Monday,17 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1318, (3 - 9 November 2016)
Monday,17 June, 2019
Issue 1318, (3 - 9 November 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Velour to rule

It is unmistakable. That cool, crisp air we feel early in the morning and late at night means fall is in full swing.  The sun goes to bed earlier, leaving us with shorter days and colder nights.

Winter is at our heels and we are still running around in our summer wear with just a shawl or sweater for warmth.  But we do have our reasons. Pre-occupied with the carnage in Syria, the war over Mosul, the crazy American presidential elections and the hooligans planning a demonstration at home 11 November, we have had little time to flirt with fashion.

To face those trying times, we must still be well-attired and need waste no time in checking our wardrobes. Eureka! There is at least one item that can get us through for a start. Menswear is as stylish as ever. Your old pin-striped pantsuit, accentuated with a coloured blouse, instead of your white shirt, sparkled accessories and oodles of jewelry, will have you stepping in style.

The military look, ever so masculine, ever so feminine is preferred by Prada, Versace and Valentino. Trust Valentino for extreme femininity. A staple in our wardrobes for many a winter,forget the boots, wear heels, wide belts, sharp shoulders, scarves and ropes of crystal necklaces soften the look. Long army coats with waist-clinching belts are quite ladylike.  If navy blue is not your colour, it is downright adorable in a military style with all those golden buttons on pockets, lapels, sleeves, everywhere.

This,by no means is a bland season. They say when the economy is down, fashion comes to the rescue. Judging by the myriad offerings, it is doing its best. One or two items from its many offerings, is adequate enough.  We are not slaves to fashion, just walk along with it for a stroll.

Audacity is the aim of genuine fashionistas. A deluge of mauve and pink in winter are admirable for the audacious. Mauve, we have not heard the word in years. What happened to amethyst, purple, lilac, lavender, etc?  In any case, there are hotter items such as electro-furs, glitter lurex, leather outfits and ‘pre-Raphelite’ styles, seen at Rodarte, Alberta Feretti, Lorenzo Serafini and others. Be daring, explore the trends; do not turn up your nose at them, you may just find a silhouette that will have you ‘rockin’ and rollin’, like a magazine model cover.

Our ladies will be thrilled at the prospect of wearing velvet again. What a fabric? The expressive, gorgeous texture has a slight shimmer and can be the height of sophistication, as seen at Nina Ricci, Dior, Lanvin among others. Anointed ‘king of the season’, it can take you from day to night in grand style, with glamour and warmth.

 While it seems outré yesterday and will seem old-fashioned tomorrow, today’s fashion is for today. And today,you may courageously bring out the velvet gown, pantsuit,jacket, dress, capes, vest, trousers, skirt, coat, they are the cat’s miaow!  Designers had abandoned it since the 80s but are now wild about it in every style. Even men’s suits, jackets, coats and other items are now available in velvet, and selling like hot cakes.

While memories of brown and black velour may remind you of grandma, all sorts of hues are now found in that luxurious fabric often associated with royalty and rightly so. Only the daring Designer Prabal Gurung was audacious enough to introduce ‘fuschia’ in velvet.

Time for velour to rule and — in fuschia adorned with lace and embroidery — royalty would be amused even more.

Leopard, cheetah and other animal prints have become as necessary as your LBD, (Little Black Dress). Think of shoes, boots, purses, belts, clutches, even necklaces,cuffs and earrings, sunglasses for sure even hair bands.

Of course pants, vests and coats are as popular as ever at Gucci, Dries Van Noten, Stella McCartney and Roberto Cavalli.

Hats are not that popular in our neck of the woods, but they are everywhere else. The Napoleon hat in fur is very big but if it is too much, and it is, you can still wear a hat, for style and warmth. It certainly can complete an outfit. Be rebellious. Think of Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge and you will run to the closest milliner.

If you fancy looking “puffy”, there is a trendy look this winter: puffy ski-jackets, motorcycle jackets, sweaters, even pants and coats. However, a fashion’s experiment or caprice is not necessarily for everyone, certainly not for a reasonable grown woman.

Clothes are an investment. They also tell the world who we are.   Most ideas are re-visited and wisdom dictates that if we invest in well-tailored, good quality fabrics and classic styles, our clothes will serve us far longer than chasing after fashion then looking revolted a year later.

We never thought that those luggage-like purses would last, but they have defied conventional wisdom and lasted and lasted, even when their smaller sisters kept popping up season after season. The clutch is the attractive and popular handbag, mostly an evening convenience, but the big boho among others,exudes a strong sexiness, not to mention the convenience. Of course you need every item in it — wink, wink — but in all seriousness, college girls, working women, mothers and others appreciate the new expandables, traveler backpacks and decorative strap bags. They are here to stay, but beware of pains in your shoulder and back.

Comfort before fashion any day.

“Fashion, though Folly’s child,and guide of fools, Rules e’en the wisest,… and in learning rules”.

George Crabbe (1754-1832)   




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