Just lately denim seems to be appearing more and more often in fashion shoots and editorial, but this is not Marlboro Man denim. Ever since Miu Miu’s SS2013 sleek back-slit denim pencil skirts and short flared tunics and jackets, there has been a shift towards haute denim, tailored and treated like suiting fabric.
This brings an interesting new angle to artisan denim, which has been with us for a while. Back in the distressed Levis age (late 80s), I remember making the pilgrimage to American Classics in London’s Endell street. It was a treasure trove of second hand, distressed and customised Levis. Customisation could take many forms but ringpull chain mail was one of my favourites.
I had forgotten all this until last spring when a story in April’s Paris Vogue featured Ashish’s distressed sequinned jeans. It was immediate, like an arrow through the heart: I had to have them. Luckily for my bank balance, they proved to be unavailable. For a moment I considered customising my own until I remembered the 80s, spending long evenings sewing patches and fabric inserts into distressed jeans, going to bed crossed-eyed and with perforated fingers. Then last winter I saw Junya Watanabe’s patchwork jeans in the shops and it felt like a long lost friend had returned.
But now we have dark denim, luxe denim, sophisticated denim and I’m smitten again. The best shoot I’ve seen appeared in the Financial Times’s How to Spend it Magazine, styled with pure genius by Damian Foxe. He paired a spectrum of blues with co-respondent brogues, lace, white organza and tailoring on super-groomed models. Every look was an absolute winner. Gorgeous, fresh to the eye and with such a glamorous feel.
So now I’m inspired and overwhelmingly grateful that this time I don’t have to get the needle and thread out myself.