This Spring: Do Get Your Clothes in a Bunch


Peter Pilotto / Y-Project / Self Portrait
Photo: Courtesy of
Written by Peyton Haahr 

Don’t you hate when your dress keeps hiking up and you’re constantly pushing it back down? Us too. This trend somehow solves that problem and turns it into a high-fashion goldmine. Enter: Ruching. Fabric got pushed around and bunched up all over the Spring Runways, where designers gathered and pleated the materials to give a fresh take on average dresses and tops. While seen as more of an evening-look only addition, brands proved it is one that can take anyone from day to night. If you don’t believe us, evaluate the evidence below for yourself.

At Tom Ford, who has simultaneously directed an award-winning movie and had record sales in his clothing line, a 90’s glam vibe was created, displayed through cutout dresses and bedazzled t-shirts. Long, ruched dresses were the centerpiece here, sent down the runway on the hottest girls around: Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. In pink, black, and a light yellow, the bunched-up fabric was semi sheer and featured different unique necklines. While some might shy away from these pieces due to their curve-hugging nature, the drape and cut of the fabric is far more flattering than most cuts. Since it doesn’t lie totally flat on the body, it has a smoothing quality that accentuates curves and lengthens the wearer without the need to be a high-fashion model. That’s always a win in our book, right? Ruching gives off a more expensive and fancy feel, even a ruched shirt can add a great deal of interest and texture to an outfit. Pair it with black skinny jeans or better yet, leather pants! If you're going the dress route, pile on the jewelry and try some fierce makeup like Ford did. A word of caution though: be careful when it comes to layering and volume. The technique bunches, or gathers, the material used and is thicker than a flat fabric, so make sure if you wear something on top, it doesn’t look messy or too tight from what is underneath. If you get it right, this is a fabulous evening look to emulate.


Tom Ford 2018 Spring Ready-to-Wear Collection
Photo: Yannis Vlamos /

This trend was out in full force on the bright carpet at Dolce & Gabbana. As always, bright prints and fabulously royal jewelry were on display. More than a hundred looks paraded their way down in front of the fabulously fashionable crowd. Many dresses featured sheer panels, while also exhibiting nice ruched layers throughout. The prettiest – and more wearable – looks were in black. In both long and short styles, ruched dresses provided the perfect update on a classic little black dress. Floral embroideries and lingerie-inspired notes finished off the look, giving off the D&G feel that the fashion house has cultivated so well. If you aren’t feeling a totally sheer look, fear not – simply layer a slip underneath, which by the way, you can find in all different lengths depending on how long the dress itself is or how much you want to cover up. Finish the look with precious stone earrings, add a bejeweled heel and you’re good to go.


Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear Collection
Photo: Yannis Vlamos /

If you are to look at any designer for an example of a timeless, all-around comfortable and wearable dress, it better be Diane von Furstenberg. Known around the world for her wrap dresses, it should be no surprise that she jumped in on the ruching trend, brilliantly displaying the technique on floral dresses of all styles. One-shoulder, mid-length pieces followed floor-dusting dresses, each showing off a ruched waistline that worked all the way down to below the hips. The strategic placement of the ruching is worth highlighting since it perfectly slims and smoothens what some shoppers might not want to show off. Florals, as Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada would say, is (not at all) groundbreaking, but the addition of a ruched bodice puts these pieces in a class of their own. She had fun with the shoes, even pairing “flat-forms” (flats with a platform) with fancier dresses. For the less adventurous of us, stick to the classic pointed-toe pumps, but if you’re daring, go for a pair of chunky sneakers. Either way, there is nothing tacky about these dresses or about this trend, as the high-fashion treatment has done it well.


Diane von Furstenburg Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear Collection
Photo: Courtesy of DVF

Ruching can be a trend that when done correctly, can create an expensive looking, runway-ready outfit even if the pieces cost less than a hundred dollars. Designers often feature this trend on dresses, but it can easily be found in tops and jackets that are great to add to an evening look. It’s a look not reserved for the models, but is rather a wearable look that is fresh and eye-catching. Don’t be afraid to test it out and experiment with it – original looks are the best of all.