Sunday, 4 January 2009

2009 is the year I wake up to denim

Ever since my eyes were assaulted by a number of ill fitting all denim ensembles as I was growing up (images of Bon Jovi and more recently that picture of Britney and Justin wearing matching denim ensembles still haunt me to this day) so I tend to avoid denim. This fear has meant the only part denim has played in my wardrobe is to provide a few pairs of that icon of popular culture which are jeans...and nothing more. Over the years I have embarked on a number of quests to find the perfect pair of jeans, trying every manufacturer and style that I could get my hands on which has resulted in me drawing the conclusion that (in terms of menswear at least) there is little worse than shopping for this particular staple...If you are interested I fell in love with the french label APC two years ago now and wear little else because they fit me perfectly, although Uniqlo provide colourful alternatives which should not be overlooked. On the whole, when it comes to denim, despite a number of brands creating interesting denim creations I have let my preconceptions cloud my better judgement and ultimately I have not given this classic yet ever popular fabric the attention and imagination that it deserves. The time for change is now.

A number of Spring Summer 09 look books combined with a well written and image sourced piece within the latest issue of BUCK (which is in my opinion the best yet and will be reviewed later this week) have only heightened the intensity of the light bulb which hovers cartoon like above my head...denim offers more than mere jeans and should be celebrated and worn with gusto this Spring and beyond. The below collages show just some of the denim pieces, including shirts, backpacks and even jeans, which have made me open my eyes to this versatile and stylish fabric...


(Please click on the images to see them in all their glory and to save yourself squinting...)

The collages document a number of pieces from a variety of brands but hopefully they show my newly found admiration for denim. There are a few pieces which warrant more attention so I've picked out a few collections to give a little more information...

I've already noted on the blog how the Lanvin x Acne collaboration made me see denim in a different light so it should be no surprise that it features heavily here. Within this collection denim was used to create a relaxed formal and all round effortless style where rich textures and fabrics were used in a subtle combinations with denim. We saw deconstructed blazers and double breasted jackets teamed with denim shorts and loose fitting trousers, in a variety of hues (from my favourite indigo to that Spring favourite pale blue).

During Amsterdam Fashion Week, the first edition of the Amsterdam Denim Award was unanimously given to Eric Lebon. The Jury members which included Diane Pernet (A Shaded View on Fashion), Mr Yuji Yamasaki (buyer Beams Japan) and the Austrian designers Helga Schania and Hermann Fankhauser (Wendy&Jim) had the following to say: "Lebon creates a complete image which – as far as the silhouette and the use of denim are concerned – is innovative, yet comprehensible."

The work of Latvian artists and designers Mārīte Mastiņa and Rolands Pēterkops (both graduates of the Design and Art School of Riga) under the denim line MRJeans was recently featured on DazedDigital and StyleBubble and the combination of the surreal (both in terms of the photography and in the pieces themselves) with the basic has really left an impression. Jackets have asymmetrical cuts, innovative details are added to denim trousers whilst checked shirts have multiple collars layered one on top of the other that create a multi-structured effect

I've seen glimpses of the next instalment of the Raf Simons x Eastpak collaboration and the denim pieces are wonderful...overpriced but wonderful. I'm torn on the backpack because for me this is one of the best accessories that I've seen for some time but because it is essentially an Eastpak backpack (which were bought as widely affordable schoolbags in my youth), I don't think I can suppress the shrieks of pain and disbelief brought about at the £200 price tag...Away from the Eastpak collaboration Raf Simons has been experimenting with denim for both Jil Sander (as reported on WWD) and his very own Raf by Raf Simons label. The BUCK article showcased a couple pairs of dyed and bleached jeans from the Raf by Raf Simons (which I couldn't track down online) and have instilled a strong desire to replicate something similar by purchasing a cheap pair of red Uniqlo jeans and playing with bleach...as soon as I get my act together I will give it a go and let you see the results...

