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The Velvet Edit

  • April 25 2017

    +Gingham: we’ll take the check please

     

    Summer is all about slipping into prints or patterns, and one of our faves is that timeless check known as gingham. Most commonly shown as black and white or navy and white, gingham came into play into the mid-eighteenth century, when mills in England started weaving the plaid cotton fabric because it was sturdy, understated and cheap to produce. Initially it was used mainly in home items—like your fave tablecloth—to the classic men’s button down shirt (to this day, all guys look good in a gingham button up shirt, especially Tom Hardy).

     

    Jane Fonda in "Cat Ballou." 1965 - Everett Collection Jane Fonda in "Cat Ballou." 1965 - Everett Collection

     

    The checked cotton fabric came out of the mundane and into fashion mainstream in the '50s and '60s thanks to style icons like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, who wore it in the form of cropped pants, skirts and bikinis. It took a high fashion turn in the 90’s with supermodels like Naomi Campbell in Azzedine Alaia and Linda Evangelista on the Versace runway in a classic gingham blazer.

     

    Nowadays, it’s everywhere—from skirts to coats—and we couldn’t be happier. Especially in the summer months, gingham adds a dash of polish to hot weather style and still has that cool girl allure that Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin made popular back in the day.

     

    Here are some tips and tricks on how to make gingham your summer staple.

     

    1. Show a little and some vintage-inspired sex appeal, by knotting your check button down at the waist with some high-waisted denim. (Try out Ruthann Gingham Tie Front Top)

     

    2. Classic plaid can sometimes feel masculine so offset it with feminine ruffles and cold shoulder styles like Nedra Cold Shoulder Top.

     

    3. Gingham can either feel simple and refined when paired with solid-hued basics, or give it a modern, unexpected twist and team it with a small-scale print or stripe. Check out our Gingham Crush Pinterest Board for more inspiration.

     

    4. Let’s not forget the beach classic—a gingham bikini like our Xirena fave—a perfect mix of sexy and sweet (red pedicure optional but recommended).

  • April 21 2017

    Summer 17 Festival Style: look cool in the heat

     

    Certain events remind us that summer is about to arrive any second. For us, being California girls, it’s all about Coachella—the two weekend music festival in the desert—and then the rest of the country seems to jump on the band wagon and the outdoor music festival season sets into full swing.

     

    Whether you’re heading to the Governors Ball (June 3-5 in NYC), Bonnaroo (June 9-12 in Manchester, TN), Firefly (June 16-19 in Dover, DE), Newport Folk Festival (July 22-24 in Newport, RI), Lollapalooza (July 28-31 in Chicago), Outside Lands (August 5-7 in San Francisco) or one of the others, it’s as much about who is headlining as what to wear. Festival style needs to be practical, able to beat the heat and stand up to heaving crowds, grass stains and selfies.

     

    HERE ARE OUR TIPS FOR YOUR SUMMER MUSICAL FIELD TRIP:

     

    LESLIE FLORAL LACE DRESS LESLIE FLORAL LACE DRESS IN CREAM

     

    1. SHOULDER SMOULDER
    One of the hottest trends for summer is the cold shoulder and when it comes to hitting the field, this is the chicest way to show some skin. Whether you’re showing off both with our Jene Off The Shoulder Woven Cotton Stripe Top, or a single slip like the Abbeline Gauzy Whisper One Shoulder Tee, this silhouette is on point and pretty.

     

    2. UNDERCOVERETTES
    Especially if you need to do a quick change in the middle of the day, its key to have the right lingerie. A cotton bralette or is perfect for switching tees in the middle of a field and perfect for cold shoulder, strapless and lacy styles.

     

    3. DENIM 24/7
    For day, there is nothing better (or easier) that slipping on some denim cut-offs or frayed shorts. Evenings can get cooler so cover up with a classic pair of blues but keep the vibe casual with cropped hemlines or frayed detailing. Avoid straight-up tight skinnies, they’ll just make you feel constricted after hours of sitting cross-legged on the grass. The Twiggy High Rise Crop Jean is our festival pick because it has the perfect amount of stretch (translation: you can nap in them).

     

    4. LET'S TALK LAYERS
    If you are outside form dawn till dust, chances are the temps are going to vary. A lot of festivals have lockers you can rent and its wise to load one up with a cool army jacket, breezy cardigan or sweater. Also, anything long sleeved can be tied around your shoulders or waist, and is a cool way to clash prints and colors with zero effort.

