Subliminal Style
Effortless. Authentic. Professional.

Catching Rae

Parsing Trends: How about brocade?

Today it's time to examine the hidden meanings of the brocade trend! Now that we've done this a bit already on Monday, I'll be going faster and skipping over some of the attributes that aren't as relevant to brocade. If you'd like to see a more drawn-out analysis, check out Monday's post on the velvet trend.

Brocade is a heavier, stiffer fabric with shiny details added to the weave, and it dates back to the middle ages. It was worn by the wealthiest nobility in many places, including China, India, Japan, and Byzantium. 

With that history, here's the 9-point analysis:

  • Hue - varies.
  • Value - varies, but mostly on the deep side in order to create ornate designs. Deeper colors feel darker, more serious, and mysterious/complex.
  • Saturation - varies.
  • Contrast - varies - higher contrast will feel more complex, ornate, artistic, creative, and decadent than low-contrast.
  • Fit - tailored but not tight = business-like, formal, dressy, serious.
  • Hand - on the stiff side = strict, unyielding, a rule-follower, conventional, proper.
  • Weight - heavier = serious, gravitas, abundance, warmth, power.
  • Luster - shine = flamboyant, celebratory, leisurely, partying, outgoing.
  • Texture - embossed/raised texture = outgoing, demonstrative. 

In summary, brocade is a great way to communicate a feeling of frank and unambiguous prestige, luxury, complexity, history, and/or artistry. These gestures can also be either toned down (with denim or solid basics) or doubled-down (with embroidery, silks, or velvets). 

So what's the verdict, blogosphere? Is brocade right for you? Are there any connotations about velvet that you'd like to add?