as a result of writing this post. Until then, the dress and the thought existed in parallel worlds somehow in a manner of two bouncy happy clouds.
I also suddenly understood the appeal of the trend for it brought pack a part of my childhood where I still made dresses for my doll - a princess born to wear brocade, and so the brocade she had. The sky blue, the pale gold. I made them with some leftover fabric found in an atelier where my grandmother worked, and her own endless supplies of beautiful cloths.
Together with velvet, fur and silk, brocade fascinated me deeply. It was rich, beautiful and rather magical, a special kind of fabric made for extraordinary life and glamorous adventures. As well as sofas, curtains, kaftans and shawls, pillows and throws...
And now brocade became a trend. Which, naturally, I happened to love.
For a touch of fashion trivia, brocade (or "embossed cloth"), a fabric made with silk and often added gold and silver threads, has been around since the 5th century when it was a prerogative of the rich and the royals of China, Greece, Japan and Byzantium. Until 1801 the brocade was woven strictly by hand on draw-looms by artisan weavers, but then came Joseph Marie Jacquard who introduced a pre-prepared loom attachment reducing the need for a specific skill whilst increasing the volume and designs of brocade made within the same period of time. As a result, most brocades we see now are created as jacquards, and the name "brocade" is often used to describe the embroidered texture of the fabric and not technique used to make it. Hence depending on its texture and look of the wrong / under side brocade comes in different forms including damask, pique, brocatelle, imperial brocade, brocade and tapestry.
Now we are done with a brief history lesson, lets get some inspiration from the Autumn/Winter 2016 runway...
And for style advice I turned to the one and only Christian Dior who, in his Little Dictionary of Fashion, wrote: "The richest of all materials, brocade has to be used with great discrimination, because being so rich, it may not look young. That is why I advise you to use it for short evening dresses, full or narrow skirted, or for suits.
For long evening dresses, brocade should be used only for great ceremonies with a certain official character. The Coronation was a typical occasion for brocade. Its richness and luxuriousness did justice to the dignity of the event."
So, unless you are off to meet the Queen or become one, this shopping list will give you exactly what you need in order to style yourself according to Dior - and Autumn/Winter 2015 trends, of course!
And the true lovers of brocade will also find a beautiful coats in my Season's Best Coat edit.
Photo source: Saskia de Brauw wearing Valentino Couture in W October 2013 (photography: Craig McDean, styling: Edward Enninful), brocade trend on a runway at Carven, Delpozo, Erdem, Alberta Ferretti, Givenchy, Dries van Noten, Lanvin, Antonio Marras, Osman, Dries van Noten, Temperley London, Etro, Valentino, Donna Karan, Badgley Mischka