Christian Dior, Haute Couture, AW14, Paris.
Pintucks are a versatile textile detail that can be used in different ways to add texture to garments. They are created by folding the fabric and sewing only 1-2mm from the folded edge. Once the fabric is opened flat, this creates a tiny ridge on the surface of the garment. They are often used in multiple rows and at different widths to create different directional effects.
This is one of those techniques that can easily be dismissed because it often appears in staid garments, but it can be used as part of more contemporary collections. The examples shown are from the Christian Dior Haute Couture collection for Autumn-Winter 2014, where they were mainly used in sheer fabrics to create delicate details.
Pintucks are often used to great effect when they are used to help guide the eye of the viewer around the garment, for example they can be used to create visual illusions to widen or narrow parts of the body, or in the case of one of the Dior dresses, the pintucks from the bodice flow down into the pleats in the top of the skirt. In this case the design lines effectively flow continuously from the shoulder to the hem of the garment, even though the line is created using two different techniques.
More details from this same collection were covered in the post Structural Waist Shaping at Dior Couture»
Images from Vogue.co.uk»