     

    5. WHITE ON
    There’s nothing fresher than summer white. OK, you may have to be a wee bit careful when sitting on the grass (that’s where that army jacket (like Andreea and Ruby) comes in that you left in the locker right? See above). A light dress, made of a cotton gauze will have you looking like a cross between Kate Moss, Stevie Nicks and Sienna Miller (she does the laid back dress thing seriously well).

     

    6. FEMININE VINTAGE
    We love the look of lace, it’s got a vintage feel but still very now. Also, a lace top is the perfect festival gear because it looks unexpectedly girlie and with a contrasting bikini top or bralette poking out from between the detailing, is the perfect feminine foil to your denim cut-offs.

     

    7. HIPPIE CHIC
    Summer is all about boho details like embroidery and peasant blouse silhouettes. Crafted from breezy fabrics and with artisanal-inspired stitching; perfect for outdoorsy days. They also give us serious vintage festival vibes, like all those groovy women from the 60’s and 70’s who were the originators of this classic festival look. Always cool, always easy.

     

    8. FRINGE BENEFITS
    In keeping with our throwback theme (see above) we are also on board with fringe and its effortless ease. Try a small detail on a bag, or go full-on fringe with our Petunia Cotton Woven Fringe Poncho from our collab with Kirsty Hume. She co-designed the pieces and used vintage picks from her own closet for inspiration.

     

    9. CHECK MATES
    We have a serious crush on gingham, always have, always will. This simple plaid has a vintage inspired sex appeal (just look at throwback pictures of Liz Taylor for inspo) and always feels fresh. Keep it simple by slipping on a gingham button down—a perfect layering piece over a tank—and knot it at the waist.

     

    10. ALL ABOUT ACCESSORIES
    The most important parts of your ensemble will be the accessories. You’ll need a hat with a decent size brim and big sunnies. Veteran festival goers suggest a flat shoe with a closed toe, like a retro sneaker, to keep feet clean and blister-free. Keep jewelry minimal but statement-making with a few dangly necklaces or wrap bracelets in bold hues, and adorned with tassels and crystals. Check our our favorites.

     

    FINALLY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, don’t forget a portable phone charger—a must-have for keeping connected with friends, taking a snap of your car so you remember where you parked, sending a Venmo payment for a falafel sandwich and posting about your whole experience on Instagram because this much style deserves to be seen.

  • April 12 2017

    California Girls: Kirsty Hume

     

    It’s no surprise that we have a soft spot for the laid back charm of California style—we live it, love it and wear it everyday. In our new series, California Girls, we’ll be profiling our favorite west coast women to find out how they spend their days, as well as their thoughts on everything from shoe choices to favorite reads. Their common thread? Bold, smart, inspiring and Golden State gorgeous.

     

    We launch our series with Kirsty Hume; mother, model, activist, artist and co-creator of our summer collab collection, Velvet X Kirsty Hume. In the 90’s, this thoughtful blonde was the epitome of minimalist luxe, often on the covers of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and W. Now a mother to thirteen year-old Violet, this self-professed nature lover embodies California cool. Her modern meets vintage aesthetic fits in perfectly with her Topanga Canyon lifestyle.

     

     

    Kirsty likes her surroundings and clothes soft, full of light and with natural fabrics.  She believes in the importance of being true to yourself, and she seems to do that with a relaxed ease. “She’s beautiful inside and outside,” says our Creative Director Jenny Graham.

     

    We asked her a few questions about her daily life. Here’s a peek:

     

    Early bird or night owl?

    Earlybird. Mornings are my favorite, I only wish they were a little longer. I love it when I have time to do a little yoga, meditation and journaling.

     

    Coffee or Tea?
    Tea. Always tea.

     

    Current obsession?
    Sipping on nettle infusion all day.

     

    What is your favorite way to unwind?
    Painting and spending time with my daughter! I love to paint while watching the birds outside my window.

     

    What do you like to do when you have time off?
    Hiking and going on a sunset walk with my big girl.

     

    kirstyHumeImages2 Kirsty painting in her studio and enjoying sunset walk with daughter Violet

     

    Favorite beauty product?
    Aftelier Honeysuckle Face Elixir.

     

    In your bag?
    I don’t wear makeup unless I’m going somewhere really special and, even then, I’ll just put on a little RMS Lip2Cheek stain and a dab of concealer.

     

    Best Beauty Tip?
    I color my hair myself, out of a box. I use Susan Henry Natural Color Process in Light Blonde, I use a very light blond color just at the roots, and let it grow out.

     

    Heels or flats?
    Sheepskin clog boots

     

    What’s for dinner?
    Butter roasted chicken, I mostly eat a plant-based diet but we’ll have meat about once a week

     

    Beach, Desert, or Mountains?
    The beach in Scotland. Whenever I go home to see my family, it’s the first think I do, go to the beach and breathe some fresh air.

