(1. Alexander McQueen 2. Valentino 3. Loewe 4. Gucci 5. Simone Rocha)So – are you team dainty frill or team big ruffle?!
Hello, hello, calling all frillseekers! Ruffles have been everywhere these past few seasons, and to my mind they are such a fabulous trend. Of course much of the ruffling seen on the catwalks has been extravagant in the extreme, but toned down for ready-to-wear it remains fun, frivolous and surprisingly wearable. The Bloomsbury Blouse was very much inspired by these current trends, but I also drew on historical fashion influences, particularly those of the late nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century – Edwardian high-necked blouses, finicky buttons and the soft cotton frills that long pre-date the era of 'clean lines' and minimalism. Honestly, if you thought Bloomsbury had a lot of ruffles ... The bottom right image is from the BBC's drama series, Life in Squares, and depicts Lydia Leonard as Virginia Woolf. The drama is about the lives of some of the Bloomsbury Group's members, and I had images of Woolf in my mind often when planning our blouse, hence its name. Of course the blouses of a century ago were far more constraining than most things we're accustomed to wearing these days, and the ruffle blouse as we know it is more a child of the '80s. This was less what I had at the forefront of my mind when designing, but as a child of the '80s myself perhaps it just subconsciously snuck in! The amount of fabric in those sleeves ...! And to bring us up to speed, here are a few examples of the ruffles that have graced the catwalk in recent months: