When even fashion designer Victoria Beckham – known for her minimalist aesthetic – references the unapologetically bold excess of the ’80s, you know the era is making a comeback. In her Resort 2023 collection, tights in yellow, red and pink were styled with everything from skirt suits to slinky dresses. Another striking look: a ruched green asymmetrical dress, which she playfully styled with bright red stockings.
A distinctive hallmark of ’80s fashion, ruching was incorporated into almost every piece of clothing – from miniskirts to toga tops and puff-sleeved prom dresses. The reason for its enduring appeal? When designed well, this gathered overlay of fabric strips sculpts and flatters any body type – making one look and feel empowered.
This redeeming quality of the ruched dress was not lost on designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler. They showcased a fun and elegant tangerine dress with side gathers, rendered in a luscious velvet material. Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad, a maestro of red carpet looks, was equally enamoured with this detail, applying it to an array of slinky column gowns in bejewelled tones of purple, pink and yellow.