Trend Watch: Fabric Manipulation

April 03, 2014

Trend Watch: Fabric Manipulation

Fabric manipulation — the art of reshaping fabric using a variety of techniques — is a hot topic when it comes to 2014 spring fashion.

“We’ve seen this trend on both runways and red carpets this season,” says Alice Sydow, a Minneapolis-based image consultant and style expert for I’ve Got Your Style. “It’s been especially big for designers like Bottega Veneta, Zac Posen, and Versace. And we saw several celebrities outfitted in gowns featuring dramatic pleats and ruching on the Oscars red carpet, including Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, and Camila Alves.”

What’s to love about fabric manipulation?

Sydow says that fabric manipulation — which happens to be inspired by architecture — does more than create strong lines and visual interest. “Certain types of fabric manipulation enhance your figure by making you appear thinner and concealing ‘trouble spots.’” Now that’s a trend we can all get behind, right?

And considering fabric manipulation is architecture-inspired, it begs the question:

Can this trend go from the red carpet to the home?

The short answer: Yes.

“Fashion and interior design are closely linked,” says Minneapolis-based interior designer Kim Tucker of Martha O’Hara Interiors. “Pieces featuring fabric manipulation are great for adding texture to a room, especially when using neutral colors. Plus, they tend to evoke a modern feel.”

Here are the fabric manipulation techniques seen most often on this season’s red carpets, along with ideas for incorporating this fashion-forward trend into your home.


J. Queen New York™ Chantilly Tufted Round Toss Pillow

Pleating involves folding the fabric to control its fullness. You may have noticed it on the bottom of Charlize Theron’s stunning Oscars gown (check out those horizontal pleats!).

At home, try using a pleated pillow, such as this piece from J. Queen New York, for an interesting touch of elegance in your living room or bedroom.


Anthology™ Whisper 16-Inch Square Toss Pillow in Pewter

Ruching is a variation of pleating, and can be seen on this show-stopping creation from Zac Posen. Why not add some drama to your boudoir with this pillow from Anthology?



Twinkle 72-Inch x 72-Inch Shower Curtain in Red

A gathered fabric is usually constricted to a certain width by threads stitched through it. Gathering is often done by industrial machinery, but sometimes it’s stitched by hand.

We think Kate Hudson is an absolute vision in this Atelier Versace gown she wore on the Oscars red carpet. Consider adding an element of red-carpet glamour to your bathroom with this shower curtain from Twinkle.


Anthology™ Whisper Comforter Set in Spa

When fabric is folded to control its fullness or create decorative effects, it’s called tucking.

Zac Posen stuns yet again with these dresses that showcase his penchant for tucking (and other fabric manipulation techniques). You can bring a bit of “tucking luxe” to your bedroom with this comforter set from Anthology.

Leigh Kramarczuk

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