Brocade. I don’t think so.


Dolce & Gabbana (S. 2016)

I wish people would stop trying to get me to wear brocade. Every few years,  it seems, we are told by the Powers of Fashion that brocade is the “new trend”, the “fabric du jour” with related editorials on “how to wear brocade” and so on. I’m blaming Gucci for the current brocade madness, but Prada and Dolce & Gabbana are at it too. It’s not that I have a problem with the fabric itself which is opulent and ornate (and why it works so well as upholstery and drapery). But it’s also a tad archaic (which, not surprisingly, is why it works so well for ceremonial dress and costumes). What brocade isn’t however, is wearable in any real or meaningful way, at least for those of us that live in the real world. For starters it is bulky, heavy and stiff. This does not make for the most comfortable of fabrics.  And most of us will probably end up in an acrylic/polyester mix version anyway (on account of not being able to afford the silk-woven stuff of the catwalks) which doesn’t help on the comfort front! Second, it’s extremely tricky to style. Too much volume and you risk looking like an overstuffed armchair. As you can see below, sometimes even a “style icon” can’t quite manage it….

Alexa gets it right by leaving out all jewellery except earrings in this Prada ensemble.  But the opaque tights and black accessories are a fail. A small clutch and barely there strappy heels (in muted gold) would have been better.


Alexa Chung in Prada ( Vogue’s 100 Gala Dinner, London 2016)

Beautifully cut jacket. I could probably live with that on it’s own. But let’s not talk about the rest. And don’t get me started on those loafers.


Alexa Chung in Gucci (Vogue Festival, London 2016)

Are words really  needed here? I respect her commitment to the look though.


Jess Glynne in Gucci (BRIT Awards 2016)

So, here’s the thing. If you simply MUST wear brocade then the only way to do it is in small doses. Limit yourself to one (preferably small) piece at a time like shorts or a short skirt and remember to keep everything else simple.

Agree, disagree, indifferent? Let me know!

Addie x



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