Re-Creating the Classics

Traditional and vintage originals with a unique twist.   Take a traditional vintage 5 pocket shape and deconstruct it by clipping and picking threads and seams.   Make texture where there was none.

 Faustine Steinmetz (Left and Centre images) ENDRIME

Faustine Steinmetz (Left and Centre images) ENDRIME

Create classic truckers and original jeans out of handmade indigo fabrics.  Not to call them denims as the result is hardly a 3x1 twill any longer.  Open weaves distort what was once a classic jean.

Upcycle your favourite classics of jackets/jeans/skirts and shirts.   Use decoration alongside destruction and reconstruction  Make a feature of overwear, re-use rather than throw away.

 Images from 'Worn Vol.1'

Images from 'Worn Vol.1'

Take time to make new originality from vintage pieces or with vintage inspiration.

We recognise the items but make differences by hand.  Make them yours for ever.  Change their persona over time revolutionising recognisable items, making them worthy of the 21st century.

 Recycled cotton fibres // Levi's X  Evrnu, Faustine Stienmetz Recycled Tag

Recycled cotton fibres // Levi's X  Evrnu, Faustine Stienmetz Recycled Tag

The result could be totally sustainable OR your own total performance.  Use performance touches, finishes and textiles to create a handmade article that performs to your needs.    Create it all by hand, that is the new modern way forwards for our clothing.  

  Blue Patchwork Jeans by Blackmeans

 Blue Patchwork Jeans by Blackmeans

Take time to enjoy the process of practicality, repair, change, recycle, upcycle to more enjoy the results.

Visible Construction

This is where yarns are the most important element of the textile.  Yarns and their tactile,  3D drama are the reason such textiles exist,  the construction is merely a vehicle to showcase fibre usually intimately hidden as part of the whole.

We explore all the elements within the fabric exciting us to the potential of yarn itself?  

 Faustine Steinmetz

Faustine Steinmetz

Transparency created with meandering threads which shift through all the hues of indigo.    How to encase the body with threads alone without the benefit of supporting construction?

 Faustine Steinmetz // Faustine Steinmetz // Balmain // Faustine Steinmetz

Faustine Steinmetz // Faustine Steinmetz // Balmain // Faustine Steinmetz

Loose threads in degrade indigo shades showcase how creative Faustine Steinmetz can be with the yarn itself without the constraints of formalised construction .  Items almost too exciting to wear. Balmain also plays with art and transparency but with regenerated denim rather than the simple yarn.   It is all made by hand creating unique living pieces.

 Faustine Steinmetz

Faustine Steinmetz

Distorted smudged vintage inspiration.  Stripes once simple show case ways of distortion giving them a new vibe.

SLOW DENIM - Crafted indigos to keep forever.

Hand crafted denim fabric and jeans are the antithesis of mass manufactured denims and their pollution caused in the cause of our mass consumption.       This SLOW DENIM movement is motivated by the lack of true sustainability in our denim industry which is fuelling the desire for individuality and longevity rather than just ordinary clothing.   This is the opposite of fast fashion -  we will keep SLOW DENIM forever we will not throw it away when worn out, we will just re-work and re-wear hopefully being more creative in the process.

We want itens to love, to keep and to pass on. Not to be thrown away.   We respect the hands that make what we wear.             Make your soul and hands blue.                                                                  

Handmade - Blue Hands

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  Handmade Tag - Faustine Steinmetz

Handmade Tag - Faustine Steinmetz

Hand dyed indigo with plant derived dye achieves the most iconic hue and unique cast to this romantic shade.     Unlike synthetic indigo natural plant dye washes down super fast achieving the most natural worn in effects.   The natural dye disappears over time and many washings and exposure to sunlight eventually creating an off white indigo.

Combining this natural dye with coarsely spun cottons facilitates loose open constructions that breathe with the wearer folding easily around the body. 

 Faustine Steinmetz // Xu Zhi // Faustine Steinmetz // Xu Zhi

Faustine Steinmetz // Xu Zhi // Faustine Steinmetz // Xu Zhi

Fuzzy and fluffy tactile textures to entice.      Hand pleated shapes  create dimension and drama.                                                    Controlled fringing and fraying creates an impression of living clothing.

Think of art clothing, clothing as art.

 Xu Zhi // Chanel // Cristaseya // Faustine Steinmetz

Xu Zhi // Chanel // Cristaseya // Faustine Steinmetz

Shapes are bigger and baggier supporting the hand crafted weaves.    Xu Zhi, a talented graduate from Central St Martins,  combines geometric shapes and hand picked textures for his living fashion.   

