Silk has re-emerged as an organic material with everything from slip dresses to palazzo pants appearing on shelves everywhere.
Silk has re-emerged as an organic material with everything from slip dresses to palazzo pants appearing on shelves everywhere.

Smooth operator: the timeless fabric of silk

Silk is sexy, stylish and so in season. Forget your comfy old nightie - there's much more to this fabric than something to sleep in.

With shoppers demanding sustainable practices and natural alternatives, silk has re-emerged as an organic material with everything from slip dresses to palazzo pants appearing on shelves everywhere.

Gold Coast fashion designer Isabelle Quinn says the centuries-old fabric is classic and feminine.

"It's a natural fibre and it's quite breathable,” Isabelle says.

Silk has re-emerged as an organic material with everything from slip dresses to palazzo pants appearing on shelves everywhere.
Silk has re-emerged as an organic material with everything from slip dresses to palazzo pants appearing on shelves everywhere.

"I love the feeling when you're wearing it; it feels really luxurious and kind of gives you power as a woman.”

Silk's versatility can take it from day to night, with a surprisingly warm feel in pure silk material, and a cooler feel in cotton-silk blends.

Isabelle Quinn recently released a new collection with silk featuring strongly, using the fabric for statement blouses, dresses, jumpsuits and flared trousers.

"It's a timeless fabric,” Isabelle explains.

"Not all silk has that shiny texture. The way that it is on a woman's body - it's a flow that it has that other fabrics don't.

"You can play it down with a pair of white joggers and a silk slip dress, with a white tee under it, that's a very cool casual look.

"Then you could wear that same dress, dress it up with a pair of heels and red lipstick and have that beautiful, stylish, ready-to-go-out look.

"You can even have wide-leg silk pants, they're quite strong as well.”

Silk has re-emerged as an organic material with everything from slip dresses to palazzo pants appearing on shelves everywhere.
Silk has re-emerged as an organic material with everything from slip dresses to palazzo pants appearing on shelves everywhere.

Being a by-product of silkworms, some companies have began to phase out selling silk clothing after concerns for cruelty.

However, most fashion designers would argue silk's human-made counterpart polyester is harmful for the environment, being a synthetic material that takes hundreds of years to break down.

A bit of market research can help you determine where to buy products made from cruelty-free silk, including a company that only harvests the fibres of cocoons once the silkworm has flown the coop.


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