Saturday, 4 May 2013

Why I'm unruffled by the Spring/Summer 2013 ruffle trend

Normally on this blog I do tend to focus on the things I love about fashion; the things that make me want to go out and shop, or at least try and customise something in tribute to what I've seen and can't get out of my head. Well, this time I definitely won't be jumping on the bandwagon, because Spring/Summer 2013's ruffles won't be making their way into my wardrobe any time soon. Here's why I object to the thrill of frills.

What Works On The Catwalk Doesn't Always Translate To Real Life

I think this is a firm case of something looking expressive and dramatic on the catwalk, but then seeming more like a retro prom queen disaster when you see it on the woman next to you on the street. 

Obviously if you're a bit of an exhibitionist then you will quite happily get in a right flap about ruffles and you'll love the extra attention that they bring, but there's an element of overblown excitement and fuss about the whole ensemble which just doesn't work for everyday life, even if you filter it down to the high street and imagine spending £30 on a cheap version of the dress below.

Monochromatic ruffles on a v-neck dress with asymmetric hem, by Balenciaga
[Image via]. Balenciaga's dramatic movement failed to move me. Sorry, Nicholas Ghesquiere.

I think the question is: in what situation would this Balenciaga ruffled dress be appropriate and attractive to other people? At a cocktail party, you'd seem very high maintenance and you'd probably have got through multiple lonely marriages with only small yappy dogs for company and the occasional use of a yacht in St. Tropez. 

In a club, you'd be the one wearing too much make-up, talking too loudly and trying to look girly; you'd then spend most of the night trying to fend off jokes from men asking if you're dressed for flamenco dancing or why you're so bloody keen to bring back the 80s.  

Maybe if you're Carrie Bradshaw or Miroslava Duma then you could work this look, but us mere mortals don't always want to be that theatrical.

I Don't Want To Resemble A Valance

Valances on beds and curtains are one of those unnecessary details that just create too much fuss and make you look a bit like a cat lady in waiting. Sadly, some of these poor embarrassing homeware trimmings have made their way into Zac Posen's S/S13 offering, suggesting that us mere mortals may soon be asked to resemble our posh relatives' spare bedrooms. If, like me, you're not keen on channeling this look, say no to the ruffles and stay minimalist.

Zac Posen ruffled and frilled blouse with pencil skirt for S/S13
[Image via]. Zac Posen gets ruffled up.

Peplum, Maybe. Ruffles, No. My Curves Can't Cope

I'm proud of having curves, yes, but when trends like this come along then it can seem like overkill for someone like me - whose ribs are quite hard to find and whose hips are definitely anything but boyish - to join in and let those curves be amplified to excess. I don't need to emphasise those areas with extra fabric, but what I'd rather do is try and find my waist, to add a little balance, or try and play down my chest, rather than break out a frilly cleavage. 

Whilst the ever-popular peplum skims over the stomach and kicks out slightly at the hips in a fluid line, the ruffled blouse explodes like a five-year-old after too many party snacks and fizzy drinks. It's unsubtle and messy. Of course, if you are curvier and you want to wear frills, then I'm not saying you can't pull them off and look great, but I just find that they're counter-productive for me, and they leave me feeling like a meringue, when I'd rather eat one. 

If you're one of the brave (and probably slim) minority of women looking to rock a ruffle this season, good luck to you. I'll be watching, bemused, from the sidelines, and sitting this one out.

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