Ad | A trend that I wanted to focus on today is Ruffles. They have been very prominent in designs in the last few years and I feel that there have been quite a few variations of them on different types of clothing – made from different materials.
These are often documented throughout film and TV, and one in particular that inspired this piece was the new series of outlander which has just returned to Amazon Prime. It is set in Paris at the height of 1700s fashion with gorgeous dresses that feature amazing ruffles. (Let’s count how many times I write ‘ruffles’!)
I never knew before the origin of them and how they found their way onto our shoulders, hips and sleeves but I wanted to, as I am so often curious about where trends come from.
I have only flirted with ruffles so far, as being a bigger chested girl I can find that on some designs can look slightly unflattering. You sometimes have to do a bit of a trial and error session to find what fits you well.
I love that this look is also being seen everywhere this Spring/summer and especially in dresses, we also see ruffles on sleeves and all the way up the neck.
To start us off, I have asked fashion historian Amber Butchart to provide some context of ruffles and takes us back to the time of when Outlander is set and when ruffles really created a trend…
‘The ultimate trendsetter in the 1750s – at the height of what was later called Rococo – was Madame de Pompadour, official mistress to King Louis XV. The portraits of her by Francois Boucher depict her in cascading silks, with lace and ribbon ruffles at the sleeves, neckline and adorning the stomacher. While the neckline was often low to display décolletage, she was frequently painted with yet more lace or ribbon ruffles around her neck, to emphasise the slenderness. Ruffles from ribbons are especially significant here as ribbons were used throughout the 18th century as trimmings on gowns or hats, or looped or bunched and used as accessories to decorate an outfit. Due to their smaller size they were affordable to a wider range of the population – women who couldn’t afford luxurious embroidered silks could afford the printed ribbon equivalent and so could keep a foot in the world of fashion, just like accessories operate for fashion houses today. Ruffled ribbons are also significant as they have long held political and military associations. The cockade – knotted ribbons in the shape of a rosette – took on special significance during the American and French Revolutions, but had been used to show political allegiance for much longer, including as an expression of Jacobite sympathy.’
I have seen ruffles and other trends of a similar nature all over catwalks, within street style, in films and on TV shows. It is so interesting to see how costume designers and stylists of shows showcase outfits of different time periods within film – and how this has made it into our world today.
Outlander is a show which also does this and I enjoy seeing such detail in the wardrobe of the show along with the show itself of course (I always get distracted by clothing) – If you would like to watch Outlander Series 2 yourself then you can check it out on Amazon video here. [A photo below from the series, a detail shot of how ruffles were worn in the 1700’s]
I hope you enjoyed my delve into this certain trend and do let me know what you think of it yourself?