Interiors have always been as susceptible to trends as fashion but in the past couple of years that trend cycle has rapidly sped up. Thanks to the combined forces of lockdown and fast homeware, virtually every homeware item has had its aesthetic moment in the sun.
Bedding is no exception. When we couldn't leave our homes, our beds went from being primarily functional spaces that we left each morning to being ever present. Some people even chose or had to work from bed. Our bedding gets far more regular use than other soft furnishings and is more affordable than furniture, giving it a particular aesthetic role in the home.
And so as people sought new and (relatively) affordable ways to be and feel cosy, and grew sick of looking at the same old bedsheets, the trends sped up. Linen came to dominate, from warm roses to cooler beiges; sage green became a neutral in and of itself; the '70s revival brought a slew of tubular, repeating patterns; cottagecore asserted itself with delicate floral spreads; and the minimalists got on board with bouclé spreads (and headboards).
For the social media personalities who have cultivated an audience by sharing their aesthetic sensibilities, the home is another set for photoshoots. Each room is the opportunity to communicate something about yourself. Whether you are an established or aspirational 'influencer', an unmade bed with beautiful, expensive-looking sheets glimpsed in the back of an Instagram story or a TikTok communicates just the right level of insouciance – to make your bed ahead of posting would be to try too hard but the unmade bed luckily (deliberately) lends to the aesthetic. With the right sheets, what looks lazy and messy in one environment can look cosy and aspirational in another.
All of which leads to the new trend for ruched or seersucker bedding. The most popular iteration comes from the Korean lifestyle brand Gata, which started appearing on the beds of models and influencers over the summer. The style, called Big Waves, comes in five colours (ivory, mint, pink, navy and black) and is reminiscent of the fashion trend for seersucker dresses and ruched sleeves. Unlike other textural bedding there is a string on the side of the quilt which allows you to shape the irregular waves and wrinkles across the bed. It feels reminiscent of a royal canopy bed (or a Sofia Coppola iteration of one) and although it is made from 100% washed cotton, the way that the light hits the many folds makes it look almost silken, adding to the expensive feel.
It makes sense why the deliberately mussed up look paired with the expensive feel is getting popular – Gata is available to ship to Canada and there are retailers, particularly on Etsy, making their own ruched offerings, while Habitat's seersucker sheets also share similarities. But that doesn't mean the style isn't divisive: while some of my R29 colleagues cooed at the pictures I sent to the group Slack, others (myself included) balked at the sheer volume of texture, especially on the pillow. I get it, but I definitely wouldn't want to sleep in it. To me, the textural folds present too much potential for the gathering of dust and dry skin. Delightful.
Wherever you fall in the debate, it is a genuinely interesting take on bedding, something that has been standardized for years. Either way, the trend cycle keeps churning and we'll doubtless be seeing more versions from high street retailers in no time.