Contact Us

We would love to hear from you!

Use the form on the right to contact us.

420 Maynard St
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
United States

SHEI Magazine is a University of Michigan student-run fashion, art, and pop culture publication. Everything from the photography, writing, modeling, editing, and publicity of our bi-yearly print publications and monthly digital mini is created by students who attend the University of Michigan. Founded in 1999, SHEI Magazine continues to produce issues of professional quality, as well as provide real-world experience to students interested in journalism, publishing, and the fashion industries.

Features

Velvet Crush

Matisen Douglas

Since the beginning of its popularity in the 14th century, velvet has traditionally been associated with luxury, royalty, and a softness of touch. To call velvet a single fabric is a bit of a misnomer, because it is actually a type of weave that can be done with many different fibers in many different styles. Nonetheless, all varieties were untouchable and inaccessible to the common people of these earlier centuries—typically, silk was used in this type of weave, making the "velvet" textile we know historically far too expensive for anyone lacking a royal bloodline.

Today, velvet is most commonly made from cotton fibers and sometimes from a mixture of rayon and silk. While this substitution makes velvet more accessible for common people with non-royal incomes, aside from some velvet-trimmed holiday dresses I wore when I was five or six (and don’t get me wrong, I looked forward to wearing those all year), or vintage resurgences of 1920s style with increased velvet production in the industrial revolution, velvet seemed to have taken a backseat in the common wardrobe after the 1990s.

Enter Paris Fashion Week 2016, where several designers included velvet pieces in their collections. Stella McCartney's pantsuit, this striking plum Dries Van Noten dress, and the textured, soft pink Alberta Ferretti suit established the most festive trend of this fall and winter.

Lucky for us (and thanks to these designers, among others), we can walk into almost any store this season and find any article of clothing in plush velvet textures. Whether the occasion calls for getting dressed up with everywhere to go, taking an outfit from boring to slightly less so, or even for simply lounging around, the fashion industry has a growing selection of velvet pieces in an array of different hues ranging from sweet and soft pastels to intense and sultry jewel tones.

 

1. Dresses

Holiday parties wouldn't be complete without festive apparel, and this year, high street fashion brands with stores here in Ann Arbor have turned to velvet for both trendy and traditional holiday dresses. 

American Apparel's Velvet Tank Dress in Cabernet. $58, store.americanapparel.net

American Apparel's Velvet Tank Dress in Cabernet. $58, store.americanapparel.net

 

2. Shoes

In Michigan, braving the cold can be a struggle when it comes to fashion: cute doesn't always mean warm. However, with velvet shoes (such as these regal booties), dressing up a cozy, monochromatic outfit can be simple.

Public Desire's Lia Velvet Bootie. $60, nastygal.com

Public Desire's Lia Velvet Bootie. $60, nastygal.com

 

3. Chokers

Whether plain and simple or with an added brooch, chokers in any color add an air of sophistication to any outfit, in any color.

Topshop Brooch Bow Velvet Necklace. $22, us.topshop.com

Topshop Brooch Bow Velvet Necklace. $22, us.topshop.com

 

4. Tops and Body Suits

Flowy, off-the-shoulder, turtleneck, crop tops, patterned - there's a top suited to anyone and everyone, and now they all come in velvet (including 90s, little-black-tank-top replicas.)

Ecoté Athena Cutout Printed Velvet Top. $69, urbanoutfitters.com

Ecoté Athena Cutout Printed Velvet Top. $69, urbanoutfitters.com

 

5. Loungewear

Finally, for those cold winter nights best spent with a good book and hot chocolate, why not choose those in a velvet weave? 

Aerie Velvet Jogger in Glacier Grey. $34.95, ae.com

Aerie Velvet Jogger in Glacier Grey. $34.95, ae.com

Clearly, we have emerged on the other side of the 14th century with equal access to all kinds of velvet; 2016 is embracing the idea of velvet for everyone. It's trendy yet understated, dressy yet comfortable. The choice is now up to us to decide which pieces delight us most this fall and winter.