Taraji P Henson
When Empire actress Taraji P Henson stepped on to the red carpet at this year’s Oscars, she took our breath away in a gorgeous Alberta Ferretti midnight blue velvet dress. She wasn’t the only star spotted wearing velvet on Oscars night. Actress Brie Larson wore a black, ruffled Oscar de la Renta dress and pregnant R&B singer Ciara wore a plunging burgundy velvet dress to the Vanity Fair Oscars party.

Brie Larson

The luxurious fabric used to be reserved for evening wear, but these days it’s being worn during the day too. At this year’s fashion weeks in New York, Paris and Milan, velvet featured in almost every collection.

“Valentino, Philip Lim and Alberta Ferretti all put velvet on our radars as the fabric of the season,” said Spree creative director, Chris Viljoen.

“Velvet is all about the experience of luxury this season. It’s in the touch.

“Formerly seen as a stuffy evening wear option, designers reinvented the fabric with the ultimate luxe-touch as an easy-wearing option, with simple lines and shapes giving it a modern feel. When one thinks of velvet, it’s normally jewel tones that come to mind,” he added.

It’s not surprising to see velvet in our South African designers’ collections for 2017 autumn/winter.

Habits designer Jenny le Roux’s autumn/winter collection features a number of velvet pieces in a wide range of colours – from classic darks like black and burgundy to modern brights like yellow and magenta.

Other designers who feature velvet in their winter collections are Gavin Rajah and Shana Morland.

Shana Morland velvet starry top

Morland’s modern collection features a midnight blue top with silver sequin stars.

Designer Paige Smith said she used velvet for most of her styled shapes, from a bodysuit to a polo neck and wide-neck dress top.

Ruff Tung’s Bridget Pickering and Ludwig Bausch have also taken on this hot trend.

“Less is more. Our nod to the velvet trend is to combine a hint of midnight blue velvet with black. Introducing our favourite winter look – a tuxedo.

“The all black tuxedo has a beautiful block of velvet on the neckline and back yoke, and a very sexy velvet stripe running the length of the trouser to elongate the leg. For our bravest fashionistas, we came to the velvet party with an LVD. You guessed it: a little velvet dress in midnight blue”.

Le Roux has added velvet to her winter collection with a gorgeous long opera coat – an item to add a sophisticated look for a night out.

The trend has even filtered through into accessories. Shoes are a great way to add a touch of velvet if you’re not brave enough to wear it.

“A velvet boot or sexy heel can really make a statement this winter,” said Janine Rimmer from Madison Footwear. They’ve added velvet ankle boots and heels to the winter collection.

Here are a few tips from these style gurus on how to wear velvet this year:

Chris Viljoen: The way to wear velvet is to opt for shimmering, Champagne tones and pastel hues – feminine, without any of the fuss.

Paige Smith: I love a flat and always feel it attracts more comfort, so the ideal would be a low or hi-top Converse sneaker. But all pieces can be vavavoomed with a heel.

Velvet boots from Madison Shoes

Janine Rimmer: Keep the rest of your outfit neutral or even monochrome so that your shoes do all the talking. Velvet boots can be dressed down with casual jeans and a jacket for a daytime look. Pair velvet shoes with a dress or skinny jeans and a body suit for a sultry evening outfit.

Add some richness to your wardrobe with these items to rock the trend:

The Bomber jacket: Draw inspiration from rapper turned fashion designer Kanye West, who has been spotted wearing a burgundy bomber. This is a great way to wear velvet during the day when paired with a white T-shirt, skinny jeans and sneakers.

Burgundy jumpsuit from Mr Price

Jumpsuits: If you’re feeling brave enough to wear velvet from head to toe, this is an one way to make a statement. Just remember to keep the rest of your look simple.

Dresses: The hottest and most versatile velvet dress to have would be the slip dress. A slip dress can be layered over a white tee for day or dress it up for a night out with sexy heels and glamorous accessories, or a thin black choker.

Tops: Anything from sexy camis to box tees or a bodysuit – there are so many options to choose from. Pair a velvet top with a simple bottom, like washed-out denims for day or something with sequins for a bit of night-time fun.

Velvet peak cap from Mr Price

Accessories: Adding just a touch of velvet can give an outfit a trendy edge. A jewel-coloured velvet choker worn with a crisp white shirt or a velvet peak or headband will lift your look.