Carola Long: Stick to short, tailored or clingy shapes and avoid anything reminiscent of Interview with the Vampire

For years, velvet has been decidedly passé. Only 'Young Musician of the Year' finalists, Goths partial to a frock coat, astrologers and Sloanes of a certain age still cling to the regal fabric. The last time it was 'le dernier cri' in plush chic was the mid-Nineties, as anyone who attempted to follow fashion back then will recall. A crushed velvet bodycon dress with a sweetheart neckline and, a few years later, a pair of bootcut velvet trousers from Morgan which I believed were indistinguishable from Tom Ford's cult pair for Gucci in 1995, were key features of my teenage wardrobe.

What a shame I can no longer squeeze myself into that mini-dress (it must have shrunk in the wash) because there has been something of a velvet revolution this autumn. Both Chloé and Sonia Rykiel showed black velvet, high-waisted, loosely tapered trousers, while the former label even boasted black velvet dungarees with gold chain detailing on the straps. Black might be the most classic choice but jewel colours, as seen at Prada in the form of coats and slashed-front dresses in plum and flame devoré, look particularly striking, as did the strips of fern, gold and violet velvet arranged geometrically on shift dresses at Christopher Kane.

The Eighties gave us some more disturbing images of velvet – remember those frumpy dresses worn to balls? However, if you stick to short, tailored or clingy shapes and avoid anything reminiscent of 'Interview with the Vampire' then the tactile textile can look sophisticated and even rather mysterious. On the high street, Asos's jade-green mini-dress with exaggerated shoulders is suitably 'velvet redux'. Avoid the other pitfall of playing it too safe and classic; a black cocktail dress à la Audrey Hepburn is too Glyndebourne. Instead, since separates in statement textures are a more modern party option than dresses, try harem-style trousers – H&M have a black pair with a daringly low crotch – or a playsuit such as Topshop's sweet black velvet version with its long sleeves and little gold studs (right, £95). Wear with flats for a bohemian, subtly sexy look that won't make you look as if you are off to Jeffrey Archer's for some shepherd's pie and champagne.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Solution Architect - Contract

    £500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...

    360 Resourcing Solutions: Export Sales Coordinator

    £18k - 20k per year: 360 Resourcing Solutions: ROLE: Export Sales Coordinato...

    Recruitment Genius: B2B Telesales Executive - OTE £35,000+

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest developer of mobile...

    SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

    £22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

    Day In a Page

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue