To have and hold

11 Sep 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Prepare your wardrobes for graphic content: abstract motifs and power pleating are moving in, says Penny Fray

It all started last summer when America’s favorite actress, Sandra Bullock, stepped onto the red carpet in a red

J. Mendel gown featuring architectural pleating. The design was a feat of engineering, with the folds carefully drawing attention to her waist while perfectly framing her toned shoulders. The origami detailing was a refreshing take on Hollywood dressing, which has been saturated with mermaid silhouettes and bling beading of late. Viva la revolution.

Of course, the genius of her dress was nothing new. Japanese greats such as Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto’s directional designs have informed the runway since the 1980s. And according to Y’s fashion expert Barbra Young, their intricate and considered techniques still feel futuristic, even now. This season, however, the avant-garde take on tailoring takes a twist with J.W. Anderson’s sculpted hemlines and Christopher Kane’s organza pieces, delicately crafted to resemble the pages of a book.

If couture-looking cuts are not for you, then embrace abstract prints that create an interesting illusion of graphic slicing. This, fashion folks, is art for clothes.


I love the glitz of this fashion-forward piece from H&M Studio. It’s not available in every store, so it’s worth keeping an eye for it online in case it doesn’t hit Muscat. From RO100


Clever graphic slicing is the focus of the new M&S collection. This much-talked about piece has a 1970s vibe and moves elegantly through the skirt thanks to the waterfall length. Nail several trends in one piece for less than RO50


Moving like the pages of a book, the layers of chiffon on Christopher Kane’s silk organza blouse marks an innovative approach to design. Layer over a tonal camisole for extra coverage. From RO758


This tote screams classic with a twist. Available from RO13 at Zara


Zara’s skirt features faux leather with a pleated panel. The flattering style sits just above the hips and is the ideal length to wear with flats or heels. Even better, it’s currently on sale. I spotted one online for RO3.5 – bargain


A block-heeled silhouette is essential this season. Work the look with Tibi’s sleek Bailey ankle boots, crafted from smooth nubuck and leather. Team yours with everything from skinny jeans to mini skirts. RO215 at net-a-porter


Complicated folds and pleats can be a little too fashion forward unless tempered by neutrals and immaculate tailoring.

  1. Origami-style pleats, waterfall drapes and elegant layering are bang on trend. But the more dramatic the cut, the plainer the colour – unless you’re making a red carpet entrance. 
  2. The fashion confident should dare to mix varying proportions and lengths to create a new silhouette.
  3. Invest in the best. Cheap tailoring and pleating usually look, well, cheap.

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