Wrap dresses can be awkward around the boobs, smocks often drown petite frames and slips are difficult to wear unless you’re Kate Moss, but a quality dress with carefully placed ruching in a slightly stretchy fabric suits just about everyone. Curvy bodies will appreciate the flexibility, while slimmer frames can use ruching to add curves if desired. They’re comfy, too, and now hot property, thanks to a host of London Fashion Week designers.
Suddenly this rare breed of body-con is back, and it has the support of some key envelope-pushing names. They’re passing the baton on from summer 2018’s surge in ruching (from Jacquemus to Zara, we’ve already seen the potential this trend has), and taking it to the next level in terms of cut and finish. Come spring, sheer fabrics will be popular, super-bright colours will be key and tasselled drawstrings will be a notable feature.
Ruched pieces are London’s more rebellious take on being commercial, and I’m certainly here for it now and will continue to be when it booms next spring. Scroll to see the designers creating this one-style-suits-all dress, and then shop a few options that are currently available. (Hey, spring/summer 2019 feels a little too long to wait for such a wardrobe winner.)
It’s my last night in Bangkok and my guide Nemo wants me to see a little of the modern nightlight bar scene. After a quick tour of Chinatown’s food epi-centre we take a tuk-tuk to a nearby neighbourhood that’s becoming known for its hipster ba