  • March 30 2017

    Behind-the-Scenes with Photo Queen Laura Kleinhenz

     

    For our spring collection photo shoot, we decided to enlist documentary photographer, Laura Kleinhenz, to come and capture some of what goes on behind-the-scenes at a Velvet photo shoot. Why? Because beauty often happens when not everyone is paying attention and small moments look gorgeous through the keen eye of this wonderful woman. Here are her thoughts on hanging out with us for a day as well as some of her beautifully candid black
    and white snaps.

     

    Velvet Behind the Scenes Photographed by Laura Kleinhenz of Docuvitae Photography.Velvet Behind the Scenes. Photographed by Laura Kleinhenz of Docuvitae Photography. View BTS Gallery with Ella


    How was it being on this project with us?

    LK:  It really was one of the most memorable shoots I’ve had in years, doing behind-the-scenes work is really invigorating to me. It took me back to my early journalism career when self-assigned documentary projects were my primary focus and I was only responsible for me and my camera and showing up on time.

     

    Did you bring your usual equipment?
    LK: When I was packing for the shoot, I realized the Leica M Monochrom was the perfect choice—it shoots exclusively in black and white. There was a simplicity to this shoot that I loved, such a complete pleasure to walk onto a location with only my Leica M and an iPhone.

     

    Be honest, what were we like to work with?
    LK: Easy! Leslie, the Art Director, and I share a similar aesthetic and I love her sense of style of course, so we immediately hit it off. Also, Hilary Walsh, the photographer was a dream to watch-she moves with such confidence and grace. I always love observing other female photographers in charge and I secretly enjoyed that I was just there to document and observe all the behind-the-scenes happenings; the stylists’s banter, tales from the caterer and the digitech’s stories about European travel.

     

    BTS_spring_ella_2Velvet Behind the Scenes. Photographed by Laura Kleinhenz of Docuvitae Photography.

     

    So we were like a bit of spring break for you?
    LK: Jenny and Toni, the creative directors, trust their team implicitly and they worked together like a well-oiled machine. It was a pleasure to slip back into my documentary groove and capture the folks behind the scenes who make everything tick.

     

    Check out Laura on instagram @laurakleinhenz or her website www.docuvitae.com and more bts during
    this shoot here.

  • March 9 2017

    What’s So Great About Stripes? Everything.

    STRIPE-COLLAGE-4
    At Velvet, we’re mad for stripes
    . Every collection features a least a handful of pieces—whether it’s our classic
    cotton slub or luxe cashmere—that shows off this classic linear look. So, where did this simply chic style come from, and what has made it one of the most enduring trends of all time?

     

    Like many great things in fashion, the stripe was first launched onto the style radar by Coco Chanel back in 1917. She was inspired by the sailor’s uniforms while on a trip to the north west coast of France. Upon her return to Paris, the iconic designer incorporated these striped tops into her nautical collection—the classic “Breton stripe” fashion staple was born. The name came from the region, Bretagne, or Brittany in english, and this humble navy and white long-sleeve top has now become as much of a wardrobe basic as boyfriend jeans
    and the LBD.

     

    Since then, the Breton Stripe has been worn by everyone—from the dreamy James Dean in the 1955 film Rebel Without A Cause to Kate Moss running errands about London—and while the styling choices have evolved, the classic effect has remained the same. Always clean, always striking and a unisex style slam dunk.

    Finally, when wearing stripes, there a couple of style cues we love for this season.

     

    1) For spring/summer we’re loving the combo of a striped top with white denim—a classic look but feels super fresh.

     

    2) Stripes are our favorite layering pieces—a short tee under an army jacket or a long-sleeve stripe tee with a button-up shirt on top.

     

    3) Don’t be afraid to mix your stripe with other prints, think of this classic graphic as a neutral and try it with a small print floral or plaid; just keep your whole look in a similar color family and all will be stunning.

  • March 2 2017

    GETAWAY GLAM

    wovencotstripe-jene03_0367

  • February 28 2017

    NICE..COTES D'AZUR DREAMS.. NICE..COTES D'AZUR DREAMS..
  • February 12 2017

    10 Resort Travel Essentials

     

    WHETHER YOU'RE A FREQUENT FLIER OR HITTING THE HIGHWAY, GETTING PERFECTLY PACKED IS ALWYAS THE SECRET TO A STRESS-FREE VACATION (AND GREAT OUTFITS). ONCE YOU KNOW THE TRICKS, PACKING WILL BE A BREEZE, AND WE GUARANTEE YOU'LL HAVE A BIT OF SPACE IN YOUR BAG FOR A SPOT OF SHOPPING. HERE'S HOW:

     

    1. A WEEKENDER BAG
    Even if you’re an organized whiz, it’s always a good idea to bring a bag that allows for a bit of traveling chaos. A weekender is the perfect carry-all to stash everything you need without weighing down your handbag, and you’ll use it all year round (summer, Thanksgiving, your best friends wedding etc…trust us).

