The peplum – the superfluous half-skirt that often adorns jackets, tops, blazers, pencil skirts, and dresses – has not only manifested itself as a fashion staple, but has also dominated the runways and red carpets for two years and counting. Appearing first in the Spring/Summer 2012 collections and again through this month’s New York Fashion Week, the peplum’s staying power is a true fashion anomaly.
So how did this trend transition so seamlessly from catwalk to sidewalk?
As it turns out, the popularization of the peplum is the poster child of modern trend diffusion.
The story of trend diffusion typically has 4 parts: introduction (which, in this case, happened largely during the Spring/Summer collections presented in September of 2011), adoption by influencers and celebrities, popularization in the mass market, and, finally, decline and obsolescence.
Let’s take a look at the tale of the peplum:
The story began on the runways in September, 2011 in collections ranging from Jason Wu (pictured) to Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, Giambatista Valli, and more. The peplum was immediately embraced by fashion innovator, Leandra Medine (aka The Man Repeller) as soon as November of that year (styled with countless non-essential layering pieces, as expected) – an early sign that peplum would hit it big.
Fast forward to March of 2012 when the peplum appeared at the Academy Awards on influential early adopters Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, and a host of other fashion-forward celebs, solidifying its place at the top of the trend charts.
Shortly after the celebrities boarded the peplum bandwagon, the early majority took note, and the trend took off beginning in May of 2012 and skyrocketed going into the holiday season. It hit mass market trend status by the end of November.
Despite a slight leveling off in September, the Fall/Winter 2013 collections made it clear that the peplum won’t be going anywhere soon. In fact, if the Michael Kors collection is any indication, peplums will soon be fit for space travel – and beyond. Not just a top trend of today, peplum is the silhouette of the future.
While peplums weren’t as ubiquitous this awards season as last, one thing is for certain – celebrities and bloggers play a huge role in predicting which trends will successfully transition from catwalk to sidewalk.
So with any luck, by this time next year, we’ll all be walking around in metallic Armani (thanks, Naomi)…
Do you think that the peplum will have staying power through the fall, or fall off the radar as other trends take center stage? Tell us in the comments!
Written by Jessica Novak, Marketing Manager for real-time trend insights company Stylitics. Jessica is a blogger, runner, coffee addict, avid alliterator, and chambray enthusiast.