The New Age of Denim

The New Age of Denim

THINK TAPERED BOYFRIEND, RIPPED OR HIGH-WAISTED JEANS ARE THE LAST WORD IN STYLE? HOLD ONTO YOUR TURN-UPS, PEOPLE, DENIM JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT MORE INTERESTING...

Denim has come a long way since the days of Bros, when we all bought ripped stonewash jeans and refused to take them off. Since then we’ve done skinnies, bootcut, boyfriend, and even, in moments we’d rather forget, twisted.

It was last year that really saw denim take centre stage – no fashion store was complete without endless rails of rainbow-hued numbers. If that Pantone denim trend sent you wild with desire, prepare yourself, spring’s denim offering is going to send you into fashion overdrive. 

On the colour front, things are looking more grown up this season. Ksubi and J Brand, for example, are championing bottle green, canary yellow and burnt orange hues. Colour is one thing, but print is where things really get interesting. With the introduction of digital technologies, denim laundries are taking fabric finishes to a new dimension with photoreal prints and precise patterning. Look to Paige, Frankie B., Hudson Jeans and Just Cavalli for the most lust-worthy pairs of the season.

Thanks to Denim Refinery, it’s not just new jeans enjoying spring’s denim party. The folk there transform unloved denim garments into something you’ll want to wear again. Simply pick a denim finish from their stylish selection, send them your pair of faded blues and have them returned just a few weeks later, reinvented as, say, dip-dyes.

Another name to add to your denim radar is newbie Kate Alice Falcus. The Kingston University graduate has been working with moulding and casting techniquesto create elegant denim jackets and dresses. Expect sculptural riffs on classic shapes. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, long established brands Levi’s and Liberty are coming together to create denim magic. Combining the latest Levi’s cuts with fabrics from the Liberty archives, there’ll be ditsy detailing to offset deep indigo threads.

Finally, Wrangler brings a bizarre beauty-meets-fashion offering to the table. Its Denim Spa collection, fronted by Lizzie Jagger, moisturises your legs while you wear them. Jeanius.

Denim designer extraordinaire Imogen Tilbrook gives us the lowdown on the key S/S 13 denim trends to watch out for 

'This is going to be a massive season for denim. We’re seeing a return to truly authentic denim washes, which is great for all denim aficionados. You'll see a huge amount of distressed denim – this ‘rip and repair’ effect helps key shapes like the boyfriend jean look loved and lived-in before they've even been worn. 

'Super bleached denim is going to hit the high street in a big way too. Indigos will be washed down until they're extremely pale – brands like J Brand and Rag & Bone already have great examples of this. 

'Embellishment is another key trend to look out for. From lace trims and beading to embroidery and laser printing – it's on every leg shape and all of the big denim brands have embraced this trend in some form. One of my favourite styles is the 7 For All Mankind Josefina. It's the perfect mix of super distressed denim and authentic washing with an ultra feminine style. 

'Colour is back in a big way, but in contrast to the bold brights of last summer we're seeing beautifully washed-out pastels and whites coming through. Earnest Sewn, Guess and AG all have a great range of pastel colours from peachy tones to fresh pale mints. 

'My favourite denim brand is Citizens of Humanity. Their denim is always super-soft which makes it so comfortable to wear. In terms of the high street I think Topshop’s MOTO range has an amazing array of denim from authentic washes to coloured denims. I also think Uniqlo is great for innovative fabrics. 

'Finding the best denim fit for your shape takes time but you must persevere because it's such a great feeling when you find it!' 

  • Words: Emily Eades