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.
"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.”
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.