Smock around the Clock


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.