Jennifer Lawrence Wearing Jason Wu at the X-Men: Days Of Future Past Premiere [Getty]
Velvet has certainly got a bad rep. Rarely has a fabric generated such distaste en masse - indeed it’s only partially less derided than its lesser sister velour. Redolent of bad party dresses, crushed leggings and… Little Lord Fauntleroy, velvet certainly has its demons. Of course it is also closely associated with multiple subcultures from goths to punks meaning women with that vaguely vampiric vibe – think Eva Green or Angelina Jolie – continue to work it on the red carpet.
This weekend saw Jennifer Lawrence – aka one of the hottest girls on the Hollywood block - fly the flag for velvet in a petrol blue, embossed gown for the New York world premiere of her new flick X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Cut on the bias, the Jason Wu floorsweeper clung to every curve. While the look has been lambasted as ‘aging’ and ‘frumpy’, the simple slip shape is clearly en point trend-wise (very Kate Moss in her Johnny Deep period).
Serial Velvet Fan Eva Green
The question is: can velvet ever be flattering? The thing with tricky fabrics, colours and details is that less is always more. A coat with velvet trim is perfectly acceptable. A velvet bra-let over a sweater and skirt a la Yasmin Sewell, ditto.
Where you hit problems is velvet head to toe. Velvet dresses cannot fail to look stifling, as the dense pile suggests something more appropriate for a Siberian escapade. The one exception is a velvet suit – especially if its red and by Tom Ford during his Gucci days. But even then you need plenty of skin on show (think a deep, plunging silk blouse, or ahem, going commando below) to prove you’re not auditioning for a part in a BBC costume drama.
Left: Yasmin Sewell Goes for Minimal Velvet, Right: Angelina Jolie Often Favours Velvet on the Red Carpet
In conclusion: unless you are a) auditioning for a part in a BBC costume drama b) dressing for Halloween or c) actually a goth which is clearly an exception, exert extreme caution when it comes to velvet.
What say you? Are you a velvet-phile or velvet-phobe? Let us know in the comments box below or on Grazia’s Facebook Page here.