Get waisted: An ode to the peplum

The peplum originates from the ancient Greeks, but if you’re anything like us, the waist adornment conjures up more images of Cindi Lauper than Homer. Once seen as a perfect accompaniment to sequins and shoulder pads, over the past few seasons the style has been pared down to become the centrepiece of a garment.

We wanted to see how the peplum arrived at this new level of sophistication and whether or not consumers are talking about the trend and more importantly if they are liking it.

When Raf Simons showed his SS11 collection for Jil Sander, he marked a turning point for the peplum. Instantly, the style became new as it was accompanied by key trends from the season, neon hues and maxi lengths. The sure sign that the peplum had graduated into a class of its own though was that the Jil Sander collection featured peplums as accessories. To instantly update any look, the zip-on stretch cotton peplum can be paired with anything from jeans and t-shirts to more formal dresses. The £320 accessory was made available in sizes 42 and 44 on Net-a-Porter, both sold out within a week.

The peplum featured at the AW11/12 shows in a range of incarnations, from lumberjack chic at Thakoon to demure and floral at Marc Jacobs. In fact, in the past month, the look has proven its versatility after being seen on everyone from Duchess Kate (Alexander McQueen Resort 11) to the new Playboy bunnies (Marchesa).

Online, there has been plenty of buzz around the trend. There are very obvious peaks around the SS11 shows, AW11/12 shows and the Southern Hemisphere SS11/12 collections, which featured a varied range of styles. At RAFW, there was the demure and elegant at Camilla and Marc, colour blocking at Josh Goot and extreme volume at Ellery, while at Sao Paulo Fashion week, Fause Haten sent out a stunning glittery showstopper (main image above).

For SS12, we forecast a further evolution of the peplum style, as designers take influence from the Victorian era, volume will shift into panniers and bustles.

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