Ever since it first appeared in Europe in the 13th century, velvet has connoted regality. England’s King Richard II, for one, requested that he be buried in the cloth; centuries later Queen Elizabeth II wore a six-yard-long coronation robe made of the material. Circa 2010 velvet reigned supreme on the fall runways, where both Giorgio Armani and Alexander Wang went classic with the luxe textile, while Anna Sui took it in an artsy direction with bold patterns. As for accessories, they were a mixed bag of elegance and edge, as in Brian Atwood’s bow-bedecked pump. The designer’s inspirations? “Baroque,” he says, “and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.”
Clockwise from top right: Giorgio Armani’s silk velvet jacket, at select Giorgio Armani stores, 212.339.5950; Alexander Wang’s rayon and silk velvet skirt with pearl detail, at Opening Ceremony, openingceremony.us; vintage chairs; Anna Sui’s rayon and silk velvet dress (on chair), at Anna Sui, New York, 212.941.8406; edressme.com; revolveclothing.com; Chanel’s rayon and polyester velvet tote, at select Chanel boutiques, 800.550.0005; Brian Atwood’s rayon velvet pump with silk bow, net-a-porter.com; Roger Vivier’s viscose velvet clutch with crystal detail, at Roger Vivier, New York, 212.861.5371; Graham & Brown’s wallpaper (on pillar); Bruno Frisoni’s silk velvet and satin shoe, at Nordstrom, Seattle, 206.628.2111; David Steele NYC’s rayon velvet fedora, hatsinthebelfry.com.
Fashion assistant: Nicholas Whitehouse. MidCentury barrel chairs, at Galerie Van Den Akker, New York; Graham & Brown’s Elizabeth wallpaper, from the Superfresco Flock Effect collection, grahambrown.com.