3D Folds

Nowadays, it seems like everything comes in 3D, from movies (Avatar, anyone?) to mascara (thank you, Revlon). So it makes sense that even clothes have gone 3D--specifically with interesting pleats and folds that enliven the most basic-looking dresses or jackets. From dramatic folds that take center stage in an outfit to subtler iterations that simply add a touch of visual intrigue, this edgy trend is stylishly suitable for both the workplace (see Carine Roitfeld) and more festive occasions (see Ana Girardot).

To reference a rather adventurous take on 3D folds, we must direct you to Burberry Prorsum's bold look from the S/S 12 runway. Designer Christopher Bailey's Malachite Printed Skirt ($2495) is a stunning combination of two of the season's in-demand trends--folds and tribal-inspired patterns! The knee-length piece, in a vivid boomerang print, features extravagant draped and knotted panels in the front; the skirt's abundant folds could have overtaken the outfit, but are cleverly offset by the Black Dry Hand Heavy Jersey Jacket ($1995). Woven accessories, like the Beaded Canvas Check Clutch ($1295) in Indigo Green and Woven Leather Platform Boots ($1495) in Dark Tan, lend the mixed-print runway ensemble an earthy vibe.

Though Burberry Prorsum's look is certainly for the girl who doesn't mind taking a sartorial risk and standing out in a crowd, we found five chic tastemakers who wear 3D folds in just a slightly more subdued fashion. Last month, model/blogger Hanneli Mustaparta sported a chic Tibi Ruffled Jacquard Dress ($440) featuring pronounced peplum folds over a white top at a W Magazine soiree in New York. Though the somber black and white shades of her outfit are quite simple, it's the origami-like folds at the waistline that keep Mustaparta's outfit elegant and feminine! 3D folds made another appearance on Ana Girardot's ensemble at the Chloe F/W 12 show in Paris earlier this month. The French actress sported the label's bright red Dress ($1895, 877.551.7257) with exaggerated shoulders from the label's Pre-Fall 12 collection. The frock's silhouette is demure, particularly when paired with tights, black pumps, and a black clutch, but its vibrant hue and amplified sleeves provide plenty of attention-grabbing detail!

If, however, cocktail parties and front-row tickets to the latest fashion shows are not on your agenda in the near future, you may want to take a look at the office-appropriate ways Rooney Mara and Carine Roitfeld wear 3D folds. The former teamed her Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Tri-Colour Wool Peplum Jacket ($2160) from the Pre-Fall 11 collection with an ASOS Playsuit with Shirt Detail ($90), tights, and simple Mary Jane pumps at a photocall for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo earlier this year in Madrid. Mara is fond of making a sartorial statement with one solitary piece; in this case, it's her structured wool topper, in complementary shades of taupe, brown, and black, with a flounced hem. The actress, who possesses a famously streamlined style aesthetic, grounded the look with a one-piece romper for a formal-meets-casual mix that we absolutely love. Street style favourite Roitfeld also chose to don Givenchy at the Prada store opening in Paris in late January. The former French Vogue editor-in-chief, however, opted for a more daring look in the label's Peplum Jacket ($4145, 212.826.8900) from the S/S 12 collection, featuring exaggerated lapels and a lavish peplum. Her slim pencil skirt tones down the jacket's voluminous shape, creating a flattering--and very striking--overall look!

Perhaps the most risk-taking getup we've spotted thus far is Josephine de la Baume's matching top-and-pants set at the John Galliano F/W 12 show in Paris earlier this month. The French actress and singer pulled off an on-trend monochromatic outfit in deep indigo; her sleek buttoned jacket adorned with precise overlapping folds appears effortlessly polished when paired with slacks in the same rich hue. A few well-chosen accessories, such as de la Baume's white clutch and flashy animal-print heels, break up the single-colour ensemble and inject the look with fashion-forward panache.

If you're folding under the pressure of this sophisticated trend (as we suspected you might after reading today's story), we've gathered some alternatives that can be seamlessly incorporated into your current wardrobe. Since a little black dress is every woman's basic go-to for a night out, it's the ideal way to try out 3D folds a la Mustaparta's look. We love BOSS' Stretch Wool Sheath Dress ($385), ASOS' Exclusive Corset Dress With Fold Detail ($49), The Limited's Jacquard Sheath Dress ($71), and A Detacher's Asymmetrical Cotton Dress ($670), which all feature gentle draping at the waistline or shoulders. Another way to achieve Mustaparta's look is by trying a shirt-and-skirt set; simply pair La Petite S*****'s Asymmetric Linen-Blend Top ($1015) with Tibi's Jacquard Skirt ($345). Together, the shirt's feminine pleats combined with the skirt's origami-like panels make up an intriguing 3D look! Should you prefer a cocktail number in a brighter hue, like Girardot's red frock, we've sourced four stunners that range from affordable to totally indulgent, including River Island's Origami Detail Dress ($81), ASOS' Aqua Bruni Origami Bandeau Mini Dress ($107), Opening Ceremony's Striped Jersey Dress ($275), and Roland Mouret's O'Hara Origami-Style Crepe Dress ($2040).

However, it's possible you'd rather give 3D folds a try in the form of a structured blazer; to channel Mara and Roitfeld's pulled-together ensembles, all you need is a jacket in a neutral, goes-with-everything shade. We culled Topshop's Folded Lapel Jacket ($110), Tahari's Arthur S. Levine Classics Linen Ruffle Front Blazer ($130), 3.1 Phillip Lim's Floating Peplum Jacket ($172) in Antique White, and Mark & James' Tweed Jacket ($400) in Oatmeal; each of these blazers feature strong lapels or a flouncy peplum that isn't overly fussy (and thus, still wearable for your 9-to-5). And while it's not easy finding unique pieces like de la Baume's shirt-and-pants set, we suggest these 3D dresses in a similar colour palette: Nasty Gal's Victoria Peplum Dress ($58) in Navy or ML Monique Lhuillier's Bridesmaids Origami Taffeta Sheath Dress ($198). No matter how you opt to wear 3D folds, we guarantee one thing: you won't be folding this trend away anytime soon!--Tiffany Tse

Burberry Prorsum runway photo, courtesy of Burberry Prorsum; photos of Josephine de la Baume, Hanneli Mustaparta, and Carine Roitfeld, courtesy of Getty Images; photos of Rooney Mara and Ana Girardot, courtesy of Splash News.