes an outfit stand-out. Basically it’s a statement piece.”

The it-factor in velvet is that it is the perfect combination of badass and beautiful. Pair a velvet slip dress with lace-up pumps for date night, or distressed denim with velvet boots for class––either option is the epitome of fall’s ‘cool-girl’ style.

In an interview with USA Today, Bloomingdale’s fashion director for women’s ready-to-wear Brooke Jaffe explained what excited her most about the return of the velvet craze. Jaffe said, “I think what’s really exciting is, in the past when velvet has made a comeback, it’s been done very specifically as a structured dress or a fancy blazer. Though we have those items as part of the fall 2016 mix, what's most exciting about velvet is when we see casual pieces interpreted in this luxurious fabric...”

Designers redefined velvet this season by using the material to create simple pieces as well as more elegant ones. Now, fashionistas have an excuse to wear velvet everyday––throwing on their velvet tees and backpacks––as opposed to saving it for their most lavish occasions.

Velvet, however, can be a risky fabric to rock. If worn the right way, the material lends itself to making an outfit look like something straight off the runway. If worn the wrong way, the fabric can appear more tacky than tasteful.

“I like velvet but only if it's good quality! Nothing is worse than cheap velvet because then you just look kind of trashy,” said Liv Shur (COM ’17). “Also, I think it looks way better in darker colors like deep reds, blues, etc.”

Avoid wearing overwhelming amounts of vibrant-colored velvet. Instead, work with the season’s dark tones to create a look that is perfect for fall’s aesthetic. Keep in mind that sometimes, the fabric is best used as an accent piece!

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