Last fall, designers found inspiration for their lines when looking back to the 1920s and the Art Deco style of The Great Gatsby. This season, the history lesson stems from several centuries earlier: Renaissance Europe. Think Queen Elizabeth surrounded by a massive headpiece in her stuffy portraits, kings in fur capes revealing tights and heels, and a Raphael fresco in a Florentine church. Brocades were seen on everything coming down the Fall 2012 Runways in Milan.
THEIR WAY: Looking good, Queen Elizabeth. Though perhaps not quite an outfit you want to wear yourself. (History Myths)
What exactly is brocade? There’s no clear-cut definition, but you’re looking for rich fabrics with ornate and elaborate embroidery – velvet and gold especially. If you want something subtle, the brocade trend is not for you. The shamelessly luxurious fashion was originally worn by elite aristocrats and monarchs, so of course this style is regal, sophisticated, and attention-grabbing.
OUR WAY: Brocade has never been sexier than on model Sigrid Agren. The gorgeous baroque gold embellishment on this Dolce & Gabbana dress is countered by the sheer cutouts and corset-style top. (Style.com)
No need to fret about the trend being too authentic and vintage for your liking. This season, premiere designers drew from the best aspects of old world brocade and combined them with modern styles, so there’s no chance you’ll look like you’re heading to a Renaissance Fair. If you’ve been desperately searching for a dazzling, unique addition to your autumn wardrobe, this is it. Incorporating one lavish brocade piece into your everyday style is an effortless way to get you noticed.
Brocade clothing is the most adventurous take on this Baroque trend. You may risk looking like you raided your Grandmother’s closet, so make sure to stick to more tame embellishments (save the velvet for later) and a subdued color palette. Add some modern accessories, and you’ll look flawless and stunning by 2012 fashion standards.
RUNWAY: Model Nadja Bender opened the Balmain Fall 2012 show in this striking embellished sweater, which expands the needlepoint, tapestry-like subset of brocade fashion. (Style.com)
YOUR WAY: This brocade patterned shift dress looks both regal from the gold embellishment and modern from the slim cut, scoop neck, and back cutout. It’s the perfect combination of sophisticated and sultry, ideal for making a grand entrance on a first date or cocktail party. (BB Dakota, $70)
YOUR WAY: These brocade ankle-cut trousers are charming perfection. Put a spin on your next pair of skinnies with these gorgeous and subtle pants. You can pair them with anything and look like a fashion goddess. (Zara, $60)
If you’re not quite ready to pull on a breathtaking, albeit busy, brocade dress, spoil your feet with a regal treat in a pair of embellished shoes. You’re still guaranteed to garner admirers for your fabulous and adventurous taste in footwear.
RUNWAY: Dolce & Gabbana was the master of the brocade trend in Milan, exuding opulence in every aspect of a look, like the extravagant details on these show-stealing embroidered pumps. (Style.com)
YOUR WAY: Take fall’s favorite flat, the smoking slipper, to the next level with brocade embroidery. The bright colors in this sleek shoe keep you looking youthful and chic. It’s perfect for adding some spice to a casual day outfit. (Lulus, $45)
YOUR WAY: Work the brocade trend for a night out on the town with these metallic printed booties. The elastic side panels tone down the striking woven print, but you can’t help but gawk at these 5-inch beauties. Pair with a LBD and dark metallic nails, one of the hottest fall colors, for a simply seductive look. (ASOS, $85)
Even the most casual fashionistas can rock this opulent style with touches of brocade detail in your accessories.
RUNWAY: The best part of this outfit on the Gucci runway is the oversized, fabulous brocade carpet bag. (Style.com)
YOUR WAY: Embroidered printed tights are a great way to add some old world elegance to a simple modern dress. These black lace tights can be paired with anything. (Urban Outfitters, $14)
YOUR WAY: If you want a bit more punch with your brocade accessories, try this metallic pastel clutch, The feminine colors add a sweet touch to the luxurious style, with the wraparound tie fastening adding a fun detail. (ASOS, $68)
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Category: DIY / Inspiration, Trends