‘Meghan Markle effect’ sends sales of velvet rocketing as fans emulate her look

Velvet has become the fabric of the moment following the surprise appearance of Meghan Markle at the 2018 Fashion Awards, according to a new report.

The pregnant Duchess of Sussex stunned in an off-the-shoulder full length velvet dress at the event in December.

Now online fashion brand JD Williams reports that sales have soared by 50 per cent over the party season as customers respond to Meghan’s look.

But the latest research shows that other celebrities have joined in the move to velvet.

Also at the event was TV personality Myleene Klass who stepped out in an edgy, navy velvet trouser suit.

And Good Morning Britain presenter Susannah Reid got in on the growing trend by wearing a floral velvet dress.

Also photoed recently in velvet were Caroline Flack and the Duchess of Cambridge.

JD Williams reports sales have doubled for dresses and are up by 50per cent for jackets and tops as the shoppers go for the velvet look.

Velvet was the star material at New York fashion week earlier this year with its luxurious texture perfect for glamorous evening garments staring in collections for Alexander Wang and Oscar de la Renta.

Suzi Burns of JD Williams said: "Designers are giving the fabric a totally new lease of life by using it in plain black for cute camisole tops and choosing patterned and embellished black velvet for jackets and dresses.

"Our range of velvet dresses in rich colours have proved to be hot favourites.

"The slight stretch, cut and drape of the new velvet fabrics are fantastic for figure-flattering evening gowns and the plush luxury look of the material adds an extra wow factor to any outfit."

Velvet has an ancient and illustrious pedigree with samples of woven silk fabric that resemble velvet found in China dating back to between 221-206 BCE.

The techniques used to create velvet were so difficult and time-consuming that it was available only to Royalty, nobility and the very wealthy.

During the late medieval and Renaissance period improvements in weaving methods lowered the price of production and allowed velvet design to flourish in Italy and Spain.

Mass-produced velvet is now widely available, made from a wide variety of materials, including silk, cotton and polyester.

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