The ruffles trend had a less-than-humble beginning. France’s sassiest leader of all time, Marie Antoinette, was a notable early champion of ruffles. As the last Queen of France, Antoinette indulged her fondness for frills with extravagant ruffled dresses in rich, pearly tones.
Around a century or so later, flapper girls worked ruffles into their daringly short drop-waist dresses. While the ruffles were subtle, they accentuated the energetic dancing style of the 1920s.
A similar motive was behind the iconic style of Spanish flamenco dancers. The classic flamenco dress, with frilled layers adorning sleeves and tumbling down tiered skirts, is an all-out homage to ruffles.
Spring forward to the outrageous 80s for the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. The Princess-to-be’s champagne-hued wedding gown was the dress that launched a thousand ruffles. It featured puffed ruffles along the collar and cuffs, capturing the imagination of fashion designers everywhere.
Ruffles are (literally) so big right now you can find whatever your heart desires, from delicately ruched hems to all-over ruffles in prints, patterns and embroidered finishes. On the palm-lined beaches of LA and sun-soaked Bollywood movie sets, our celebrity girl crushes are showing us how it’s done.
Who better to give a masterclass in ruffles than model-of-the-moment Gigi Hadid. Last year she rocked a tail hem skirt – mini in the front, long in the back – that was polka dot and ruffled all over. Talk about multitasking! Bollywood beauty Katrina Kaif has also been spotted working the trend with a sleek ruffled jumpsuit.
So there you have it – a whistlestop tour of the history of ruffles. Whether you’re channeling French royalty, mirroring your favourite red carpet star or putting a unique spin on the trend, it’s your turn to ruffle some feathers!
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