The latest fashion trend to come down the pipes is shaping up to be cocoon silhouettes, in various forms from the sublime to the ridiculous. Designers everywhere are adding volume into their cuts — some of them in interesting and flattering ways, and some of them in ways that look fine on the particular constrained body type that is allowed on the runway but gives one pause for the way the garment will look on women with curves.

The basic shape in a jacket seems unobjectionable enough — here’s a version (spotted by in a brown silk print.

Cocoon Silk Jacket

I don’t personally love it, but I think the shape is adaptable to a professional wardrobe, and I like it rather more than the wee wasp-waisted shrunken jackets we’ve been seeing in women’s suits lately.

Michael Kors (who I will never forgive for giving the Project Runway win to Jeffrey Sebelia, who misogynist and gruesome, but Kors is a good example for current trends since you can buy these clothes at Macy’s) has a version where the coccooning lives in the skirt.

Michael Kors cocoon skirt & peasant blouse

It looks fine on this model. I suspect that if I wore it, it would make me look like I had a disease where my legs were wasting away. Cut right, it might look good on pear-shaped women, but I’d want to see the skirt cut so that it’s not too tight right under the hips.

The empire waist lends itself nicely to the cocoon trend, giving designers a chance to nip a dress in at the bottom and let it cocoon around the waist and hips. Personally I happen to think that a gathered empire waistline is a monstrosity that makes every single woman who wears it look like she is pregnant. But. This dress puts the empire waist to shame.

Belted neckline dress by Noir


This dress is very ugly. And unless you have the figure of a pre-pubescent girl, it will make you look ugly. Besides which, it costs £770, which is fourteen hundred US dollars. If you really must have this look, I suggest that you grab an eighties style cummerbund belt from the nearest thrift store, and jury-rig the look with an old bedsheet. You’ll not want to wear it more than once.

From the ridiculous to the sublime. This dress is by the Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. It’s gorgeous.

Sabyasachi dress


The cut is very simple — a high empire waistline, but shaping achieved with bust darts and the cut of the skirt, rather than with gathering. The colors harmonize beautifully. And there’s a cocoon there, but Sabyasachi is subtle, slipping it into a sleeve detail in a garment that will age well rather than looking hopelessly dated two summers from now.


2 Responses to “Cocoons”

  1. Suzy Says:

    Wow, you think that last dress is gorgeous? I think it’s hideous. Isn’t it funny how one persons hideous is another persons gorgeous?

  2. lisa Says:

    last dress? gorgeous?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: