It was a big season for denim on the runways and while runway looks don’t always feed through to the mainstream jeans offer, as far as the fashion rails in-store are concerned, it should mean an outbreak of double, triple and quadruple denim looks come transitional drops time early next year.
Forget contemporary finishes, the distressing and massive strategic rips we’ve loved in recent years, the finishes for the SS19 season look back to the 80s and 90s when the palest washes and bleached-out or selective bleached effects were the big fashion stories. Rips and tears were a bit smaller then too. To match the finishes, styling was also retro with pleat top jeans, ‘mom’ cuts, paper-bag waists, loose shorts and Wham-style jackets and gilets cut to be ultra roomy. Cropped jackets are also having a moment and talking of short, mini skirts had a big part to play too. Meanwhile grey or coloured denim (pink was the top choice) also made a play for the trend mainstream.
Intricate seams that make the most of traditional blue denim’s orange topstitching saw the material making a big impact on dresses, skirts and pants. Think asymmetry, metres of material swishing around the body or cut ultra-close, diagonal seams, bow trims and anything else that lifts denim out of the ordinary and away from its casual pant origins. This is a look that can even invade the occasionwear market.
The strong pieced and patchworked trend was part prairie nostalgia, part 80s, part colour and pattern statement. But it was also an opportunity, as it offers huge potential for the high street to shout loudly about recycled materials and zero waste. We’ve already seen H&M talking recently about using directly recycled materials for its latest Cheap Monday collection and this trend is almost begging to hit the recycling sweet spot.
Think zips, bellows pockets, straps, tie belts, storm flaps, patch pockets and more. Anything that can add decoration without actually being decorative in the accepted sense of the word is cool again. Contrast colours and materials can be used to draw attention to the detail, but just as often it’s all one colour and fabric, blending in but standing out for a look that says “I’m denim through and through”.
Tops, tops, tops
The denim shirt is yesterday’s news as denim topwear moves onto the tunic, the vest, the blouse, the almost-a-jacket and the almost-a-dress. It’s part of the allover denim trend that was big news for the season (Isabel Marant’s denim mini with dean slouch boots summed it up). But it also works to highlight the importance of contrasts as heavy denims are frequently teamed with he softest sheer silks, with sequins or dramatic prints.