The domination of denim is a major fashion thread for 2015 – and summer is when it all really happens.
There’s a denim revolution going on, with fresh looks ripping up the rulebook and reinterpretations of old classics giving a new edge to the world’s favourite clothing fabric.
Double denim, triple denim, denim on denim, denim on chambray on denim, embellished and studded denim, tailored denim, cut work and frayed – it all just goes to show that, this summer, you can have your denim every which way.
The return of Seventies’ style has been a key inspiration. Flared jeans work both with fit and flare styles (that is, fitted to the hips and gently flaring from the calf) and flared bags, which come long and as crops, perhaps with turn-ups. For the fitted denim look, a neat pocketed denim shirt teamed with gently flared denim jeans is classic – the perfect urban cowgirl. The denim jacket is optional (although why not?), but try to make sure that the shades of blue are subtly different, and look for well-worn (but not shabby), supple cloth.
Denim as all-in-one is another key look, from jumpsuits to dungarees and pinafores, and the denim shirt dress is a summer staple, not just for the city, but also for holidays. It’s a great layering piece, but experiment to find a style that works for you, or it will be in the decorating drawer before the season’s out (I write as one who knows).
Denim started as workwear, developed for its toughness and wearability, but its density means that it is not the ideal fabric for country wear, especially not in wet or damp weather. It’s in the town and city that denim works best and, when Lisa Darwin, director of Leeds City Fashion Week, asked urban fashionistas what they were looking to buy for this summer, denim was at the top of their lists. So she decided to make it the main focus when she styled a fashion shoot at Leeds Dock to launch the run-up to City Fashion Week, which takes place in October.
“We all know the ‘70s styles never really go away, so time to fuse new and old, mix flared jeans with modern hi-tech fabrics to create your own unique look,” she says.
City Fashion Week, she adds, will celebrate fashion, hair and beauty and lifestyle, hosting catwalk shows featuring High Street brands, well-known and up-and-coming designers, plus the CFW awards and more than 50 pop-up shops. Lisa is looking for models and there will be competition castings in Leeds.
Meanwhile, over in York city centre, ethical and fair trade fashion store Maude & Tommy also chose denim for its fashion shoot, showing the versatility of the fabric as layering pieces, teaming with striped cotton and summer linens.
When it comes to menswear, there’s a classic vintage feel, so think of the 1950s and icon James Dean. Both double and triple denim (jeans, shirt, jacket) are more than acceptable. So, dig out your old jeans and invest in some new key pieces. This summer, it’s all about the denim.
• City Fashion Week in Leeds is October 2-4 at New Dock, Leeds. To get involved and for details, see www.cityfashionweek.com.
Leeds shoot: Photographer - Steve Cockram www.stevieroy.co.uk, Brussels Street Studio www.brusselsstreetstudio.com. Assistant – John Roy. Models – Lizzie and Aneta from www.face-agency.co.uk in Leeds. Styling – Lisa Darwin at Eventium and City Fashion Week. Hair and make-up – Jessica Auty. Location – Leeds Dock and Leeds Dock Water Taxis.
York shoot: Photographer – Mike Nowill, www.mikenowillphotography.co.uk. All clothes from Maude & Tommy, Grape Lane, York, www.maudeandtommy.co.uk.