Look at some of the street style pictures across main fashion capitals and even some of the far flung states, which the internet has seen provided with a fashion voice and following, and there is a direction which seems to unite them all;a fashionable denim one.
The material which has seen various stages of evolvement since its beginnings in the Fifties as a practical wild Western thing or then went onto gain some Sixties rock ‘n’ roll elements has entered a new 21st century turn; as highly valued, status fashion wear.
Whilst in the Seventies, it had demand as staple priced casual wear in the trademark stoned wash blue, the nineties saw a more fashionable spin with flattering cuts whilst still priced on the high street accessibly. Today the story is altogether different; cloth cut in a multitude of shades, and shapes, worn from day to night, often as a casual luxe substitute to eveningwear and priced competitively with premium designers. Furthermore destination stores dedicated to this utilitarian cloth have opened to solely focus on this cult growth.
Take London based denim store, Donna Ida, which has gone onto open 3 stores in key central London locations, create denim clinics for those wanting to perfect fit, and will now launch their own line of high waisted jeans to fit demand. So why the u-turn? Well, whilst a steady stream of new names launches on to the market every season, there are still a few that hold the top spots, Hudson, J Brand and Current/Elliott and these do so because they have successfully bridged the gap between fashion, comfort and utility.
Founded in 2002 by Los Angeles native Peter Kim, Hudson aims to blend Cool Britannia with the free spirit of LA – and the cachet of celebrity fans and a campaign fronted by Georgia May Jagger. “Hudson was born in the early years of Californian premium denim," explains Ben Taverniti, the brand's creative director. "Denim had been around for quite some time but premium denim was very new at that time. When designing, our golden rule is 'fit, fit, fit'. Perfect fit can only be achieved when design, production and, most importantly, love are combined with a highly trained group of individuals who are passionate about what they do."
And whilst big department stores now have created special denim sections to facilitate the heavy demand, often conducting denim clinics to guide discerning consumers on brand, shape and fit to suit them, stores such as Selfridges, Harvey Nichols are noting a return to want for classic, true denim, having seen interest over the last couple of years in cult, ‘it’ shapes and styles.
The main point about the material once perceived as outdated is the fact it is often indicative of the wider social and economical context and thus can fit into a broader fashion category, above trend led fashion. So in a time of recession led consumerism, denim is following suit, there is a return to demand for simple, true denim shades rather than patterns or vamped up colours and cuts, and the biggest sell through will come from a celebrity not in campaigns but snapped off duty doing her shopping in a certain cut or brand.