THE description of a ruffle as an ornamental frill first entered common parlance in 1707. Prior to that, “ruffle” meant “to disturb the smoothness of”, perhaps from the low German “ruffelen”, meaning to wrinkle or curl. The spring catwalks are cascading with ruffles and it’s neat to think that perhaps it’s an antidote to all the smooth, languid silks and long, lean silhouettes we enjoyed last season. After all, as Balenciaga said, “a ruffle must be intelligent”.

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