Fall Trends: Peplums, Panniers, And Padding, Oh My!

Mini dresses, thigh highs, tight pants, no pants – we’ve seen them all these last few seasons on and off the runway.  Our favorite ‘it’ girls are globetrotting in clothes the size of a napkin.  Gaga, and more recently Ke$ha, have dared to go bare and lived to tell the tale despite scrutiny and criticism.  Forget body-con, think just body. It may appear to us everyday ladies — those without personal trainers and an unlimited bank account — that we should suck it in, invest in Spanx, and buy a life’s supply of black tights.  Although these micros, minis and barely-there pieces don’t seem to be going anywhere, another refreshing trend is beginning challenge this look – a sophisticated and voluptuous version of sexy.

Now, let’s not confuse this with dressing in our grandmother’s closets.  Rather, designers are responding to the long and leggy silhouettes by accentuating curvaceous figures.  Dries Van Noten didn’t show one dress that was above the knee, instead presenting lovely full skirts and forgiving pants that are begging to be worn to a board meeting or dinner party.  Over at Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs stayed subtly sexy with his lady-like dresses and hinted peplums.  Jacobs even went far enough to promote a healthy shape by employing full figured models.

On a more directional note, other designers have taken the wispy frames of their models and padded where curves can be found on normal female bodies.  Rick Owens played with wraps filled with down in his show to quietly mute the woman’s shape all together whereas Prada added purposeful padding to boost extra bosom into the lacking models’ bodies in her collection.  Queen of drape, Donna Karan, used her technical mastery to celebrate a woman’s figure through her sculptural draping and padded panniers.

The sexy youth are beginning to mature a bit and designers are embracing this growth.  As our ‘it’ girls are always looking for new borders to conquer it would not be surprising to soon see Leigh Lezark or Peaches Geldof wrapping their fashion friendly frames in their bed comforters, belting it and calling it the perfect dress for a night out on the town.  But, where does that leave the rest of us?  Shall we too shop the sale shelves at Bed, Bath & Beyond for discounted duvets for our winter wardrobes next season? Au contraire.  Designers are finally realizing they must cater to their eager customers who are not pre-pubescent or incredibly genetically gifted.  Now is the time to have fun with our figures, no matter what the shape, size, or length.  Hug your mirror and enjoy dressing your lovely selves is the main message behind this new rejuvenating trend.


Liz Doupnik began her career at WGSN.com (Worth Global Style Network), the global leading fashion forecasting and trend analysis as a Market Editor. Always searching for inspiration, she became involved as a brand ambassador and contributing editor for stylelikeu.com, a new personal style website. Liz has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the College of Charleston and has earned a second degree in Fashion Design from Parsons. Fashion aside, Liz is fascinated by astrology (she’s a Leo) and unicorns.

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