Occasionally, certain trims seem to go away for a while – for better or for worse and whether it’s warranted or not. Sometimes it’s because they’ve become outdated or abused; other times it’s because they’ve fallen out of grace or been overused. And yet, if fashion has taught us anything, it’s that everything comes back at some point or another; it’s just a matter of time. Case in point, ruffles and flounces, which have continued to be (on and off) a fashionable trim since the 15th century, have returned to seduce us this season. Here are the designers doing it best:
Creatures of Comfort approached femininity via subtle constructions across a plethora of fluid and shapeless silhouettes. Think button-up blouses with ruffled peplum detailing and volume trousers with tight ruffled hems. Designer Jade Lai tastefully went as far as experimenting with forms by creating grid patterns out of ruffled trims that extended into simple shoulder straps. The bright and bold showstopper of the collection had the word "Beyoncé" all over it, replicating a similar style from the singer’s infamous Lemonade album. The floaty dress incorporated soft tiers echoing Lai’s interest in a new definition of romance.
Ruffles were visible throughout Marissa Webb’s collection and they consistently added lightness to the pieces they had been used on – as if to pull them back from being predictably serious or overly professional in feel (please refrain from inserting Banana Republic aesthetic here). In the same way the designer claims that she “really just wanted to have fun” with this collection, all the while delivering stellar pieces and outfits that need to be taken quite seriously, it would seem much of the ruffling around is purposely (and what’s more important, efficiently) intended to lighten up lines and layers that might have felt too serious. Completing the hemline of a peplum top or the side vents of a leather jacket, as a finish to dresses and skirts, or applied in all shapes and sizes to blouses and dresses, ruffles made it even easier to fall head over trim for her collection.
Husband-and-wife duo, Kris Brock and Laura Vassar used ruffles quite purposefully, almost as a new code for bold romanticism or phrased otherwise and more purposefully, a manner of conveying what it means to be a woman in this (thus far) always-on, digital age of the 21st century. Whether it was on strapless dresses or tube tops, exaggerated and voluminous ruffles traced around necklines, transforming what could be described as an understated garment into a dramatic statement piece. Ruffled trims veered off course when applied to A-line skirts, outlining the deep side-split to create organic movement.
If ruffles weren’t as obvious or pronounced in Adam Selman’s collection, they were certainly an added element that made for a feminine touch, possibly even a girly one. In some cases more discreetly than others – which is a good thing considering how dramatic ruffles can get – but could be spotted on several of the looks. When placed more explicitly, say in the form of ruffled cuffs or collars, it added a twist of delicacy, possibly even a touch of maturity despite an overall youthful collection. But even when used in a more inconspicuous manner – for the sake of tipping our hat to the historical evolution of pleating, let’s call it a more “flouncy manner” – the effect was just as charming. In the form of slightly pleated sleeves or when ruffles organically appeared on the elasticized collar or hemline, it subtly pushed those pieces into new, precious territories.