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Elvis Style: From Zoot Suits to Jumpsuits

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Elvis Style: From Zoot Suits to Jumpsuits


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Have you heard the new theories that the King is alive?! If you are an Elvis fan (who isn’t?) then you have good reason to be excited this summer. A fantastic new book dedicated to Elvis’ wardrobe will be available July 1st. Elvis Style: From Zoot Suits to Jumpsuits by Zoey Goto is the perfect summer read for not only the avid Elvis fan, but also for those interested in the history of American style. The book is an in-depth review of Elvis’ impact on American fashion both during his lifetime and his continuing influence on designers today. Filled with 175 vivid photos including rarely seen garments from the King’s private collection, Elvis Style contains eye candy on every page making this book hard to put down. To help shed light on the legend Goto interviewed leading design experts including stylist Patrica Fields, Academy Award winning costume designer Mark Bridges and Hal Lanksy of Evlis’ favorite tailoring house, Lanksy Bros.

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Left: Elvis in denim suit for Jailhouse Rock. Right: Elvis’ white denim tiger suit.
Photos provided by Zoey Goto.

We were personally interested in learning about Elvis’ relationship with denim and we were not disappointed. Remember Elvis’ denim jacket and drainpipe jeans he wore in Jailhouse Rock? Denim uniforms had roots in the penitentiary system due to its durability and the Jailhouse Rock outfit helped cement denim as the fabric of youthful rebellion. We learned from Goto that ironically, Elvis later avoided wearing denim on stage as he associated it with the poverty of his childhood and opted most often for suits or leather instead. With this in mind his intensifying penchant for luxe, outlandish designs throughout his career makes sense as he was ever-determined to upstage himself. Elvis would grace the stage in a Canadian tuxedo once more about two 20 years later- this time in a white denim Tiger suit. Elvis is arguably the first true celebrity- saturated in the media and marketed globally as a product. Goto’s thorough exploration of his relationship with American culture and his impact on fashion makes this book a fascinating must-read.Elvis_cover

 

 

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Posted Jul 01 2016 in Denim Fashion » Denim Menswear » Reviews: Product

Style Bloggers (Still) Love Denim On Denim


Top fashion blog a pair & a spare revealed a double denim look recently, providing evidence that this double application of our favorite fiber hasn’t left the realm of on-trend just yet. And really, it may never fade. Why? Because it’s seriously chic, and there are as many ways to approach it as there are denim washes.

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Visit the blog to learn more about this look.

—DT Staff

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Posted Oct 22 2013 in Denim Fashion » Street Style Watch

A Quick Denim History Through Vintage Jeans Ads


It’s time for a history lesson! We’ve been hearing a lot about the origins of denim fabric lately, with the recent discovery of 17th century paintings of Italian peasants wearing denim. The denim jeans that we know and love today however, began with the invention of rivets by a German immigrant named Levi Strauss, and were first seen as mining garb in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s cowboys began wearing denim jeans, and the rest, friends, is history.

Below, we’ll take a look at the evolution of denim jeans through ads over the last century. Be sure to check out the amazing 3-piece denim tuxedo on the Ken-like model from the 70s!

The above ad is from the 1940s. Mainly seen as workers uniforms in previous years, suburban America began transitioning into jeans with the wild popularity of Western movies.

The best propaganda is always the type coming from the taller, more handsome guy in the letterman’s jacket! In the 1950s, those cowboy loving little boys grew into young adults, and jeans become an icon of cool. The jeans were stiff (raw denim’s equivalent today) and needed to be worn in (think cuffed jeans from The Little Rascals and Sandlot, and Marlon Brando’s Rebel Without a Cause).

In the 1960’s, stretch is introduced with the addition of 2% lycra, and the super tight jean is born. Women begin to have to lay on their beds and use pliers to zip up their jeans.

 

An already crazy time for fashion; new distressing processes, embellishments, fits, and styles were experimented with in the 70s. Check out this guy’s 3 piece denim flared suit!

In the 1980’s, denim goes high fashion. Big name designers begin coming out with their own styles, like in this Versace ad featuring Nadia Auermann and Claudia Schiffer.  And acid wash was popularized. We mustn’t forget about acid wash.

We had fun looking up old ads this week. Stay tuned for some bizarre denim commercials in the future!

—Renee Sykes

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Posted Apr 29 2011 in Denim Therapy
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