When I question people about their views of velvet, I am usually met with a sea of crinkled nose’s as each person remember either their grannies ill fitting velvet tops or the gaudy tight velvet get ups of their youth. What the majority of people fail to remember is the luxurious, sumptuous beginnings of the economic phenomenon that was velvet.
Originally from the Fat East, velvet had its main start in Italy as the fabric that made peoples fortunes. Transported all the way from the legendary Silk Road in China by Arab merchants at the beginning of the 12th century, velvet went on to become the most powerful form of trade during the Renaissance. It was used everywhere from Royal bed chambers to clothing during the 12th-18th century and it was a staple of opulence for Guiseppe Verdi who demanded that the cast of his operas wore only the finest of all velvet. The fabric has had many comebacks throughout the years including during the 1920s Art deco period when it was all the rage to be clad in a full velvet ensemble.
One of velvets more recent revamps came in A/W 09/10 with Fendi showing a range of incredibly tactile, vivid jewel toned cocktail dresses in complete juxtaposition to the sleekest of sleek silhouettes at Elie Saab that compliment the female form tremendously. Who said velvet was reserved for old biddies?