It’s 2010, and denim is everywhere. Ripped, stained, bleached, wrinkled, patched, dyed, and embellished. It seems that the designers are up for trying every new technique they could think of on this staple fabric. Both heavy experimentation and sticking with the untouched classic blue jean are important looks this year.
Denim is becoming more formidable, moving beyond the confines of pop culture. Today, people are wearing jeans for every occasion. Take Steve Jobs of Apple for example, he is not seen in anything but blue jeans and black turtleneck for every new Apple introduction. The Wall Street Journal took note of this “Power Jeans” trend within high-ranking business and political circles. It has become appropriate to wear jeans in business.
Among the various denims we saw on the runway, the very dark, almost black dyes would transition well into a business look. When we need to look professional but want the functionality and durability of a pair of dungarees, we dress our denim up by throwing on a blazer, a button down, and a pair of boots.
We have been seeing some refreshing and rich new indigo washes on the runway (Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, and Burberry Prorsum). We also saw some interesting greys, and extremely faded, almost white hues (Acne, William Rast, Boy by Band of Outsiders). Some designers went a step further, experimenting with dyes that were Crayola-esque (Louis Vuitton).
With many now on a budget due to the economic climate, focusing on updating a staple wardrobe piece seems to make sense. You can see the designers are having fun playing with this classic textile. Marc Jacobs dyed, bleached, and frayed his looks for Louis Vuitton, and even embossed the LV logo into the fabric. Jean Paul Gaultier tried new silhouettes, overalls and bustiers with Madonna-inspired built-in cone bras, while D&G was all about the ripped, ruffled, and rustic (they introduced an interesting brown wash seen throughout the collection.)
Some designers decided to go denim head to toe: Shirts, dresses, skirts, jackets, bags, even shoes, were spotted in the textile. Some of these ensembles were in matching fabrics, but most were composed of mixed denim colors, often rendered in a sort of a patchwork bohemian look, somewhat reminiscent of the 80’s. In the 1980’s denim was a legendary muse in the design world. It was a great source of artistic experimentation and there was little that wasn’t done with the material. With the explosion of innovation we’ve seen this year with this fabric, well, what can we say? Looks like it’s coming around again.
Katherine Tyznik. HighStreet. New York