For the sartorially sluggish, there is just something so sublime about a fabric that doesn’t need to be ironed. Or steamed. Or hung on the back of the bathroom door while you have a hot shower. So when crinkle cuts started infiltrating our e-tailer pages, flooding that infinite scroll with their pleasingly rumpled, deliciously crushed form, we jumped for joy.
Most of us will recall some kind of 90s dalliance with a crinkly fabric. Those crushed slip dresses and flip skirts made up the defiant fashion of the era, rich in teen spirit and adolescent angst, they were like sartorial protests when teamed with Doc Martens and lip liner. But, in fact, the crushed sateen of our 90s was just a mere rehashing (of course) of an earlier time, namely the decade prior. Who could forget those glorious crinkly taffeta minis of the 80s? The operatic shapes, the obscene shoulder pads, the delirious excess; a time of uncompromising glamour, which at its most irresistible included crunchy fabrics in shocking colour seen on the likes of Joan, Jerry and Jane.
And now, just as Smith’s Crisps would have you believe, it’s all about the crinkle cut once more. As our thirst for nostalgia seems well and truly unquenchable, it’s no wonder the hammered finish has fixated modern fashion, its wearability apparent in its myriad incarnations. From gossamer gauze to robust leathers, designers are relishing the retro finish. Alexander Wang, The Line By K and New Zealand’s first lady of cool, Georgia Alice, all revisit the nineties; cutting their crinkle in the cool minimalism of the decade with spindly dresses, slip skirts and slinky halter necks.
Marni turns its signature hardware on its head, wrinkling precious metals with abstract effect, while leather, too, has had a crinkly update. Colville’s understated slides feature soft rumpled leather, Bienen-Davis’ disco-inspired clutch is like crackly fashion crack and Tibi takes a turn at scrunching up vinyl with a glossy toffee trench not for the faint-hearted.
While Korean-born, London-based designer Rejina Pyo dedicated a near-entire collection to the crinkly stuff; her Spring ’19 season paying homage with bow bags, button-up midi skirts and boxy shirts all cut from shimmery crinkle-satin in neon lime and orange.
But if you’re feeling up for a little Dynasty-dressing, try brand-of-the-moment Rotate Birger Christensen’s plissé-sateen mini dress in electric orange. Initially unsure of the way the fabric would turn out, designers Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Friis Madsen were unexpectedly pleased when the zesty sateen came to fruition. “When we got the samples we absolutely loved the wrinkled look on the sleeves and that it straightened out a bit more on the rest of the body,” explained the Danish design duo. While Simona Rocha and Stine Goya also take a trip, rehashing voluminous taffeta for the modern woman. Just add obnoxious accessories and make it oil-rich for a truly sartorial high.
Crunchy in all the right places. Sample the follow and loose the steamer. Crinkle is back, baby.
shop the look
SIES MARJAN Sander crinkled-satin shirt, $962. shop now
Marni crinkle earrings, $539. shop now
TIBI Crinkled-vinyl trench coat, $2,080. shop now
COLVILLE Square-toe crinkled-leather sandals, $641. shop now
GEORGIA ALICE Crinkled-satin bow dress, $639. shop now
ALEXANDERWANG.T Crinkled-satin halterneck dress, $443. shop now
ROTATE BIRGER CHRISTENSEN Plissé-sateen mini dress, $298. shop now
Rejina Pyo Lucie crinkled-satin tote, $404. shop now
THE LINE BY K Grace crinkled-satin midi skirt, $182. shop now
STINE GOYA Farrow ruffled crinkled-taffeta mini dress, $397. shop now
BIENEN-DAVIS 5am metallic crinkled-leather clutch, $2,496. shop now