Demure dresses resemble delicate nightgowns from past eras. Long-sleeved silhouettes with drawstring necklines and loose shapes call to mind simple undergarments from the 1800’s, while ruffles and pintucked details take inspiration from feminine Victorian gowns. Silky, lace-trimmed styles have a vintage boudoir feel.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make an item look new. For next spring it’s all about the tape. Designers use twill trim, grosgrain ribbon, jacquard logo tape and other narrow goods as closures, zip pulls and in place of drawstrings for gathered details. These tape-ties give garments a contemporary, industrial feel and enable wearers to customize the look and shape of their clothes, in keeping with the demand for versatility and easy-fits.
Smocking, the technique usually associated with baby clothes and folkloric peasant blouses, is bringing fresh appeal to tops and dresses for next fall. The shirred-and-stitched handicraft has been around since the Renaissance, when it was used to shape and provide stretch long before there was such a thing as elastic. Perhaps the latest craze began last spring when Miuccia Prada used smocked bodices throughout her Miu Miu collection. Whether it signals a yearning for a more innocent time, a renewed appreciation for the dressmaking crafts, or just as a way to add dimension and control to fall’s voluminous silhouettes, the detail seems to have taken hold.