Well, it’s no secret that we all love denim here. We love to wear it, shop for it, dig through our closets for it–you get the picture. It’s also no secret that we love to look at it, especially in the many denim adverts we come across while thumbing through a magazine or browsing our favorite fashion sites and blogs. Oh, and we can’t forget those astronomically large and attention-grabbing billboards that showcase them on a major level. From high-end designer denim to the more moderately priced, there is so much time, effort, and money that goes into these campaigns that ultimately serve to entice us. But what is it about them that intrigues us, really?
I think most would agree that more often than not it’s the overall statement that does the trick. The lifestyle. The story that’s persuading us to fall in love–and sometimes in lust–with the picture, and ultimately the product, which in this case would be our guilty pleasure, denim. But beyond the punchy images, the dash of humor, irony, art, and not to mention sensuality, what is it ultimately that reaches out to us that makes the whole thing so memorable? Think about it, what would your reaction be if all you saw up on a huge billboard was a pair of jeans on a hanger?
Ultimately what completes it all and breathes life into these campaigns are the muses! The models, actors, and celebs that add that final splash of a allure.
Let’s face it, what would that iconic 1981 Calvin Klein Jeans campaign have been without Brooke Shields? “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” Imagine, what impact would it have had if anyone else had said it? Of course we’ll never know, but it was the teenage Shields who brought in that je ne sais quoi.
Photo by Richard Avedon
Needless to say this campaign created a recurring theme for the brand, which went on to be one of the most commercially successful designer labels for thirty years, and I think it’s safe to say that it was in huge part thanks to Shields.
A decade later Klein set out to do it again. The muse this time: then 18-year-old Kate Moss. Moss appeared topless wearing CK underwear hitched over the waistband of her jeans. Also adding to this iconic campaign was the unequivocal star of ads, Mark Wahlberg who was better knows as Marky Mark at the time.
Photo by Bruce Weber
Moss has continued to be the muse for Calvin Klein to present day. The iconic 90s adverts and Moss changed the course of fashion single-handedly bringing in the age of grunge and what she’s come to be infamously known for, the era of “heroin chic” a look characterized by pale skin and jutting bones and an androgynous appeal. A look which to today is still sought after by many designers, and which is still used as a source of inspiration.
It’s safe to say that no one has been able to match the success that Moss has had, but one girl who had definitely given her a run for her title is none other than Erin Wasson. Not only does this native Texan have “the look” but she has the style and the attitude to have successfully earned her place as one of the hottest models in the world.
The original Model Off Duty, whose peculiar yet effortless style of sportswear meets grunge and haphazard taloring, has taken a hiatus from full-time modeling. Not to say she hasn’t been the muse for many a campaign. The Maybelline New York spokesmodel has worked with every major international photographer and fashion designer and has graced the cover of Allure, French Vogue, and The Facejust to name a few. She was most recently in a multimedia campaign for denim brand William Rast in which she starred alongside co-owner of the brand Justin Timberlake. It must have been her Southern belle politeness and refinement yet devil-may-care attitude that landed her the part of Timberlakes love interest.
What’s so great about Wasson is that she refuses to just be another face. She may not be a full-timemodel anymore but that’s because she’s got a heavy hand in the creative side of the fashion world as a designer for RVCA designing her own line of low-key, chic grunge looks (including a denim range) rightfully called Erin Wasson x RVCA proving that a muse goes beyond only selling you that one pair of jeans on a billboard. What really gets us and intrigues us about them is their passion and infatuation for creating this world and culture we all love called fashion. The jeans are just an added perk!
Do you have any denim muses? Share with us, we’d love to know!
Tags: Brooke Shields, Calvin Klein Jeans, Erin Wasson, Erin Wasson X RVCA, Kate Moss, Mark Wahlberg
Fashion enthusiasts and industry insiders have long admired Erin Wasson’s paired-down personal style, as her look is unwaveringly cool and thoroughly uncontrived. We’ve always appreciated her wardrobe selections as well, primarily because she’s adept at mixing edgy pieces and laidback basics in an incredibly appealing way. In short: she stands out from the neo-boho or prim-and-pretty pack. Now, the world at large can achieve a similar sexy-utilitarian style, with a little help from the supermodel-turned-stylist’s first clothing collection??”Erin Wasson x RVCA.
The line marks the start of a three-year collaboration between Wasson and RVCA (an amazing, arts-supporting, surf/skate/lifestyle brand) and is comprised of highly wearable pieces. There’s a perfectly worn-in pair of boyfriend jeans done in bleached-out denim (crucial for spring), fashionably oversized tees and tanks, and tiny jean cutoffs, similar to the designer’s own celebrated pairs. There’s a perfectly proportioned blazer for the slightly more conservative buyer and an acid wash vest that will certainly appeal to the downtown customer. Rounding out the collection are a few nineties-inspired essentials, including a cropped black bustier with crisscrossing straps and a sweet little floral dress.
