Monday, March 31, 2014

Ah, the peplum...




As I was clicking through pictures of wedding gowns tonight I came across all the beautiful gowns in many of the Spring 2014 collections with peplums, and I got to thinking, what is the story behind the peplum? Where did this trend begin?


1940's style peplum

In researching the history of the peplum I was surprised to learn although it first made its debut in the 1800's, the peplum we know and love today became popular first in the 1940's. Then it had a brief comeback in the 1980's as well. In the forty's you can see the classic peplum shape while in the 1980's there was more of an alternative take on the peplum. Being an 1980's baby, I recall wearing these dresses and never would have known this was a revised peplum skirt- although, I wasn't too into fashion in the 1980's either as I still wore MC hammer pants with banana clips in my hair.

1980's style peplum

Back to the peplum though. The word peplum is derived from the Greek word 'peplos' meaning 'shawl'. The current definition defines the peplum as 'a flared ruffle attached to the waist of a jacket, bodice, etc.' Essentially, when it made its debut in the 1800's it was an overskirt designed to highlight a woman's waist by accentuating her hips. Today, it seems the peplum has come back with the same concept in mind. I adore a peplum skirt on all dresses, but mostly I love it on a wedding gown. The way a peplum skirt can be exaggerated, the use of different fabrics, and the way it draws your eye to the smallest part of the waist are all reasons why I love the peplum skirt.

marchesa peplum combo 
Marchesa peplums - exaggerated and different fabrics- ahh love the middle one!


Although we love it on a wedding gown, the peplum can be found everywhere. Beginning in 2012, the peplum made its current comeback and can be seen not only on the runway, but in department stores as well. The everyday woman, as well as bride, have been drawn to the way it does in fact highlight a small waist while accentuated the hips. The peplum truly is an amazing design. It has a way to not only accentuate these womanly features on a woman with curves, but it can also give curves to a woman who does not have any. I always love the element of surprise as well, so for me, a fun twist on a peplum for a wedding gown would be to have it removable.

No matter what type of gown it is worn on, I do not see the peplum trending out soon. It is classic, eye-catching and again, truly shows off a woman's gorgeous curves. No, rather it seems we can look forward to ways designers can bring new light to the peplum in the coming seasons.


Lu Raquel

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