Those are the famous words of one George Costanza, who in “Seinfeld” said he’d do just that if it was socially acceptable. While such a day in men’s wear remains to be seen, the lush fabric is experiencing something of a renaissance in women’s eveningwear.
“I think it’s having a moment because there’s this nostalgic nod to the Nineties happening right now,” Timo Weiland says of the material, which peppers much of his fall lineup. “Velvet was king then.”
Retailers agree: What’s old is new again. “We haven’t seen it in a while,” offers Stephanie Solomon, Bloomingdale’s operating vice president of women’s fashion direction. “Jewel tones were key this season, and velvet takes those colors beautifully. It really epitomizes opulence.” Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, senior vice president, fashion office and store presentation, echoes the sentiment. “This fall, there was a trend of dark romance of an almost fairy-tale quality, preoccupied with rich surfaces, deep color and texture,” she notes. “Nothing says that all at once like velvet.”
Still, as many seamstresses can attest, pure silk velvet is one tricky textile to manipulate. Ornery in nature, it’s often difficult to press and steam. It slips when it’s being sewn, and its nap must be cut in one direction — too much pressure leaves a mark on the pile. “We had to show it to three or four different factories because a lot of people won’t work with it,” says Weiland, who was determined to use silk velvet in its traditional form for fall. “It’s the most luxurious type [of velvet] so it’s what we use for evening. It has this wonderful sheen to it.”
Mark Badgley and James Mischka agree, but that doesn’t stop them from experimenting with more modern iterations of the fabric, such as the stretch velvet, cotton velvet and rayon-silk velvet they used for fall. “Of course, silk velvet is by far the most beautiful type, but it damages very easily,” Badgley says. “It’s very old-school, very couture. Not very user-friendly.” The newer blends, on the other hand, solve some of those mechanical issues. “It no longer scars so easily, and it no longer has to be so heavy,” Mischka adds. “It really transcends the old ideas of velvet.”
Despite such technologies, velvet’s traditional surface appeal is what’s driving eveningwear. “It’s very tactile. There’s a richness to it,” says Colleen Sherin, Saks Fifth Avenue’s senior fashion director. “It can certainly be dressed down, but I think people see it as a dressier fabrication.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion