Late Princess Diana was a fan, and design labels such as Emilio Pucci, Christopher Kane, Prada, Gucci, Fendi and Dries Van Noten can’t get enough of it. Closer home, too, velvet is a hot topic and present in almost every Indian designer’s recent collections.
Whether it is Masaba Gupta Mantena’s velvet-bordered sari or Manish Malhotra’s Bardot blouse made using the same fabric — the luxurious material is a must-have in one’s wardrobe. “Velvet has a vintage feel to it. This is one of the main reasons why it has become hot again,” says designer Swapnil Shinde.
Initially preferred by many as a winter fabric, velvet has, over the years, assumed great versatility. It can now be worn throughout the year, especially if it’s used as part of an ensemble’s detailing or added as an element in an outfit. Designer Mayyur Girotra, who often uses the material as part of his collections, says it works well with Indian wear. “It is apt for couture and bridal wear, as the real effect of zardozi and zari work comes alive on velvet,” he says.
Here, designers list ways of sporting this plush fabric.
Wear it right
1. Velvet shoes are a smart way to show off the material
2. Velvet pencil skirts with slits look chic
3. Opt for a velvet double-breasted jacket during a night out
4. Velvet blouses with saris add a royal touch
5. Heavily embellished velvet lehengas are great options for weddings
6. Fine silk velvet kalidar jackets can be mixed with Indian and western wear
7. Velvet bandhgalas look sharp on men
8. A short velvet dress in a muted shade amps up the glamour quotient
9. A gown with velvet detailing gives an edge to an evening look.
Dos and don’ts
1. Ensure that your velvet clothes are ironed well. Folds and crimps make them look drab
2. Avoid flashy colours. Velvet is a statement fabric on its own
3. Avoid wearing velvet in the daytime; it is more suited for evening wear
4. Avoid an overdose of velvet. For example, if you are opting for a velvet bandhgala, the pants should not be of the same material. Similarly, if your lehenga is velvet, then your blouse and dupatta should be in another fabric
5. Be careful with the cuts of your outfit when using velvet; it can go horribly wrong otherwise
6. Typically, people stick to darker shades when wearing velvet. While it is a safe option, don’t be afraid of experimenting with lighter colours.
— With inputs from designer Archana Kochhar