     

    2. LAYERING TANKS AND TEES
    Stash a couple of basic tops and camisoles in your bag to ensure that you’re fully covered -- literally and figuratively. Think black, nude or white as these are easy to style and the perfect underpinning for semi-sheer shirts or dresses. Also, a white tank under a sharp, black blazer is one of our favorite looks of all time. Shop Velvet Basics here.

     

    3. CLASSIC SWEATERS
    Yes, they take up a little extra space in your suitcase, but so worth it. Pack at least two sweaters — black and white cashmere styles are ideal — to wear with jeans, leggings and skirts. Crewnecks and v-necks work well with basic button downs, while lightweight turtleneck sweaters look especially chic layered beneath a velvety slip dress.

     

    2016-10-09_VELVET_WOMENS4334_web

    4. UNDIES FOR ALL OCCASIONS
    Fancy lingerie is dreamy, but don’t forget to pack a range of pretty yet functional undergarments too—cute bralettes in prints and patterns look sweet peeking out from under layers, and can also double as a bathing suit in a pinch.
    View xirena intimates.

     

    5. CHIC SLEEP
    While boxer shorts and a well-worn tank may suit your sleep needs at home, why not invest in some pretty PJs if you’re traveling (it also eliminates the mad scramble to find the hotel robe when room service knocks). Silky or cotton pajama sets are always winners.

     

    6. TOP NOTCH DENIM
    Jeans are the gold-star, thumbs-up, must-have travel partner. However, we suggest skipping the  skintight fits and low-rise silhouettes that can leave you feeling constricted if you’ll be sitting on a plane for hours. A slim-fitting darker jean with a mid-rise waistline and just a hint of stretch is our choice for extended travels.
    (Shop our full line of women’s denim here.)

     

    2016-10-09_VELVET_WOMENS4336_web

    7. DOWNTIME BASICS
    Every vacation has a little free time so don’t forget to pack some casual faves. Whether you’re strolling the streets or just lounging by a pool, a pair of joggers and a loose top, hoodie or classic button down looks easy chic without sacrificing style. (View our off duty wear.)

     

    8. FLATS AND SNEAKS
    Even if high heels are your go-to shoes for life, you’ll want to pack at least one pair of go-anywhere flats or cool, retro sneaks for day trips and museum jaunts. For colder climates, be sure to add a pair of winter-ready boots and wooly socks to your carry-on.

     

    walkingShoes

    9. BLACK LEGGINGS
    Leggings win the travel game for a few reasons. A.) They’re comfy; B.) They’re versatile and can double as pants; and C.) They take up zero room in your bag. Look for slightly heftier fabrics to ensure that they are fully opaque and structured enough to mimic dress pants.

     

    10. THE ULTIMATE TOPPER
    It goes without saying, and its well-worth repeating: Chic, well-fitting outerwear is perhaps the most important thing you can bring with you (aside from your toothbrush). Choose the right coat or jacket based on your destination’s seasonal weather — and pack a trench or a heavy cardigan even if you’re going someplace warm—nights can get chilly in hotspots like L.A. or Oahu, and you’ll want to be fully covered for your travel itinerary.

     

    Which of these essentials will you include in your travel plans? Tell us about your trips in the comments section below (feel free to make us jealous), and shop our women’s resort collection for the luxe pieces that will slip seamlessly into your wardrobe and that new weekender bag.

  • February 6 2017

    VELVET + XIRENA

    xirena blognew

     

     

    CRUSH TURNED COLLAB. WE GOT TOGETHER AND DESIGNED THE CUTEST SETS OF UNDERPINNINGS IN BOLD MIXED PRINTS FOR THIS FLIRTY SEASON. EXCLUSIVELY VIA XIRENA AND VELVET.

  • January 10 2017

    VELVET ORIGINALS

    What makes an original? So good it's never forgotten. Effortlessly stylish and resistant to trends. Velvet Original Tees are timeless styles that flatter every figure that you'll want to wear now. Basically brilliant. What makes an original? So good it's never forgotten. Effortlessly stylish and resistant to trends. Velvet Original Tees are timeless styles that flatter every figure that you'll want to wear now and forever. Basically brilliant.

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