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.

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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. 

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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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AROUND THE EDGES Hems and Seams

Ragged fraying is not new to denim alone. Intentional fraying adds edge interest to raw natural muslins in this art installation by Bruce Chatwin. 

Background image by Bruce Chatwin from the book: "Photographs and Notebooks" | Front images from the book: My Archives 2 by Antonio Di Battista 

Background image by Bruce Chatwin from the book: "Photographs and Notebooks" | Front images from the book: My Archives 2 by Antonio Di Battista 

Plaid lined jeans call out for rolled cuffs giving emphasis to the hem.  Likewise the pocket edges are rolled into plaid cottons. Further benefitting from a bit of degradation to give the impression of age.

Background image by Ela Stipicic | Images from left to right: Japanese Farmer Kimono (1980), depression era damage and right image from the book "Worn (2015)" by Lockett and Gunn 

Background image by Ela Stipicic | Images from left to right: Japanese Farmer Kimono (1980), depression era damage and right image from the book "Worn (2015)" by Lockett and Gunn 

Broken seams, torn edges and ripped details are details that we love in our quest for a garment that looks aged and well loved.  It helps if they are Japanese which have the added value of japan indigo romance.

Background image from the book "My Archives 3" by Antonio Di Battista  | Front image from the book "DENIM - An American Story" by David Little 

Background image from the book "My Archives 3" by Antonio Di Battista  | Front image from the book "DENIM - An American Story" by David Little 

Original selvedge denims are the most sought after for being the original and iconic internal seaming worn to be seen as rolled cuffs.  Red selvedge is today thought of as the original however, white selvedge is in fact the first and the most original denim edge woven on original shuttle looms way back when.

 

Background image by Ela Stipicic | Left image from the book "DENIM - An American Story" by David Little | Centre image from: Jeans Of The Old West by M.A. Harris | Image on the right from the book"My Archives 3" by Antonio Di Battista 

Background image by Ela Stipicic | Left image from the book "DENIM - An American Story" by David Little | Centre image from: Jeans Of The Old West by M.A. Harris | Image on the right from the book"My Archives 3" by Antonio Di Battista 

Rough and ready hems and seams on original aged jeans and old look replicas.

Seams on the original orange tab jeans to the left benefit from aggressive high low 3D finishing on all seams and exposed edges.  Even when the bleach level is light the light dark contrast is marked.   

Heavy rust tint on an extremely old pair of confederate jeans highlights the white selvedge on the inside seam.

Twin and triple needling on big rolled cuffs end naturally in a rough cut edge.

Background image by Bruce Chatwin from the book: "Photographs and Notebooks" | Top by J. Watanabe 

Background image by Bruce Chatwin from the book: "Photographs and Notebooks" | Top by J. Watanabe 

Contrived giant shaped style denims created with twin and triple needle seams, finished with raw edgings.

TREND ALERT - AROUND THE EDGES

Denim fabric is visibly little changed. We spend a great deal of time playing with variants of what has been before, adding new fibres for touch, for stretch, for performance.  Current changes are mainly performance related and invisible. The excitement is currently derived from creative effects in the garment.

Denim garments are all about both detail and finish.  The two are inextricably linked.  Edges are frayed and unpicked; seams are degraded; edge stitching is obvious - blanket, braiding, beading. We consider what are the influences which give rise to new edge and fastening treatments.

All images from Diesel online store besides: Fringe jacket: MSGM | Collar on the right side of the image: From the book WORN(2015) by Lockett and Gunn. | Image above collar from the book: My Archive 3 by Antonio Di Battista. 

All images from Diesel online store besides: Fringe jacket: MSGM | Collar on the right side of the image: From the book WORN(2015) by Lockett and Gunn. | Image above collar from the book: My Archive 3 by Antonio Di Battista. 

We examine myriad variations of what's around the edges of a denim garment - collars, cuffs, pockets all which benefit from creative degrading; ripping and repairing; fraying and fringing.  Contrast colour; white and blue spray; inside out denim, where the backside is as important as the face.  The denim itself is a mere vehicle for creative edge work. 

Background image by Ela Stipicic | Left and right denim by DSQUARED2 | Centre image: UNRAVEL PROJECT nature lace up skinny jeans  from stefaniamode

Background image by Ela Stipicic | Left and right denim by DSQUARED2 | Centre image: UNRAVEL PROJECT nature lace up skinny jeans  from stefaniamode

Use of creative hardware and hard logos as befits the tough nature of the jean.  Buckles used as decoration in weird places for effect only with a creative nod to its western origins.  Lacing instead of zips or buttons.

Images from left to right: AMIRI Splattered paint denim jacket | FORTE COUTURE logo banded skinny jeans | r13 distressed denim jacket | UNRAVEL PROJECT lace up front skinny jeans | Background image: PHILIPP PLEIN Light Melissa Boyfriend jeans | OFF WHITE cropped zip denim jacket

Images from left to right: AMIRI Splattered paint denim jacket | FORTE COUTURE logo banded skinny jeans | r13 distressed denim jacket | UNRAVEL PROJECT lace up front skinny jeans | Background image: PHILIPP PLEIN Light Melissa Boyfriend jeans | OFF WHITE cropped zip denim jacket

The constant throughout all the pocketing ideas is the angled western jacket pocket. Twin needled seaming which benefits from a heavy wash; flap pockets with button or snap fastenings. Closed pocket zippers are a more modern addition.

Japanese Farmer Viner Kimono (1890's) from the book "Worn" by Douglas Gunn and Roy Lockett | Background image from the book "Photography and notebooks" by Bruce Chatwin 

Japanese Farmer Viner Kimono (1890's) from the book "Worn" by Douglas Gunn and Roy Lockett | Background image from the book "Photography and notebooks" by Bruce Chatwin 

The vintage reclaimed Japanese Kimono jacket which combines denim with original checks and stripes forces us to focus on the front edges the collar and the absent cuffs. The whole is enhanced by natural ageing creating a super romantic garment which would be much less alluring without the front edging.