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I don't like it from the photo of the dress on its own but it is so hard to tell. It does look like a dressing gown in that picture as you have no way of telling how it hangs or fits. The other photo is useless.
I liked the idea of it too but then had a butchers at it in the shop and it is like a dressing gown. I think that the only way that you could get away with it was if it's a perfect fit. Eg: Huggy at the top without too much volume in the skirt.
Thank you for all the feedback and links - I will be taking a good look at the alternatives you provided and possibly ditching the idea of a velvet dress altogether as I have a feeling it's one of those fashion whims that's best left unrealised.