The Silk Scoop


by Laura Parkes & Sandy Waterman

How to ensure you always look your best
in this season's hottest fabric

Silk, this season’s hottest fabric and the epitome of sophisticated glamour, has captured the catwalks and held the headlines in every major fashion capital and publication since September. So, it’s fitting that this month’s Vogue declares, “silk has got all the top designers in a spin this season.” What is more, its popularity is set to continue into and beyond spring and summer in a new spectrum of delicate arrays.

ridleylondon_winter_margot_silk_maxi_dress_@doesmybumlook40Ridley London's popular Margot silk maxi dress is easy to dress up or down as shown here by the chic Kat Farmer from @doesmybumlook40

“Silk has got all the top designers
in a spin this season.” Vogue

At Ridley London, we’ve been creating individually made dresses, tops and blouses from the finest silks since our inception. So, we’re aware of the unique, transformative properties of this most magical of materials. We see silk as a staple in every sophisticated wardrobe and as such, we thought we’d share some of the trade secrets of this remarkable fabric with you- the different varieties and how, with a little knowledge, you can purchase unique silk garments constructed in the best way for this fabric to make you look and feel your very best.

For centuries silk has been the choice
of the movers and shakers in society

Let's start with a bit of little history: Silk has been available, though not ubiquitous, for over 30 centuries. Legend has it that it was first discovered by Empress Hsi Ling Shi, wife of Emperor Huang, as she sipped tea under a mulberry tree. As the story goes, a silk worm cocoon tumbled into her cup. Mesmerized, she watched as a thread delicately unravelled within the hot water bearing a plethora of illuminating colours. Renowned for its incredible strength, silky softness and lustre the luxurious fabric quickly became the preserve of China’s nobility, wealthy and powerful. And soon its amazing export potential was realized as a lucrative trade sprung up across Asia, giving birth to one of the oldest and most historic travelled routes - the Silk Road.


Silk dresses on the catwalk this autumn from Gucci and Valentino

Silk's biggest secret is it's
amazing age defying properties

silks biggest secrets lie deep within the fibres emitted by Bombyx mori silkworms- a natural protein composed of tightly packed, insoluble fibroin filaments coated with a glue-like layer of sericin. It’s this unique structure that gives silk incredible strength and durability, particularly when woven. While the naturally high protein content makes silk the most hypoallergenic of fabrics, silk also contains strong concentrations of natural amino acids and albumen- both renowned for their proven anti-aging properties. Together, they help to speed up the skin’s metabolism, enabling skin cells to develop and repair more rapidly providing a natural protective barrier which is particularly beneficial to those of us with sensitive skin. Yet it’s the fibre’s unique triangular cross section which give silk it’s most dazzling property, reflecting light at many angles- giving silk garments their rich natural sheen.

At Ridley London, we pride ourselves as silk experts. We work with a variety of silks, each with uniquely transformative properties- equally soft and luxuriant in their own ways. But it’s how they are selected, tailored and coupled together with other garments that is the key to success. It is crucial that silk is made to fit properly- too small will result in pulling and eventually coming apart at the seams. Too big will result in loss of shapes with the garment hanging in the wrong places. So, by tailoring garments for your unique measurements we can always assure the correct fit to make you look your best.

Effortlessly chic - for 2017, the old rules
for wearing silk no longer apply

One of the reasons we love to work with silks at Ridley is the wear ability and versatility of the fabric. This winter opt for satins if you feel like a richer, thicker feel and texture. Right now, everyone’s teaming midi or maxi dresses and cropped cashmere jumpers for a more relaxed elegance. Alternatively, go for the long layer trend and wear with an oversized cardigan and longer loose jacket creating a semi structured feature over a soft relaxed silk that not only presents a flattering contour but looks effortlessly chic. Don’t be scared to dress down your maxi with trainers and a casual jumper or jacket. This adapts a laid-back glamour whilst out and about. Of course, for a more formal environment, a silk blouse teamed with fitted high waisted trousers works as a more fashionable alternative to the tradition suit.

Crepe du Chine, with its twisted filaments produces a dimpled texture that reflects numerous pin points of light creating a versatile garment that can transition through your meetings, lunch with the ladies and on to dinner in a swanky restaurant.In the depths of winter silk chiffons still have their place with deeper hues and darker colour palates. Save this delectable fabric for evenings out. Wear with little heeled boots and big and earrings to offset the fragility of this dainty fabric. 

We all know how hard it can be to feel uplifted and fabulous in the cold and wintery days. Silk, with its light reflecting qualities not only brighten up a dull day but add lustre and luxury to any outfit. As quoted in Vogue this month you “feel more comfortable wearing silk in a relaxed way.” And we all know that when we are relaxed we feel more confident and look better.

Find out how we can help you to make the most of this elegant fabric for your requirements. Call us and make an appointment with one of our expert personal stylists and see our full collection.  



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