Monday, December 3, 2012

Your Brocaded Best

Brocade is one of the top trends of Fall/Winter 2012. Showcased by Dolce & Gabanna, Proenza Schouler, and a staple of Balmain, brocade has definitely proven itself as the fashion nectar of the designer gods. Technically, brocade is a type of woven fabric. It's produced on a special loom that gives the appearance that the fabric was embroidered. Jacquard, technically, is used to identify the woven fabrics made on a jacquard loom, which was invented later and made it easier to produce fabrics that look like brocade, damask, etc. Another term you'll see thrown around these parts is baroque, which was a cultural period in Europe during the 17-18th centuries and is defined by its ornate, detailed style.

                                                                                      image from Fashion Bomb Daily
    Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2013

Personally, and apparently Dolce & Gabanna agrees, brocade looks best in black and gold. And what better way to shimmer and shine at a holiday party than with flicks of gilded gold? Below are six statement pieces to work this trend into your wardrobe, a must-have for the fashion conscious.

Rita Jacquard Peplum Bustier at Bebe, $98

This beautiful bustier has a brocade-type weave and is a gorgeous piece to add some sophistocated fun and flair to your wardrobe. Peplums can be difficult to wear depending on your figure and where the peplum hits. My advice: try it on with bottoms styled similarly to what you'd wear with it, and don't hesitate to ask a friend or your fellow shopper for feedback if you're undecided. 

Palladium Brocade Blazer at Juicy Couture, $298

Hello tuxedo blazer, love of my life! This blazer is the legitimate deal: genuine brocade. This is an investment piece and probably the smartest purchase of any item featured here. Until December 12th, all Bird by Juicy Couture is 40% off, which brings the palladium brocade blazer down to $179. A special note for wearing brocade: be gentle with it; prong set jewelry can do damage if the weave is large enough.

brocade foil print velvet skinny by 7 for All Mankind, Bloomindale's $198

If King Louis XVI were alive, I'm sure he'd have all of his wives dressed up in these gold encrusted velvet skinnies. Not only do these pants suggest an ideal brocade, they also nail the printed pants trend. Extra points! 

sequin skirt by Lipsy London, Bank Fashion about $70

Clearly, sequins are not brocade. However, patterned sequins are a definite showstopper, especially in Victorian print. This piece will surely turn heads and garner compliments. 

brocade minaudiere, Lanvin $1490

Alas! Brocaded couture! These genuine brocaded accessories are great accent pieces for almost any black  ensemble, and they go well paired with the above items (exception might be pairing the heels with the pants). 

metallic brocade pumps by Giambattista Valli, Saks $490

These Giambattista Valli  pumps are wardrobe royalty. Since the shoes speak for themselves, I will add that if you aren't familiar with Giambattista Valli, you should be. The Parisian design house does dresses and gowns that are nothing short of phenomenal. Haute couture collections 1 and 2 are surely worth viewing, as well as the wedding gowns. 


A word of caution: wear one brocaded piece at a time or with another small brocade accent piece, such as a clutch or heels. If you should be working as a stylist at Vogue or giving AdR lessons, go ahead and cautiously rock a few brocaded pieces at a time; just make sure the prints are complimentary and the golds work together. 

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