Brocade: fashion, style, shopping


The funny thing is that realisation of already having a brocade dress only occurred to me 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...

Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Carven / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Delpozo / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Erdem / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Alberta Ferretti / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Givenchy / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Dries van Noten / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Lanvin / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Antonio Marras / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Osman / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Dries van Noten / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Temperley London / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Etro / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Valentino / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Donna Karan / via
Brocade trend on AW 2015 runway at Badgely Mischka / via
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!

 Shop: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Shop: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11

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


  1. Love this fabric too, wish I had a dress like the n.6, especially to wear during the holiday season. Curious to see yours!:) Have a good weekend Natalia! xo

  2. What a really beautiful post!


  3. A few years ago, I went through a phase where I couldn't get enough brocade. Now, admittedly, I find the fabric a bit too extravagant - which is a very rare thing for me, of all people, to say! But I think I could be convinced to change my mind if the very first dress in your selection happened to find its way into my wardrobe ;)

  4. That last gown is gorgeous, and I love the pink brocade shoes!

  5. one of the most spectacular fabrics used in fashion, I love it
    great selection, my dear, so glam

  6. Oh,how good has said Christian Dior about brocade.....
    Can't being more agree!:)))
    Richness and queen of materials!!!
    LOVE your choices,Natashen'ka absolutely:)
    When I was little girl, I can remember that my mom wore brocade and those suits or coats I should never forget!
    And just now, I make one very long coat in brocade for winter.... Very inspiring and absolutely my favorite last time:)))
    Wish you good weeken,dear friend!

  7. great post my dear!! amazing selection :D xoxo

  8. so cute pics; 0))

    i invite to me too

  9. Dear Natalia, just today I got a jacket in brocade as I discovered I need something made from this material :) Love the wonderful inspirations you share here, brocade is so precious!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  10. Those brocade pieces you selected are truly state-of-the-art! I don't have anything like that in my closet right now, so I'll put it on my wishlist for spring season:) Thank you so much for sharing!


  11. I fall in love for the first dress!
    kisses Gi.

    new post

  12. such exquisite patterns and textures!! amazing!

    Have a great weekend!
    Animated Confessions

  13. Goodnes I love this post ! I adore brocade, always have, and combine it with velvet and fur, it is an irresistible look! I will check out your links, but I am in love with the higher end pieces you features. That brocade boots is rather stunning , though.. and of course one can mix and match to make this look sizzle. LOVED this!!
    xx, Elle

  14. Brocade always exudes richness to me :) So cute that you use to make designs from this fabric for your dolls Natalia. How awesome that your grandmother worked at an atelier! Exciting! I love the dresses you picked. They're so beautiful!

  15. i too love brocade. the name itself sounds of something elegant.