Raleigh Denim Workshop‘s FW’12 presentation was a parade of classic American looks, illuminated (ironically) by the darkest textile on the presentation floor: gorgeous selvedge denim. The North Carolina-based brand (which produces their denim locally via non-automated jeansmiths and vintage sewing machinery) showed for the first time in New York this season. They presented both men’s and women’s styles, all with a consistent theme of woodland-prep, tailored button-down shirts, and a tame, classic color story.
The clothes were all beautiful, but the focus was the eco-friendly denim, created using locally sourced materials from the Mills of Greensboro, NC (which was once a thriving center for denim production). Designers and husband/wife team Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko bring the workshop concept to life through production, one-by-one inspection, limited edition runs, stamped leather patches with unique edition numbers, and signatures on every pair of denim they lovingly release into the world.
To see local garment production make a come back, however small, gives the eco-conscious consumer a bit of hope. This blip on the NYFW radar was rooted in an urgent ethical & environmental movement. Raleigh Denim, while remaining painfully stylish and appealing to all matter of urban folk, is at the forefront of a beautiful era of change, and we can’t wait to share more of their message.
More photos below:
Stay tuned for our interview with designers Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko!
We were invited to the GUESS & GUESS By Marciano Spring 2012 preview party last week to scope out what the brand is offering next season, and this first photo sums it up on the ladies’ end! Strong primary colors and pastels mixed with jewel tones, neons, bold prints, and sportswear that styles seamlessly from a day at the office to a night on the dance floor. Prints were a huge focus and came in varieties like floral, zebra stripe, and Monet-esque motifs that met in the middle of casual and elegant.
The denim silhouette of choice? The cropped-skinny jean! Styled with? Sheer button-down blouses and rocker-chic jackets. We also spied a long denim skirt we would love to prance around on the beach in this summer. See below for more, including the men’s styles.
Check out the fresh spring collection and stylish attendees below:
Hudson Jeans showed a delicious palette of sorbet hues for their spring 2012 colored denim in vintage-inspired desaturated washes. The Nico super-skinny midrise was translated into everything from banana yellow to watermelon (can’t you almost taste them?), and also appeared in more classic light and dark blue washes. Among our favorite styles, an acid wash cropped skinny with an ankle zipper, dark-wash houndstooth-printed shorts, and a series of metallic coated jeans in silver, icy blue, and gold, which stylists are apparently pulling like crazy for spring editorials.
Not punk enough for you? They’re also running a paint-splatter jean and metallic snake skin skinnies for the party animals in the audience, and a gorgeous oversized feather-print motif white jean that will inevitably end up on numerous A-list celebs. Naturally we scoped out the new tuxedo pant as well, but we’re not as crazy about those. Believe us, the best color combos for that style are coming out in the summer! (We saw ’em all, but we can’t give you the details yet.)
Personalized denim is revolutionized with Scott Morrison’s denim boutique 3×1 in Soho. Morrison, a denim experimentalist, has been influencing the loom for sometime as the co-founder of Paper Denim & Cloth and Earnest Sewn. We recently met up with 3×1 at PROJECT NY for an up-close look at their custom denim services. Morrison recently opened up in an interview with Racked about his innovative denim bar that combines a chic aesthetic and the comfort of knowing what you are getting. Morrison describes, “people come in, they don’t know if it’s a fabric store or a jean shop or what, but this beautiful sea of denim is probably the most captivating thing.”
The space features glass floor-to-ceiling cubes where the denim construction takes place. Unique to any other company, 3×1 combines the precision and detail of factory work with the elegance of a pair of jeans that are tailored to perfection. 3×1 is complete with a collection of selvage denim like no other, is ready to customize your dream jean or revamp your worn and torn favorite pair. The craftsmanship and dedication to the denim process is reason alone to check out 3×1 and their form fitting fits.
When we chatted with Kuro Denim at PROJECT NY we were really impressed with the detail and thoughtfulness that we saw in each pair of the Japanese brand’s jeans. They launched with a spring 2010 line under the name Kuro (which translates to black). A blurb in their latest lookbook explains that the name Kuro was chosen because the word represents “darkness and loneliness with an image of great mystery and great strength.” Fabrics include two variations coined Nihon Menpu and Yoshikawa Orimono, and the line comes in a range of fits, from slim tapered to skinny to wide straight.
The real magic is in the detailing and wash of their jeans, our favorite of which looked like they’d been worn lovingly for many years. Artistic, yet modest and clean stitching on the back waistband and “dirty” facades created using fading, distressing, and splashes of paint are just two examples of innovative (but not over-used) approaches we were shown. Some of the jeans are made to look like the factory worker’s jeans, reinforcing the origin of denim as a utility fabric for the working class. After getting up close to the denim, we left feeling like Kuro is a pricey denim brand that delivers a product worth investing in.
We’ll definitely be keeping up with them, so stay tuned. Check out the men’s denim styling tips we picked up from them during this same visit.
Being five feet tall is something Sarah at Denim Therapy has come to terms with in her 29 years. She makes Eric get the jeans that are on the high shelves, and she has become an expert at standing on chairs when necessary. But, when she discovered Swedish denim company d.brand made jeans in her perfect waist size, she decided it was time to stop rolling her hems and get jeans that actually fit. Watch her talk about the revelation she had and get a sneak peak into the Denim Therapy office where all the magic happens.
Doctrine Jeans has a red hot men’s denim style in the queue for fall 2012, and according to the inside sources, buyers are going nuts over it. Here’s your exclusive sneak peek! It’s the men’s Teflon coated 100% cotton jean. They’re being manufactured in the slim straight fit, with an option of three color ways: rum raisin (pictured), carafe, and charcoal grey. And because it’s the little things that add up to everything, these jeans feature a coin pocket conveniently big enough for your cellphone. We have your first look at this soon to be VIP style below (they officially drop in late summer 2012).
Crimson Cross denim, presented at PROJECT by The Brooklyn Circus, is one rugged line of jeans. Inspired by vintage racecar driving heritage, their motto is “Denim + Sex + Fast Cars = Crimson Label” (to the point, no?) and they specialize in selvedge denim. They produce limited pairs of hand-finished jeans, each arriving in the customer’s hand with an “exclusive” membership card, allowing for access to future customization. The trade show set-up was, like BK Circus, among the coolest. Check it out below.
The Brooklyn Circus is a Brooklyn-based menswear & denim shop that specializes in nostalgia, but manages to stay entirely relevant. Aside from having one of the coolest set-ups at PROJECT NY (think vintage school lockers and seriously antique football and boxing gear), they offer sought-after outerwear, jeans, shoes, and… fine, we’ll say it: street cred. And while they serve the men of NYC with their scholastic take on becoming a dandy, the ladies can rest assure they’ll look great in these “boyfriend” jackets too. Didn’t date the quarterback in high school? No worries, this is just as fun.
Custom jeans are all the rage right now, as denim shoppers increasingly crave a personalized, made-to-order product that they can really be proud of. A few years ago, the idea of designing your own jeans wasn’t even tangible. Now you have to sort through the various design studios willing to make your custom denim dreams come true. One such company is 3×1, a bespoke denim maker that lets you select your fabric, fit, trims, buttons, pockets, belt loops, and everything else you need to end up with a finished product you can truly call your own creation.
Your meeting begins with the head pattern maker and a team of denim experts who’ve already pulled together some ideas for you to browse, and from there, the sky’s the limit. Custom denim starts at $1,200 and you can learn more about the process here.