All Velvet Everything
My obsession with velvet began long before Dries Van Noten, Aquazurra or even Andrea Wazen called it the crowning trend of the fall and winter seasons. More so, it began back in Riyadh (a place that seems more like a distant memory, than what was home for 12 years) when mom would dress us in matching velvet dresses and santa hats for our annual Christmas card photo. One year the backdrop was prickly palms, the next it was straddling a family of temperamental camels that were clearly not as eager to have their picture taken. Another classic was perched atop a massive heap of Afghan rugs at Carpet World. Oh yes, that happened too. And then there was that year we road tripped three hours outside the city to the (so very sandy) sand dunes - twinning outfits and santa hats in full effect - to capture us running up and down the slopes like crazy kids.
Every year the photos were bolder, more ambitious, and so very Saudi. And they were almost always, velvet.
Okay. There's a chance that my appreciation for the fabric comes with a fair share of nostalgia mixed in. But velvet, in a sense, feels like coming home. So, there you have it.
I style velvet each winter because there is something so romantic and luxurious about the way it feels, so soft to the touch, and in how it drapes so beautifully on the body, complementing every curve.
I'm styling one of my favorite velvet pieces from this season, infused with a little holiday red to get me into the spirit of things. Handmade by Athens-based designer Madame Shou Shou, this dress is all about the details. From the free flowing lines to the ribbed sleeves and the elegant cut, this is a piece I could style again and again, season after season. And that's not even the best part. Beautiful faux rose buds have been delicately hand sewn into the tulle hem - I so adore small touches like this - which makes it perfect for some of the intimate family dinners and festive gatherings with friends I have to look forward to in the coming days.
I'll always go a little bolder with my looks, if I can help it. Which is pretty much everyday, and twice on Sunday. I took this little ensemble a step further by mixing in animal print. Often, what it comes down to is experimentation. Trying this on, switching it up. Swapping this accessory for that, until you get it just right. I love the way this look turned out. What do you think?
You've probably noticed the stunning Kimothoi barrel bag I'm toting. The animal print, is undeniably, popping! No? The designer behind the Tagari collection is a remarkable talent. Each bag is lovingly handmade; the woven detailing is carefully hand spun on a loom (reviving an ancient Greek tradition and technique), while soft calf-hair leather, hand-dyed to evoke the playful animal print, is used on the body of the bag. I've received so many compliments on this tote, for it truly is one-of-a-kind. As for the gifting potential? Exponential.
For jewelry, I'm styling pieces from LILA Fashion International's limited edition holiday collection. The Jade and Coral Necklace is fashioned from holiday inspired winter blue jade and candy cane red coral beads. So fun, right?! While the stack of charm bracelets is, at present, available in store only, you can always email us for details on a piece of interest, especially if you're still looking for a last minute holiday gift! (For items ordered after December 20, Christmas delivery cannot be guaranteed.)
As for my shades, I never leave the house without them! Although we have a few different styles from the Zylo Eyewear collection in the store and web shop, I was particularly enamored by the chic, round frames (and Jackie O vibes!) I was getting from the OHTO sunglasses. These beauties arrived express from the island of Syros in the Mediterranean and are handcrafted from Modenia wood, which is indigenous to the island. I wear them year-round, and they're a refreshing take on the traditional plastic or metal frames. How do you like?
All for now. The happiest of holidays!
OHTO Sunglasses | LILA Fashion International
Amaranta Velvet Dress | LILA Fashion International
Jade & Coral Necklace | LILA Fashion International
Bracelet Stack | LILA Fashion International
Kimothoi Leopard Barrel Bag | LILA Fashion International
Leopard Pumps | Nine West
Photography Credit: Rebecca Gudelunas