12 May 2014 by

Jennifer Lawrence's Velvet Vows: How to Wear Velvet and Not Look Like A '90s Prom Queen

How to Wear A Velvet Dress Like Jennifer Lawrence & Not Look Like A '90s Prom Queen

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.

© WireImage

Jennifer Lawrence at Christian Dior show - July 7, 2014

© GC Images

Jennifer Lawrence at a 'Dior' dinner - July 7, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence attends 'The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1' party at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Jennifer Lawrence attends the 'The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1' Photocall at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Jennifer Lawrence attends day 4 of the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 17th 2014

Jennifer Lawrence attends the 'X-Men Days Of Future Past' world premiere on May 10th 2014

Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2nd 2014

Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 2nd 2014

Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 18th 2014

Jennifer Lawrence attends the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12th 2014.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence enters the 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on November 21st.

Jennifer Lawrence arrives at a special screening of 'The Hunger Games Catching Fire'. November 20 2013

Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater for a taping of the David Letterman Show on November 20th

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior at 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' LA Premire - 18 November 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire Rome premiere - November 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire Madrid Premiere - November 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in Proenza Schouler at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire Rome press conference - November 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in Alexander McQueen at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire Madrid Photocall - November 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire Berlin premiere - November 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire London Premiere - November 2013

Jennifer Lawrence at Dior at Paris Fashion Week - July 2013

Jennifer Lawrence at 'Jimmy P. Psychotherapy of Plains Indian' film premiere at Cannes Film Festival - May 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in David Koma at GLAAD Media Awards - April 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein

Jennifer Lawrence in Ralph Lauren

Jennifer Lawrence in Viktor & Rolf

Jennifer Lawrence in Victoria Beckham

Jennifer Lawrence in Prabal Gurung

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior

Jennifer Lawrence in Marchesa

Jennifer Lawrence in Raoul

Jennifer Lawrence in Prabal Gurung

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

Jennifer Lawrence at Vanity Fair Party - 25 February 2013


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