 Faustine Steinmetz, 'SLOW DENIM'

Faustine Steinmetz, 'SLOW DENIM'

Key designers in this arena is Faustine Steinmetz and 69 who create indigo wearable art as installations with massive textures and metallic threads.   


Mens couture from Alexander McQueen demonstrates just how flamboyant high stakes denim for men can become.  Embellishment onto a simple monochrome jeans and jacket combo is cool and surprisingly masculine with delicate stitchery onto a heavy weight denim.

Designer: Alexander McQueen 

Dolce Gabbana below is also over embellishing and decorating his "not so classic" jeans and jackets.  D&G throw the kitchen sink at their flamboyant garments even for men.  They have so much embellishment that to describe it diminishes the look.

 Designer: Dolce & Gabbana 

Designer: Dolce & Gabbana 

The flamboyant denim creations from Christian Dior below mixes frills with page boy studs and frayed edges and again with masses of indigo and ecru fringing plus bi shade indigo denim.  Oversizing the shapes creates a substantial silhouette as a vehicle for this overstated detailing.

Designer: Christian Dior 

We have to wind up this flamboyance with the master of the trend himself - Versace. From whose atelier everything is overdone, overworked and overstated.  The wearer needs a big personality.


Tailored Denim is cool clean and smart. Clever cutting and shaping with little or no washing of the denim lends a casual touch to a high styled garment.  Mixing street denim with a brand name.

Designers: Left: Marques Almeida | Right and centre: Alexander McQueen

Clever shaping from Marques Almeida with added studding for a harder edge when combined with a bleached out denim begs the question - is it high fashion or street denim?   Here we repeat again the amazing Mcqueen's multi seam shaping and multilayered styling.  He gathers in the extra fullness with such panache making the shaping of what is a tough fabric into truly glamorous tailored pieces.


Designers (from left to right): Dior, Dior close up, Carolina Herrera, Sacai

Dior uses blue denim with flare - cutting an oversized sharp blazer in a combination of indigo shades to restate the difference between this and a standard jacket. Combined with this indigo and ecru cotton fringed skirt is a real must have combo.   Whilst Carolina Herrera and Sacai have concentrated on the simplicity of long line super shaped dresses.

Designers: Left: Cerutti 1881 | Right: Fendi 

Raw rigid denim with red selvedge is truly the signature of couture mens denim wear. Here from Cerutti. Simple tailored suits with subtle style differences look fresh in denim with a slight lustre.   Likewise, Fendi shows their flare for feminine yet strict tailoring by emphasising the style detail with bold contrast top stitching 

Designers: Left: Tibi | Right: Nina Ricci 

Full and light weight denims are formed into oversized pant suits from Tibi whilst Nina Ricci again demonstrates her genius for sharp tailoring and top stitching.


Glamour jeans have become recognised by their over embellishment.  Anna Sui is known for her over-use of embroidery, beading and braiding on what is basically a simple denim jean or jacket.

Embroidered story telling makes this shearling trimmed denim jacket from Gucci a covetable piece.  Especially when combined with a bold tweed skirt. Super youthful styling but super expensive pricing!

Versace takes his glamour and flamboyance to the extreme below.  Using basic jeanswear shapes as a vehicle to elevate the idea of denim wear.


Western shirt shape with denim shorts. And Jeans topped with constructed denim top. All encrusted and embellished with beading, appliqué and embroidery within an old fashioned seaside theme.


Black denim from Versace again has been given the Western Matador treatment with studded decoration and gold thread motifs.  Clearly building on a western theme both in accessories as well as decoration.


High fashion Luxe Denim is elevated above the simplicity of the daily jean as we know it.  Luxe denim may follow original vintage inspiration, remodelling fit and form and adding personalised limited edition detailing.  It is the clever cutting, higher design form, embellishment and creativity that commands the high stakes price and desirability.   Couture and Ready to Wear brands are highly sought due to their limited editions and the almost rock star status of the Designer.  It is encouraging to note the extensive use of simple denim at couture and catwalk levels.  Thereby influencing the confection of high street denims.

Designers: Left: Tibi  | Right: Fendi 

Voluminous beautifully cut Tibi man style pants suits in dark barely washed denim takes blue denim into a formal fashion conversation.  Likewise with a formal dress from Fendi in unwashed lightweight denim where the styling details are imaginative and dramatically visible. 

