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The Velvet Edit

  • September 17 2017

    California Girls: Melahn and Aja Frierson




    These two are a true sister act. Not only do Aja Fierson and her sister Melahn create our favorite line of vegan nail polishes, Habit Cosmetics (Santa Sangre is the best deep, red ever), these LA ladies also have a down-to-earth cool style that’s equal parts designer, street and some to-die-for vintage pieces. Here’s where they eat, shop, read and escape in Southern California.


    What’s your style?
    Melahn: Quirky, fun and a little outrageous.
    Aja: Platforms, patterns and anything seventies


    Who are your style icons?
    M: Grace Jones, Patti Smith and the stylist as well as my forever friend/muse Catherine Baba.
    A: Stevie Nicks, Jane Birkin and Julia Restoin Roitfeld




    Best fashion purchase ever?
    M: This incredible faux tiger print trench coat that I scored at a thrift store in San Francisco for $12.
    A: Pink sparkly sock boots from Zara—they instantly upgrade any outfit.


    Current obsessions?
    M: DIY beauty masks and late nights watching film on Fandor or UbuWeb with my boyfriend.
    A: Homemade coconut yogurt, lavender highlighter and the Guerilla Tacos truck.


    Next on your reading list?
    M: Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr.
    A: Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong. I have yet to open it but I’m enchanted by the prospect of finding new inspiration in my old favorite pieces.


    Guaranteed smile inducer?
    M: Any John Waters film starring Divine and a night out dancing my sister, Aja—she’s got moves that would give Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes a run for her money.
    A: Hah, how can I follow up that? Novelty socks and the TV show Insecure is amazing.


    Fave thing about California?
    M: Being so close to the beach and all the incredible food.
    A: I love that you can drive 20 minutes in any one direction and explore a different culture and community.




    Fave places in Los Angeles?
    M: Cinefamily has incredible screening of films you wouldn’t normally see, The Last Bookstore in downtown LA and The Rosebowl Flea Market for clothing and household decor.
    A: The Getty Villa for weekend afternoons, The Greek Theater for concerts and Melrose for people watching.


    Roadtrip destinations?
    M: Ojai. My friend’s mom has a house in an orange grove and we’ll go up there and BBQ and hike.
    A: Santa Barbara. It’s close enough that you can do a quick getaway but it still feels like a different world.


    Fave way to unwind in LA?
    M: Going out for drinks with friends is always good and Tom Bergin’s is one of my favorite neighborhood bars.
    A: Dinner at an amazing restaurant and right now Osteria Mozza is my go-to for fresh pasta, or Anarbagh for Indian food.


    Finally, early bird or night owl?
    M: Night owl! Having said that I’m trying to create a balance between the two because I feel and look so much better after a full 8 hours of sleep.
    A: Both, I get so much done in the late/early hours when everything is quiet.


    Check out their polishes on our website here.

  • September 14 2017

    LA Stories: Venice Sunday


    We’re passing the day at the epicenter of California cool. Boardwalks, bougainvillea and our favorite brunch spot.

    Fall is coming and wish you were here.



  • August 22 2017

    Fall 2017: Trending Now


    Even though we live in California and love nothing more than sunshine 24/7, when it comes to fashion, fall is our favorite time of year. Cool enough to bundle up in layers but not SO cold that you have to leave the house in hats, gloves and wraparound scarves. Also, after months of breezy dresses and cut-offs, there’s something so satisfying (and personal style affirming) about slipping into layers and coats. Here’s what’s hot for fall from runway to real-way:




    A Fine Romance
    Because we (and the rest of fashion) have a soft spot for the demure stylings of the Victorian era (and who doesn’t love a good Jane Austen novel), the high neckline from that time is a fall femme favorite. A work wear must-have, but we love the look of the slightly-formal ruffled collar when paired with casual denims. Try Marysue Vertical Stripe Mock Neck Top


    Deco Prints
    In another nod to one of our favorite literary females, Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby, Art Deco prints are abound now. Geometric motifs, ornate all-over patterns, and subtle detailing take us back to the roaring 20’s and the best example is our Abby Art Deco Printed Dress, which not only has the print, but also features subtle sequins on the shoulder.




    Casual Friday and Beyond
    While we all have our favorite sweatshirts and joggers tucked into our closet, for fall these casual staples have been given a feminine update. Classic pullover hoodies have a slightly shrunken silhouette making them extra flattering, while sweatpants like the Emella Fleece Wide Leg Pant get a flared leg. Yes, sporty layers are not just for the gym anymore.


    Statement Sleeve
    Sleeves are making a big statement for fall. Whether it’s in the traditional style of a peasant blouse with a puffed sleeve and cinched cuff, or the 70’s inspired bell shape that gets topped with crochet embroidery or ruching at the elbow. It’s a fresh twist on a retro silhouette.




    Luxe Layers
    It may not be new to layer when the temperatures drop, for fall it’s all about what you pair with what. Layering is the easiest way to inject a little personal style into your wardrobe by choosing unexpected combinations like a utilitarian long-sleeve tee underneath a feminine blouse (cuff the sleeves so the underneath layer shows through). Or, layer one of our drapey cardigans over a blouse or tee.


    Denim for all
    Every closet needs a denim update. For fall, the silhouettes they have a slightly higher rise, which makes dressing them up easy; just add a classic button up tucked in as well as a simple belt. Darker hued jeans are better for dressing up (like the Kate Hi Rise crop), whereas lighter washes are perfect for weekends. To show off your new low boots, pick a fresh, slightly cropped leg.

  • August 15 2017

    The Velvet Neighborhood Guide: Fillmore District, San Francisco


    Like the iconic 60’s model Twiggy gushed, “I’m just mad for San Francisco, it’s like London and Paris stacked on top of each other!” We feel the same. This is a city that’s tiny in size but seriously mighty when it comes to style and, most importantly, food. One of our fave spots is the Fillmore District—10 tree-lined blocks in the heart of the Golden City. It still has an independent, neighborhood spirit with lots of vintage and antique stores, but there’s the best in fashion, food and always people watching. Also, opening up in SF gives us ample opportunities to wear our delicious cashmere sweaters and puffy jackets. Here’s our list of area go-tos:




    Pizzaria Delphina — One of the most popular nosh spots in the hood and right across from our store (this is very good but also very bad). Come early or be prepared to wait. There is amazing piatti (small entrees) but the real draw is the pizza, thin crust and charred Neapolitan style. Our fave is the sublime, old school Margherita, and we’ve also been know to finish it off with a Butterscotch Budino.


    Fillmore Bakeshop — San Francisco is often called the Paris of the West and this tiny spot (just four tables) feels tres francais. Specializing in European sweets, everything is made from scratch and beyond delicious; grab an espresso and a macaron for a mid-shopping break and also pick up an assortment of pastries for later and tomorrow.




    Mureta's Antiques—This jewel-box of a store features some serious eye candy. Packed with antiques from Europe and Asia, the real draw here is their estate jewelry collection. Perfectly curated display cases showcase everything from Art Deco engagement rings to sweet cameo brooches.


    Forest Books—A classic, old-time bookstore with a totally unique mix of used and rare books, as well as the best in contemporary fiction (we’re particularly fond of their coffee table books selection). Take a time-out from the hustle and bustle to browse and buy.




    Jane—Don’t miss this coffee spot for breakfast, lunch or a snack. Pretty much everything from roasting coffee beans and blending teas to their baked goods are all done in-house (we have a soft spot for the chocolate brioche) and they do one of the best weekend brunch menus in town.


    The Fillmore—Anyone who’s big on the music scene has probably played this stage—from the Grateful Dead in the 60’s, to punk rock classics like Black Flag in the 80’s and nowadays everyone from Radiohead to comedian Dave Chapelle books this central, classic spot. Super fun night out guaranteed.




    Zuni Cafe—This is one of our fave lunch spots because their brick oven roasted chicken is so delicious we have it at least once a week (preferably sitting at an outside table when weather permits). With a seasonally changing menu, you can’t go wrong with anything. It’s all delicious.


    SPQR — This award-winning Italian eatery boasts a coveted Michelin star, so it’s no surprise you’ll need a reservation. We love sitting at the Chef’s Counter, where you can literally watch culinary magic happen (and then eat it), but the bar is also a fab spot to end your day with a glass of vino from their encyclopedic wine list. Cheers.

  • August 10 2017

    LA Stories: PCH Road Trip


    Beach reads and perfectly tousled salt water hair. Take a weekend cruise up the coast and remember

    why you love early fall and California sunsets.



    PCH Road Trip

  • August 7 2017

    Hello San Francisco!




    We found another gorgeous spot! The Fillmore District is centered on 10 tree-lined blocks in the heart of SF, and this urban nook has some of the best shopping and noshing the city has to offer. With streets that are made for walking and stores that offer an eclectic mix of old and new, it’s the perfect place for our Golden City Flagship.


    We’re pleased as punch to have opened our latest store here and we hope to see you soon.


    Velvet by Graham & Spencer, 2130 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

  • August 4 2017

    Velvet + Speak Your Silence



    1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused. Most will carry guilt, shame, and fear…and never tell a soul.


    We’re so proud and excited to partner with Speak Your Silence on this beautiful women’s tee featuring their iconic zigzag stitch. By wearing the zigzag stitch, symbolic of your voice frequency, you inspire others to Speak their Silence.

  • August 1 2017

    Do good. Feel good.


    It's here! In partnership with SPEAK YOUR SILENCE, a nonprofit that works to give a voice to those personally affected by sexual abuse, we designed this understated tee. crafted from our signature textured knit, and featuring the SYS orange zigzag stitch work on the hemline, proceeds from this quietly powerful tee go to help others feel heard and empowered, as well as offering resources for assistance and information. it’s the perfect marriage of style and substance. BUY THE STITCH TEE NOW.


  • July 27 2017

    Velvet + Speak Your Silence

    systeaseAfter months of being hush-hush, we’re ready to share some exciting, heartfelt  and important news.


    We’ve been working with our friends at Speak Your Silence on a custom piece that aims to raise money and awareness for a meaningful cause. If you’re not familiar with Speak Your Silence, they are nonprofit on a mission to conquer the stigma of child sexual abuse by creating an open dialogue, as well as making nationwide online or in-person counseling available for those affected.


    Here’s a couple of startling statistics: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused.  Most will carry guilt, shame, and fear… and never tell a soul. We believe that every voice matters and should be heard, so this piece will feature SYS’s iconic orange zigzag stitch, symbolic of your voice frequency and the courage to speak out.  When you wear their iconic zigzag stitch, you fulfill this mission and also inspire others to Speak their Silence.


    Watch this space.  This stitched piece will be available very soon online and at all of our Velvet US store locations!

  • July 13 2017

    The Packing List: Roadtrip Essentials


    Sometimes you just need to get out town. Whether it’s with a bunch of your friends, a partner or just on your lonesome, roadtrip getaways are a great way to relax and recharge—whether it’s with a whole lot of nothing or up-at-dawn hiking. Of course, in order to hit the road with a modicum of style, you’ve got to pack like a pro. Short trips require clothes that are easy, cool and can pull double-duty. Here’s our list of essentials to guarantee a stress-free quickie break.


    Photo Credit Daph Nguyen Photo Credit Daph Nguyen


    The Layering Game
    Even in the middle of summer, temperatures can fluctuate so even quick getaway requires a couple of warmer pieces (our July mornings and nights in Southern California can be downright nippy). The easiest is to stash a light jacket in your weekender bag (or just throw it on the back seat if your are road tripping). Our pick is the ever fabulous Ruby Army Jacket because it goes with everything.


    Downtime Chic
    The name of the game is relaxation so you should dress accordingly but still look put-together. Chic basics in solid hues are perfect for downtime but can also stand up to any lunch reservation and transition to evening with a couple of tweaks. So remember the golden rules. a) you can’t go wrong with the perfect white tee, and b) black leggings rule the weekend.  Don't your understated jewelry as the final touch.


    A Dress to Impress
    While you don’t want to lug around a mountain of clothes “just in case” you do want to pack one gorgeous dress. If you’re a bit boho try something with some hippie chic statement elements like embroidery or tassels (such as the Ilene Embroidered Cotton Caftan Dress). For something with a little more skin in the game, opt for a stretch cotton jersey like our Bardot Cotton Slub Blouson Dress. Either way, both work with a classic leather slide shoe.


    In the Swim
    You’ll most likely need a swimsuit at some point (we are guessing the Air bnb has a hot tub because that is a must-have). A cute suit takes up virtually no space and a one-piece swimsuit can always double as tank when paired with pair of denim or cotton poplin pants, while a colorful bikini top looks fab poking out from underneath a button down for day trips.


    Cool Coverup
    Any time spent by water in a bathing suit (regardless of whether it’s the ocean, a lake or a the pool) you’ll want a great cover-up. Pick the right one and it can easily do double duty as a dress for casual lunches. Look for one in a traditional kaftan style and with hot-weather ethnic embellishments like tassels and embroidery. You can’t go wrong with the Aubree Embroidered Cotton Cover-Up.


    One Hit Wonders
    A huge trend this summer has been the re-invention (and update) of the one-piece or romper. Not only is it a whole outfit that you’ll put on in ten seconds, but it’s the perfect morning till eve outfit for everything from museum visits, shopping trips or day trips.


    Statement Pieces
    No weekend bag is complete without a notice-me top that can instantly elevate a pair of denim, cut-offs or a casual pull-on pencil skirt. For summer we love anything that’s packed with lace, cold shoulder cut-outs, ruffles or tassels.


    Shoe Game
    Even if you're a diehard heels girl, depending on your destination, you’re going to want something comfortable to get you from point A to point B—even if that’s just from the pool to a nearby restaurant. Why not skip the heels and go from some day-to-night leather slides that will work with cut-offs or a cute dress, as well a pair or cool, retro sneaks if you plan on doing some walking.


    All About Accessories
    Since the name of the game is packing light, the easiest way to customize any outfit is with a couple of 24/7 accessories. We love layering necklaces of different lengths, a couple of rings, and as it’s the middle of summer, a classic Panama hat is must have. Since your feet will be on full display, book that pedicure appointment a couple of days before you go and make a bold choice!


    Carry On
    No weekend trip is complete without the perfect weekend bag. Since you’re a packing pro and we’ve streamlined your choices down to smart, double-duty options, an oversized tote bag should be all you need. If you’re going somewhere beachy, pick one that is woven from a natural straw but otherwise a classic leather in black or brown is the way to go. Now, hit the road.

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