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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Fashion notes: Give ruffles a glorious edge

When shopping for frilled fashion pieces, don’t conform and buy the obvious. Tiered dresses and tops featuring layers of ruffles may be pretty, but there are plenty of them in the market.
Zayan The Label. Courtesy of Zayan The Label
Zayan The Label. Courtesy of Zayan The Label

As I was making my weekly rummage through Zara the other day, a pair of trousers caught my eye. Knees-up, they were ordinary black trousers, in that typical Zara crepe-wool-blend material. Towards the bottom however, the fabric branched out into ruffle-like extensions, on the outer sides of the ankle.

Though the cuffs indeed flared out into frills, the overall effect certainly wasn’t girlie. Quite to the contrary, it was somewhat androgynous and wholly unexpected. This is the way to flaunt ruffles this winter – in dark or muted shades and basic silhouettes, with the frill or ruffle being a surprise, almost bewildering, final touch. The overall effect, though perhaps jarring at first, gives a pleasing, sophisticated edge to a traditionally feminine design element.

When shopping for frilled fashion pieces, don’t conform and buy the obvious. Tiered dresses and tops featuring layers of ruffles may be pretty, but there are plenty of them in the market. Seek out midi-dresses with subtle ruffled hems, and separates with interesting frilled details. Consider buying a basic blouse that has been given a ­Victorian vibe with an exaggerated ruffled yolk at the neck, or an oversized sweatshirt with frilled layers at the shoulders. Stella McCartney’s current collection sees V-shaped ruffled necklines atop high-neck sweaters, and high-street labels like H&M have similar designs in store.

Fastened diagonally across a knit (like local designer Zayan Ghandour has done in a metallic gold, in her autumn/winter collection, pictured above) or along one lapel of a blazer (as shown by MSGM, available at Boutique 1), ruffles can look bold and alluring. Plus, they can help strike a happy balance between effortless, minimalist style and a quirky, eclectic character. All I ask is that you avoid pairing pirate-like sheer ruffles with Chantilly laces and fishnet fabrics à la Balmain.

hlodi@thenational.ae