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SS18 key detail: The ruche hour

Sandra Halliday
17 October 2017

It’s been quite a few years since ruching was the stuff of fashion trends. Without trying to sound like a fashion snob (who, me?), in recent years it’s been the go-to option for value brands looking for a low-hanging-fruit ‘sexy eveningwear’ option.

Understandably, it’s not usually a big deal for designer labels (well, Tom Ford’s quite fond of it but he’s the exception who proves the rule). But things are changing, designers have gone ruche-happy and it’s big news for SS18.

It wasn’t too hard to see it coming as a few labels-to-note have embraced it for AW17. Those gorgeous Y/Project ruched tops sold out really fast and it’s harder to get any more cool than Y/Project at the moment.

So where’s ruching going for next season? Well, in multiple directions. You can find the ultra-traditional approach (skinny, sexy, occasionwear) at Dolce & Gabbana or Tom Ford (of course), or there’s a more offbeat approach at a basket of big-name labels.

Isabel Marant combined it with high-gloss materials to add an edge to tops and not-quite-completely-casual pants, as well as her signature mini dresses.

For Raf Simons it was less about creating a figure-hugging silhouette and more about creating a detail focus that played around with look of the pattern on faulty roomy tops and dresses.

At Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, the approach was perhaps the lightest of all with ruching used to add substance to sheers and a strong visual focus for tops and dresses.

Raf Simons at Calvin Klein meanwhile didn’t actually ruche, but used drawstrings to create the effect on casualwear, daytime or after-dark dresses and outerwear, giving them all a sports edge.

It was hard to fault any of it so it looks like rucking and gathering is one of the details we’ll have to get used to come next year. Whether it stays the course or quickly fades back into the tacky zone is still open to question but I reckon we should give it a chance…

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