Trend Watch: Exuberant Ruffles & Scribbles

While the controlled, intensely powerful motifs of the sphere and the perfect circle are much in evidence this season, there is a countervailing trend nothing short of footloose and fancy free. In a wild show of exuberance, bountiful ruffles adorn all manner of apparel and accessories, and designer scribbles have been captured in lively prints and three-dimensional adornments including, of course, jewelry. Designer doodles have been transformed into real-life style.

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Illustration: Megan Fox wears a Valentino dress with a skirt of a profusion of ruffles, pictured in the January 2010 issue of InStyle.

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Illustration: In a testament to the power of spin, the December 2009 issue of InStyle highlights a “haphazardly ruffled clutch” by Lela Rose for Payless.

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Illustration: An entire page of ruffled designs (albeit no jewelry in the mix) from the December 2009 issue of InStyle.

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Illustration: A current ad for Diane von Furstenberg featuring a mad tangle of doodles.

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Illustration: From the November 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, scribbles seen in a top by Max Mara, dress by Michael Kors, dress by Madewell and sandal by Elie Tahari. Accompanying jewelry in the feature on “exotic prints” consists of a bracelet by Roxanne Assoulin for Lee Angel and earrings by Oscar de la Renta; skirt is by 3.1 Phillip Lim.

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Illustration: Necklace by Yves Saint Laurent featured in the December 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

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Illustration: Cuff bracelet by Herve van der Straeten featured in the December 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

For a designer, this style is a dream in self-expression. Any style with this much lively spirit is going to take center stage. The remainder of the ensemble needs to stay relatively low-key so that the wearer expresses her personality but isn’t overwhelmed by the expression.

These styles bring a lift to the spirits through a celebration of abundance, in all its imperfection. There’s something wonderful about indulging in the freedom and fun of coloring outside the lines.