As fashion moves in a complete cycle, one trend that is visiting us back from the long gone eras and is here to stay for at least a few seasons in a row, is the ever so popular silhouette – THE PEPLUM. In simple terms, a pattern that imparts an hour glass shape to a woman’s body and traditionally seen as a short overskirt usually attached to a fitted jacket, blouse or dress, a trend that popped up as a rage in the Spring/Summer 2012 runways, seeped onto the high street and has once again made a grand appearance on the Spring/Summer 2013 runways, transforming from a high-fashion to a ready-to-wear mass fashion silhouette…
A classic vintage style that was first spotted in the 1940’s and modernized by the iconic Dior, that resurfaced for a brief period in the 1980’s, the peplum has become a new ‘must have’ look for any woman’s wardrobe at the moment. Although the silhouette took its time to be accepted by the masses, due to its bold appeal and a drastic shift from the regular shape of the upper torso in the past decade, the versatility of the look is what is making it increasingly famous with women of all body types and age groups. Defined with a narrow waist and wider hips the best part of the peplum is its suitability to every type of market segment, be it in the form of formal skirt suits, jackets or the much casual daywear tops and dresses, variations of which can be controlled with the amount of flare imparted to the pattern and when aptly paired with accessories like a belted waist, the garment plays a perfect role in boasting a chic feminine style.
Introduced by the endless catwalks, Zac Posen, Giles, Celine and Dior added peplums to sharp tailoring, giving a dash of femininity to classic workwear for the SS ’12 season. Interpreting it differently were others like Alexander McQueen, Jason Wu and Vera Wang who at the same time gave the trend its prettiest incarnation with peplums of layered lace of pretty frills for all-out romanticism. Making it a lot more girly, Badgley Mischka took to the trend in a major way with decadent layers of ruffles at the waist of his vibrant frocks, and Jason Wu flirted with the style in a delicate feminine pink pencil skirt.
Picking it up fast from the runways, are retailers world over who have further found infinite ways of making the peplum be it in solid coloured fabrics, or vibrantly printed designs, all depending upon the client and brand ideology.
From a more high-fashion summer to a more retail based high street winter, the look stocked as dresses to skirts with names like Neiman Marcus and River Islands for A/W12-13. While Neiman Marcus explored more on peplum styles with bias paneled peplum dress, one shoulder peplum dress, two button exaggerated peplum jacket and introduced metallic lace and leather peplum dresses, ASOS showcased the pattern in a multitude of looks ranging from formal peplum tops with Prince of Wales checks to a more enigmatic animal print peplum top to a sleek black peplum dress, keeping a darker chilly weather in mind. Catering to almost every type of client is currently Topshop which is retailing an even wider range with peplum tee, peplum pencil dress, sequined peplum top and ribbed peplum jacket. Apart from these bold styles, also available as a basic are simple peplum tops without much of a flare for a client who is not that experimental and style, but wants to own the look in a toned down everyday style.
As predicted the trend yet again resurfacing in the most recent runways collections for S/S 2013, Pierre Balmain explored peplums on tops, dresses and skirts, while Vera Wang went home bound with tops drawing attention to smaller waists. Charlotte Ronson featured the style in a blue and white dress and spotted in Milan was a new twist with designers like Sophie Cooper pairing 50s-style mid-length skirt with girly peplum top. Just to impart the look was also the collection by Alexander McQueen whose waists were nipped in with thick, rustic gold belts that created a peplum effect.
Not only for an American or an European figure, even a pleasant variation for the Indian body making it big for Indian celebrities and the domestic market as well. Considering that Indian women have the gift of curves, the peplum celebrates the waist-to-hip area, especially for women who are proud of their narrow waist but are conscious of their lower stomach bulge, as the peplum brilliantly covers those flaws. Giving an appearance of longer legs are the short peplum dresses in contrast to the peplum pencil skirts that reach the knee and can be worn by tall or average-height women. Also to be teamed with trousers, skinny jeans or fitted skirts are peplum tops or a jacket that focuses of the waist ruffle keep the lower torso simple and tight.
Without much of a surprise the peplums were also a part of some of the finest collections of recent Wills India Fashion Week, with Indian designers like am:pm, Nachiket Barve, Alpana & Neeraj, Anupama Dayal and Kavita Bhartia also adopting the silhouette in a twisted Indo-Western style for their international buyer.
A hit in the directory of international fashion, and even for the Indian export market, orders for the same have been flowing in since S/S 2012 continuing in the winter and once again for the Summer of 2013, with many companies recording a continued demand from brands that are spread over the globe…
Mitesh Bhatia, Director, Vamani Overseas
Even though the trend must have picked up for a more fashionable client abroad we didn’t get order for peplums last summer, as much as we got them for the ongoing winter season. Extremely popular from India in the Winters 2012 product development, we have made some variations all in the colour black. The silhouette roughly constitutes 10 per cent of our garments for the European client, and we are currently working on sampling peplums with another set of fresh variations for Spring/Summer 2013.
Vandana Prakash, Merchandising Manager, Rupayan
We saw more of the classic peplum tops in 2012 and again for 2013. But for the running S/S ’13 season, more variations are being asked for, moving from just tops to tunics, skirts and dresses also. For a lively summer the silhouette is playing with very bright colours and neon shades for a young and youthful client.
Arunav Jyoti Gogoi, Head Designer, Modelama
Peplums have been seen more in the fall this time than in S/S 2012 with a comeback for the S/S 2013 in a big way. Variations in fabrics are also being asked for such as with the use of crockets, nets and laces. Expected to be big in the US, it is the American market now that is eagerly looking forward to the peplum, as Europe has been saturated with peplums in 2012. For us, peplums will now be seen on peasant blouses and blouses with fancier sleeves.
Annie Jha, Designer, Impulse
Peplums have been really big for Europe in 2012 and will be as big in 2013, as almost all brands have been sourcing this silhouette in some form or the other. Even on the catwalks every designer had some peplum piece in their collection. For the coming seasons there will be variations in terms of detailing design experimentation and on different products like skirts and dresses and not just tops and dresses.