Skinny jeans and leggings have dominated the fashion and music scenes for over a decade. But just as the pendulum swings, so does the pant leg. Volume was bound to bounce back on denim hems. In recent seasons, we’ve been noticing an abundance of flare jeans on the streets of the world’s most fashionable cities. Here are some of our favorite looks, along with shopping and styling tips.
Comme des Garçons (Junya Watanabe) dress, repurposed denim, Spring 2002, Japan,
museum purchase. Photograph: William Palmer.
Once the uniform of gold prospectors and laborers, denim has become the go-to workday and weekend getup for most everyone. Anthropologist Danny Miller estimated that about half the world’s population—including countries as diverse as Turkey, India and Brazil—wears dungarees on any given day. Even the runways the last two seasons have swelled with oceans of indigo.
Just as denim is having yet another moment, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is opening an exhibit (beginning December 1) examining the fabric’s place in fashion history. With over 70 denim constructions from the museum’s collection, Denim: Fashion’s Frontiertakes a long (almost two centuries) look at the ways and reasons jeans have wooed the world. Featuring denim jumpsuits worn in factories during World War II and Tom Ford’s notoriously expensive plumed pair for Gucci, Denim shows how this is truly the fabric of our diverse lives.
Roberto Cavalli ensemble, embroidered denim, Spring 2003, Italy,
gift of Roberto Cavalli. Photograph courtesy of The Museum at FIT.
Even if you can’t meet the dashing Wainwright and Neville for a personal look at their fall 2015 men’s and women’s collections during their Vancouver visit, catch up with them in this Q&A. For those lucky enough to be in the area today for this catered party with live music, personal styling and photo booth, get the details below.
As rag & bone men, do you personally collect anything? What attracted you to these collections?
Wainwright: I have a few collections going on: cameras, sneakers and watches. I’m an avid photographer, and in my opinion Leica makes the most perfect, timeless cameras.
My dad got me into watches when I was younger, so I’ve a few that I love. My favorite is a Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph, which my wife got me for Christmas. It’s just beautifully designed. I’m also a bit of a sneakerhead and have built up quite the collection over the years.
Neville: I collect antiques for our farm in Bedford, New York, and I also seem to be collecting animals as well—we recently added some horses to the family!
We had the pleasure of trading missives with creative directors (and bonafide jeaniuses) over at vale and Cartel Handbags for more insight on this perennial favorite—and how these bosses are fraying the denim standard.
Catherine Ryu is on a mission to save your butt from saggy denim.Citizens of Humanity‘s latest line, Sculpt, includes body-contouring jeans that shape and lift without losing their stretch. Sure, it sounds like a mythological material—a golden fleece or Firebird feathers wrought by a jean genie—but we assure you it’s real and will be in stores mid-September.
We got the scoop on Sculpt—plus, word on Ryu’s personal denim collection and spiritual beach reading.
What about the Sculpt fabric makes it so good at shaping and lifting?
Ten years ago, a polyester yarn that’s much, much stronger than cotton and elastic came into play. That technology has evolved a lot and is one of the components that gives the Sculpt fabric its power stretch and recovery. There’s also the component of it being a blended fabric. It’s a cotton-rayon blend that can drape luxuriously yet stretch and recover really well.
Fit is also a big factor.
From the waist measurement to the rise to the thigh measurement—we calculated all those things to make the fabric work. For the Sculpt capsule launch, we have our iconic Rocket skinny, which is our number-one fit, and our Fleetwood flare. The fabric is so drapey, we felt like it would give the flare a more trouser vibe versus a casual boot-cut feel.
Flares are huge right now. What’s Citizens’s take on the trend?
Flares are from the ’70s, so we wanted to explore ways of reinventing them. We added flares to Sculpt to give them a more performance aspect and dressier expression. We also did some really authentic flares with worn washes and holes to give them attitude.
Remember when the only acceptable day to wear jeans at work was Casual Friday? How far we’ve come since denim was strictly off-duty. Lately our office hosts denim-on-denim (sometimes -on-denim) showdowns—and we don’t mind one bit.
The material has been assimilated into all lifestyles, evolving from its workwear roots to become a staple of an elegant wardrobe. To that end, we can’t wait to wear these jeans this fall. When it comes to just-right denim that works at work and on the weekends, these brands have earned their reputations through innovation.
What’s the best thing about this image from the 1986 Nordstrom catalog? Well, all that denim is certainly not to be undervalued.
But check out what homegirl all the way on the left is doing with her shirt tails through her belt loops. Tying a knot in the front is an established style move. But going through the loops and knotting to create a smallish exposed triangle–that’s next-level.
The star of all-star jam “FourFiveSeconds” is definitely Rihanna, singing hard and being a badass and crying, performing with Sir Paul McCartney and the current King of Pop, Kanye West. Not the first time McCartney has collaborated with a K.o.P, BTW.
But from a style POV? The star is Rihanna’s jean jacket and leather-belt-tied-like-a-tie combo. Kanye West did the styling, selecting vintage Sean Jean denim. Which means for all you retro trend watchers out there, it’s time dig up your late-’90s/turn-of-the-millennium hip-hop gear like Fubu and Karl Kani.
A lot to think about? Maybe, but thinking keeps the brain warm—if not the body. And depending on where you’re at right now, you can probably use all the heat you can get.
Which brings us to this image from Marie Claire Netherlands’ new February 2015 issue in which photographer David Cohen de Lara and stylist Marjolein Mos stage model Sophie Vlaming in a sort of winter-on-top, spring-on-the-bottom kind of situation.
(And those eyebrows? Yeah, we should probably talk about those sometime soon, too.)
In the meantime, may we invite you to steal this look with our handily selected picks?