Designers: Left: Alexander McQueen | Right: Oscar De La Renta

Flamboyant yet super clean cutting from the atelier of Alexander McQueen. The Atelier has focussed on visible seaming, multilayering and clever shaping bottomed out with kick frills of contrast fabric.  This is flamboyant longevity to wear with pride. Oscar de La Renta is showing less flamboyance, instead moves subtly from an original Levi style cut in jacket and skirt with a difference in slits and shaping topped off with paint splashed finish.

Designers: : Left: Stella McCartney | Right: Mary Kantrantzou

Stella's signature boiler suit having a nod to its denim origins whilst being simple is flamboyant in colour and gathering detail to contain the volume.  Attention to details of seaming and top stitched cording and most importantly the high quality non denim fabric are all signatures of Stella. Mary Kantrantzou has stepped right away from denim in both her use of performance fabric and brilliant colour blocking.  The nod to the denims is in the studding and riveting.  Her pieces sit alongside denims and jeans adding the sport influence rather than emulating them. 

Designers: Left: R13 | Right: Calvin Klein 

Mixing leather, denim and plaid in jeans influenced styling is a clever combo. Topped off with cowboy boots in metallic leather. Such creativity and use of fabric has resulted in a covetable outfit from the denim brand R13.  The creative catwalk collection from R13 has raised the profile of the main brand which is likewise one of the best in the business.  Hand dyed leather from Calvin Klein helps elevate his jeans line to catwalk status

Designers: Left: Dolce and Gabbana | Center and right: Chanel

Dolce & Gabbana bring their creative and unusual flair to what essentially could be a simple jacket and jeans combo - Nothing is simple from D&G!  Chanel is more elegant.  Shaping and top stitch seaming forms the embellished denim jacket into the puffed transparent skirt below.

Designers: Left: Paul and Joe | Right: Gucci 

Super creative hand made denim fabric, fashioned from a commercial jacquard fabric hand finished with stitching and fraying from Paul & Joe in what would be originally a work style jacket.   Whilst Gucci keeps it more simple with hand drawing onto his sheering trimmed trucker jacket.

Designers (from left to right): Junya Watanabe Man, Lye Lysianne, Junya Watanabe Man A Cold Wall, John Lawrence Sullivan 

Various top designers play with denim combining it with sport fabric in simple and not so simple jacket shapes for men.  Watanabe shows off her signature jeans patching and shiny coating for her mens collection. Adding cutting edge to simple loose jeans.

Sport and jeanswear are natural bedfellows demonstrated here very well by the creative use of visible zippers to embellish khaki cargos cinched with a studded military belt from Marques Almeida.

MY ARCHIVES Fashion Icons

Icons of denim fashion have stood the test of time and achieved the tricky balance between being renowned for classic and or vintage jeanswear and fashion denim.  

One such brand is Replay.  After the partnership split with Renzo Rosso of Deisel,  Replay became a more young fashion denim brand. This example is of their Mexican influenced mini skirt from their Brazilian franchise - embellished with naif handwork it is almost a work of denim art, the skirt being the vehicle for the creative embroidery.

skirt replay.jpg

By contrast another denim fashion brand - Energie specialises in different cutting and fabric combos. It is a men's brand, this again shows my preference for mens jeans. In this case the extreme high waist or extreme dropped crotch, whichever works for you!  Cleverly combines tweed at the front and coated denim at the back with leather detailing and accessories. 


MiH big cuff Phoebe jeans are creatively enhanced by the ripping and Shibori patching.  And to note that the Phoebe jeans from MiH always use red selvedge authentic denims.  Although my stated preference is for men's denim the exception is with MiH as they are the only girls brand that stays true to its roots and heritage of being an iconic 70's brand.  Using only the best ringspun and Japanese denim and concentrating on the fit that works best for the shape.

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What was once a vintage jacket with sleeves has with careful ripping and destruction, become a fashion gilet. 

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Fashion denim from MiH is exploring and promoting original denim design from the 70's.  Their Golborne road project showcased items from Bay Garnett from her 70's vintage edit.  Here is a bleached out and studded hippie jacket which would not have looked out of place in the original Kensington Market, so evoking memories of that place and time. And of the same vintage i have the indigo chunky knit from Geo Trowark who were one of the first knitwear companies to use indigo dyed yarn outside of the denim business. As indigo is such a quixotic dye it is very hard to work with and make fast. The answer is in the case of chunky knits - don't wash it.

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My one and main indulgence was and still is, the patched and pieced big jean from Junya Watanabe of Come Des Garconnes. Super creative and almost ugly in its beauty.  A piece to keep forever.

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