If there is a fabric to epitomise the Renaissance, it is velvet. Worn by royalty and the heads of church and state, velvet brought wealth and power to the Medici family and posed the artistic challenge of the age, both in capturing its luminous texture, and in its production – Michelangelo designed several different types of velvet, and Leonardo da Vinci studied the velvet loom. There is no other fabric quite like it and this Christmas, having been inspired by putting together the Decorative issue, we're hoping to be dressed head to toe in velvet - here are just a few of our favourite velvet pieces from this season... Although Toast's silk velvet kimono, £285.00 and shift dress, £169.00 couldn't be any more opulent, we'd want to wear them every day of winter. www.toa.st.uk Cabbages & Roses' romantic Midnight Poppy dress, £389.00, is, as described by the designer, "straight out of a Jane Austen novel." www.cabbagesandroses.com
We've always felt that velvet and cotton were a perfect match and these velvet cushions, £25.00 each, from Also Home have only strengthened our view. www.alsohome.com Read more about velvet in the Decorative issue of Selvedge. From the costumes of the theatre and film world, through Opus Anglicanum to how to use it in contemporary dress and interior design, there's sure to be something to inspire you.Gift subscriptions to Selvedge start from just £25. www.selvedge.org/subscriptions The introduction to this blog is an extract from Sarah Jane Downing's article in the Dress Circle issue of Selvedge.