Wasson’s own vintage collection and wardrobe favorites inspired many of these debut pieces. In her typical no-fuss style, she acknowledges that the items might not be revolutionary, but they will easily slip into anyone’s wardrobe. ???I can hardly call myself a ???designer??? really,??? she says. ???It’s a collection of certain pieces that we all love and adore??”a pair of jeans, a tailored jacket??”but it’s very interchangeable, so you can wear everything together, in a million different ways.???
Unlike some design partnerships, Wasson was thoroughly immersed in the creation of her line, from picking buttons to serving as the art director for the look book. Her hands-on involvement is clear; even the smallest details were elevated with thoughtful touches. Take, for example, the fact that Wasson enlisted two of her artist pals, Spencer Sweeney and Hisham Bharoocha, to create the artwork for the hangtags and jacket linings. By partaking in the process so intimately, Wasson successfully created a deeply personal collection, one that is certainly worth seeking out.
But enough back-story, dear readers, it is time to discuss the clothing particulars. Please read on for Wasson’s words about what inspired the collection, as well as how she suggests styling each piece. The line will be available at LaGarconne in mid-February, as well as at Opening Ceremony, Barney’s Co-op, and Ron Herman in Melrose and Malibu. ??”additional reporting by Madison Robbins
Black Heart Bustier ($175)
???This top is hot to trot,??? Wasson says. ???It looks great with any of the denim shorts??”just throw on a pair of Louboutins and go out dancing all night!??? If you’re not sure about wearing such about brief outfit, or just want to make it a little more formal, try the top with a pair of high-waisted dress shorts (for midriff coverage) or trousers and a blazer.
Hish Jean Shorts ($230)
???Denim cutoffs aren’t complicated, but they can be so chic,??? Wasson says. ???They’re also unbelievably sexy!??? She created two styles for spring??”the Hish, seen above, and the Lover ($287)??”both of which add a playful element to any outfit. To give the Hist an unexpected pop of color, Wasson added a Bharoocha-designed patch on the back of the shorts. She suggests wearing the cutoffs with the Unknown Legend Vest ($250).
Hard Nation Blazer ($250)
We’re a little jaded about blazers, since there are so many on the market, but even we must admit that Wasson’s version is something special. ???From the front, it looks like a normal blazer, but in the back, you get a little pizzazz,??? she says. Lots of pizzazz, as it turns out! The jacket has a double zip up the back, so you can customize the look. That’s not all: the blazer’s lined with a lightening bolt print fabric (which is subtle, we swear), so if you decided to roll the cuffs, you’ll get a little style flash!
Grateful Acid Wash Vest ($200)
Wasson wanted to riff on the traditional vest, which she certainly accomplished with her acid wash version! ???It’s my take on the three-piece suit,??? she explains. ???Instead of wearing a proper vest and a pair of pants, you can throw on the acid wash??”just to throw in a weird element.??? Personally, we appreciated its boldness and statement-making style: it’s Givenchy meets Judas Priest.
EZ-E Tee ($50)
The inspiration behind Wasson’s aptly named oversized t-shirt came from personal DIY experiments. ???I used to buy a three-pack of Hanes t-shirts and would cut the v-neck out, so that it had a really raw edge,??? she says. Of course, the Erin Wasson x RVCA version is a little more luxe (it’s made from pima cotton jersey) and tweaked for better style, like a stitch in the sleeve to give it a permanent roll.
Gin Soaked Jeans ($220)
As you probably know by now, the boyfriend jean is the must-have denim silhouette as of late, and Wasson’s beautifully pale version looks super fresh right now. ???I’d rock these with a blazer, or one of the tank tops and a beaded vest,??? Wasson says. In other words, either play up the androgynous angle or femme things up with an embellished waistcoat and a slightly bare shirt. Click here to read more…
From the looks of the denim offerings, the collection sounds more like a blast from the 80s — not that Erin Wasson would remember any of it — when young party goers would talk their way into various clubs on the Sunset Strip to rock the night away, get booze spilled on their jeans by someone more out of it than you, and ride home on the back of some aspiring rock god’s Harley. Not that I’m speaking from experience, but it seems not much has changed in Hollywood. I can see the skater-California-laidback inspirations in the line, but I think it is overshadowed by the grunge-mullet imagery that can be conjured from an acid washed denim vest and ripped, ”carwash” jeans. This is a tricky line to wear. If you’re a supermodel, you can probably get away with most of it. If you happen to have a pair of Louboutins, you might be safe with the denim shorts. Otherwise, I’d wait till the line goes on sale at Barney’s.
– Kathy Ng Hassan
Tags: Erin Wasson, RVCA