In summary, there can be little doubt that jeans are a true staple, Yves Saint Laurent once remarked; "I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes." In my mind, up until recently at least, denim equals jeans and little else. Judging by its inclusion in a significant number of SS09 shows and look books we will be seeing a lot more of denim in the coming months. Previously, this might have scared me but now I am eager to experiment with this great fabric.

14 comments:

DK said...

Nice blog, loving the post. Just an opinion really but I think you've overlooked the humble Cheap Monday. Whilst it's nice to have good quality denim (I've owned a couple of pairs of Japanese Diors) the Cheap Monday fit is pretty nice and they're cheap. Behave had a sample sale a little bit ago and I bought a pair of Cheap Mondays for under £20 which fit like a dream and the weight of the denim is probably around the same as my Diors. There's nothing better than clothes you can wreck guilt free.

Ian Brown said...

Solid. The Jil Sanders "Canadian tuxedo" was a great statement. Lanvin x Acne's denim dresses were more impressive than their men's collection, both understated and modern.

Thanks for mentioning Eric Lebon. I hadn't heard of him and I'm taking a shine to his outwear.

Style Salvage Steve said...

DK - Thanks for reading! I agree that Cheap Monday offer some great affordable styles but the fit isn't perfect for me (curse my footballing legs)...Within the post I meant to add that there are a wealth of great denim brands out there, atleast one for everybody! In terms of customisation (at the very least) Ebay is a great source and I've got my eye on a few items...

IanBrown - I agree that the female pieces within the Lanvin x Acne collaboration were more interesting...but I still love the double breasted blazer and shorts...Lebon should certainly get more attention, I love his work!

j said...

Well, Levi Straus bought the denim to make tents with. He then made jeans with the denim...a stroke of fashion genius. But frankly, I think tents and jeans are about it for denim.

RetroVintageModStyle said...

The best jeans ever imo are the Levis 501s.

chael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheSundayBest said...

If you get a denim blazer so help me god I will never stop laughing at you.

Style Salvage Steve said...

J - It certainly was a stroke genius, a true inventing the wheel moment. Surely, though, the fact that it was being used for tents first (though according to wiki - the Genoans first used denim for it Navy uniforms) shows how versatile this fabric is.
RetroModVintage - They are certainly one of the most iconic and I want to love them...but again I've just never been satisfied by the fit because I've not found my perfect size. I must admit that I've not tried them for a year or two so I will give them another try.
TheSundayBest - Before that cynical smirk turns into laughter, I will have you eating your words. ;) Although, I'm much more likely to purchase a denim bag...I can't really see myself in donning all denim enembles but I want to introduce the fabric into my everyday wear a little bit more...

TheSundayBest said...

Never. Stop. Laughing.

Simon W said...

I think growing up as I have has meant that I always look down on the denim jacket and shirt as being the mainstray of the slightly desperate middle aged man on the well known mid-life crisis.

Is it really possible that these items will make it from mainstream fashion catwalks to the student lands of Topman?

Style Salvage Steve said...

TheSundayBest - haha!
Simon W - I shared those feelings but we might just see a change. I have the same reservations when it comes to leather jackets!

Simon W said...

*Insert shock and horror here* You don't like leather jackets? I have one of the most gorgeous leather jackets ever, for all of £50. (Sale bargins, oh yes). I appreciate that high street leather is never going to be as good as designer leather but i'm still in love with it.

With the right fit, how can leather not be a young persons clothing? James dean, Hedi Slimane and leather bomber jackets, and all the indie kids i see around town just prove this.

You don't like leather jackets? I think I need to lie down! :P

Style Salvage Steve said...

Simon W - Ha! It's not that I don't like them all...my idea of leather jackets have just been somewhat tarnished by mid life crisis men. I agree that they can look great...the price tags of the ones I like are just a little out of my reach (for now), I'd rather put the money to my Suit Fund.

Simon W said...

I eat my words! I just saw a denim shirt in Topman...and I liked it!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails