Between London, Paris, and Milan, there was a whirlwind of denim to keep up with, but we’re making it easy for you by sharing our top 10 favorite denim collections. From Balenciaga’s broken front row bench (Anna Wintour had to stand!) , Gareth Pugh’s models in caged dresses, and Alexander McQueen’s use of lace head pieces,Spring 2012 European Fashion Weeks took more risks, exuded romance and signaled a return to the art behind couture that industry faves like Prabal Gurung craves so much. Designers are taking chances and we like what we’re seeing (well not all of it but that’s the point of this post isn’t it?).
In London, we love Henry Holland’s cloud-like look of bleach splatters on the high-waisted skinny jeans (also shown in another color scheme of peaches and cream). The color palette is pastel but with an edge, as the colors aren’t dulled down but rather pop out. The lavender high-waisted skinny jeans come with an almost animal-like printed spot on them, which have a much more nighttime feel than the bleached jeans.
Marques’Almeida certainly stood out during LFW, if that was even possible. Their take on frayed and ripped jeans and repurposed denim—in this case jeans that look like a DIY project gone out of control—is both visually interesting and creative. The creations exude a tribal nature while exerting a sense of raw rebellion. We hesitate to think the collection is actually wearable, but we give kudos for this entry into the substantial use of denim in a collection.
Paris Fashion Week definitely had a denim fest worth crushing over. Balmain took coated denim to a new level of class by pairing it with light-wash denim for a pantsuit as well as a futuristic denim mini dress that we absolutely fell in love with! We mean after all, if the world is ending in 2012, this is what we want to be wearing!
Isabel Marant was all over the place (in a good way) at PFW with patchwork denim, more bleached denim, and even a scribble print pair of skinny jeans. When you want the comfort of denim but want to take a chance that a pair of blue jeans just can’t give you, look here.
Keeping the ethnic and tribal print trend going strong, Paul & Joe brought a luxe version of the American South West to Paris mixing sheer lurex knits and metallic leather jeans in gold and bronze with bright silk ikat separates. This collection also marks the revival of hippie-chic embroidered jeans and handbags. Get into it because this is definitely the new take on bohemian style!
A decidedly architectural collection with exaggerated shoulders and bold proportions, Balenciaga‘s jeans for women were marked by frontal pleats and a cinched-waist; a method to exaggerate a woman’s slim waistline. A nod to the classic denim jacket, a satiny, over-sized re-interpretation in color blocks is embedded into the collection.
While Milan Fashion Week seemed to be marked by opulence, retro silhouettes and a return to couture, denim collections seemed to be conceived from another planet (save D&G‘s colorful handkerchief prints pieced with denim). The Dsquared2 collection for next season looks playfully urban chic. We love the pompom finish on the denim shorts, as well as the dip-dye boot cut jeans—looking dirty never looked so good!
Leave it to D&G to make foulard look so sexy! The whole collection centers on the print used as everything from killer shoes to blouses with denim details like pockets and full-on sleeves, to gorgeous summer evening dresses. This is the great au revoir to D&G as it will be combined with the Dolce & Gabbana brand after this season.
Also at MFW, the Bottega Veneta Men’s Collection combined leather and denim for a completely hot look, although we do have to say that we’d like to see those pieces as separates. We like the denim on denim style here also, which we think really only works thanks to the dark wash and minimalist detailing. The real eye-catcher was the tye-dye denim pants that almost look spray painted on. We love it on the runway but aren’t sure how well these would work in the real world.
In contrast to Roberto Cavalli‘s golden flapper dresses and couture detailing, his more casual Just Cavalli collection presented leather and metallic jeans styled in a Euro-Boho ensemble. There was some heavy-handed embroidery and pocket detailing, but the denim peasant blouse was one of the few separates we felt was worth a second look. The entire collection boldly displays some of the season’s hottest trends: python patterns and metallic jeans.
Images via Style.com.
While the Spring 2012 Fashion Weeks had some great looks, we hope designers such as Alber Elbaz, Hussein Chalayan, Stella McCartney and even Rick Owens will lend back their talents and generate new buzz for women’s denim. The relaunch of Kenzo in Paris, by the newly-appointed Creative Directors, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (Co-Founders of Opening Ceremony) who garnered rave reviews for their colorful fishnet print collection, showed creations which could easily be reinterpreted into denim. We know designers are inspired by denim, so we hope we get to see the actual textile play a more dominant role next season.
—Elyssa Linden, Kathy Ng Hassan & Sandoval Gomez
Tags: Bottega Veneta, coated denim, D&G, Denim Menswear, denim shorts, dip dye denim, Dsquared, foulard prints, Henry Holland, high-waisted jeans, ikat prints, Isabel Marant, Just Cavalli, London Fashion Week, metallic jeans, Milan Fashion Week, patchwork denim, Roberto Cavalli, silk ikat separates, skinny jeans
As one of the leading pioneers for the skinny jean silhouette (as you’ve seen in their Fall 2011 Lookbook review) Superfine has made it’s mark on denim history. The Superfine woman is modern and styled (and a little bit rock’n'roll). The collection covers a range of sexy, dark washes: think black, grays, and deep purple. Accelerating Superfine’s chic turn towards a full ready-to-wear collection is a focus on jerseys and silks as well as tons of wool that builds on the strong jeans section. They’re basically covering all of the bases. We had the chance to talk jeans with Superfine’s designer, Lucy Pinter…
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
Superfine: I was styling and used denim all the time. I desperately wanted a clean rock’n'roll skinny jean for my work but no one made them. I was taping bootlegs and trying to retouch out the distressing. I decided to try to make some myself.
DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition? How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
Superfine: Not really. I think we are different. Superfine is what I would call a “fashion denim based line”. Not just jeans but a full ready to wear collection with the focus on denim and fashion pieces in the jeans section. Our image is very different to any other jeans lines I see. Maybe Balmain compares but price point is completely different and the rest of their line is not like ours (glitzy dresses etc). They do a great jean though. Acne could compare but i think the fashion jeans we do are really only available from us. I like Acne a lot actually but it’s a different brand.
DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
Superfine: Not really. I begin research alone and only work with one guy on the sketches. If I’m honest, research usually begins in my pijamas on the computer in bed. Once the idea is clear, I send my product manager in Italy and the designer I work with on sketches all images for a mood board, after this, we work between my studio and the factory in Italy on fabric allocation and design. It’s a small team of only 3 including design and production management.
DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
Superfine: The girl is little bit fashion, a little bit rock”roll, a little bit chic. The boy is the guy that likes this kind of girl. The Boy is not “too” fashion but likes to look cool. Someone who understands clothes and appreciates details. But now it can be anyone. I get excited seeing anyone in my clothes regardless of how they wear it if I’m honest.
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s?
Superfine: In SS (in stores now) you have softer colors in strong ideas. A hippy girl with attitude. For AW, its much more tough. Lots of black, grey, dark purple. It’s a “gypsy punk” collection with more wool than ever before and a strong selection of pants and jeans.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
Superfine: Right now I would love to collaborate with Isabel Marant. All round dream collaboration would be Rick Owens. I’ve pretty much only worn Superfine and Rick Owens for years and years…no plans right now but I do love collaborating so watch this space.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
Supefine: The “adventure” jean has been our number one selling jean for three seasons now. It has a slightly low crotch, twisted seam and elastic insert. I personally like it with jersey tops with volume but a fitted jacket to nip in waist. It gives a great silhouette. It’s also great rolled up in summer with a heel to give a slightly fashion chino feel. Our fashion pieces with leather have also sold well – mostly in skinny styles. Worn best with boots, cool oversized distressed jersey tees and tailored or biker style jackets.
DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
Superfine: I don’t think I ever really think too much about trends. A skinny jean will always be good regardless of trends. I must confess to being a little “over” the legging though. Bring back denim I say!
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
Superfine: Maybe subconsciously more than I know. I think now I am living in Paris, while the vibe of the label is really London, it is probably more chic now than it was before.
DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
Superfine: I would be afraid to count!
DT: Favorite celeb wearing your brand?
Superfine: Kate Moss
You can learn more about Superfine London Jeans by visiting their website.
Tags: Acne Jeans, Balmain, Denim Therapy, fall lookbook, Isabel Marant, Kate Moss, lucy pinter, q&a, Rick Owens, skinny jeans, Superfine