What words do we most often associate with denim? Reliable; timeless; staple, even... But that was before this season’s hottest designers got their hands on it. From the newly revived Blumarine, now with Nicola Brognano at its helm, to Pieter Mulier’s Alaïa, fashion’s names to know are spearheading a new age of women’s denim that stars embellishment, prints, layering and more. So, while we’re not saying to ditch your favourite skinny jeans, now is the moment to show your flair – and flares. These are the four freshest ways to wear denim now.
What with the Y2K revival that’s sweeping the runways – it’s here to stay this season – it was only a matter of time before denim had a major glow-up. For Autumn/Winter 2022, it comes courtesy of Alessandra Rich, Area NYC, Isabel Marant and more. Once a staple, always a staple; but bejewelled embellishments and colourful beading put the ‘fun’ in denim’s ‘fundamental’ attitude, offering a high-octane update to the hardwearing material. Your jeans-and-a-nice-top outfit formula just reached the next level.
We know what you might be thinking, but don’t let the phrase ‘double denim’ trigger flashbacks to the fashion Wild West of the early noughties. Today, the trend is all grown up, elevated in the form of androgynous shirts and boyfriend jeans, punctuated by a simple white T-shirt, tank top or vest – incidentally, the unexpected hero pieces of the Autumn/Winter 2022 shows. You can’t go wrong with a matching set, but when you’re after a more casual effect, try pairing contrast washes and add classic accessories like a Cartier watch and chunky chain jewellery to pull the look together.
If you invest in one new pair of jeans this year, make sure they’re flares. A far cry from the skin-tight silhouettes that once had us in their grip, looser cuts by the likes of Gucci, Valentino and Victoria Beckham feel free and effortless. Fashion’s shift towards a wider leg should come as little surprise, perhaps, given the many months we spent in loungewear acclimatising to the pleasures of comfort-first dressing. Sweatpants these are not, however. Flares’ wide legs and floor-length cut make them the most impactful jeans in your denim rotation.
There’s no law that says denim must be fifty shades of blue. Beyond jeans, trade a traditional palette on your trucker jacket in for unexpected prints, bold colours or a frill here and there, then layer it up with classic pieces you already own. It’s all about the mix.
Make way for the noteworthy brands who took denim to heart this season.
If you’re only interested in the very crème de la crème of this season’s denim offering, look no further than Prada. From ’90s-style midi skirts and pinafore dresses to cropped jackets and bralettes, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons delivered foundational pieces with the finesse you’d expect – each one adorned with the iconic triangle that endorses Prada’s every collection.
Looking for denim with a couturier’s touch? Under the creative direction of Pieter Mulier, Alaïa has delivered many a twill treat – elevating the likes of jeans and denim skirts with its signature sculptural expertise. A dynamic pair of bell-bottoms, fitted then flared with generous folds below the knee, top our wishlists.
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