Early last year I was asked by Sally Schwartz, Founder/Owner of Randolph Street Market which is celebrating its sixteenth year in 2019, to do two monthly exclusive posts for the RSM newsletter she has given me permission to share some of them with you in 2019, starting with DENIM. I have added a few more photos to my original piece. Enjoy!
nenasnotes Fashion Trends Exclusively for The Randolph Street Market reprinted with Sally Schwartz permission. All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown.
A quote from FIT’s DENIM: Fashion’s Frontier, the cover is seen in the photo above.
“Denim is one of the world’s favorite fabrics, and today it accounts for the largest segment of the clothing industry. The market for jeans alone is worth over 55 billion dollars. Accompanying a recent exhibition at the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, this handsome book explores the history of denim and examines the continually evolving relationship between it and high fashion.
Prized for its durability and strength, denim began as an ideal fabric for workwear, most famously in the clothing produced by Levi Strauss & Co. for fortune hunters during the 19th-century California gold rush. Over the past 160 years, however, film, television, and advertising have helped transform denim into a symbol of youth, rebellion and sex. The fashion industry has also played a large role in the expansion of denim into casual and couture clothing.”
Quite a transition from it’s lowly beginnings as overalls worn by the men and woman seeking their fortunes in the Gold Rush of the latter part of the 19th Century. Levi Strauss saw the need for a sturdy fabric…denim…and sturdy closers to hold the fabric in place…thus “jeans” were born, first in the form of overalls.
Seeking their fortunes….then…
In my opinion, in my youth, denim was only worn to garden, maybe go grocery shopping but never seen as a fashion item until the “Hippie Movement” of the 1960’s. Everyone, at the time, thought that it was the beginning of everyone wearing “uniforms” that uniform being traditional jeans. This was not the case, think embellishments, think the “flower child” and individuality came to the forefront and quite frankly has never looked back. It might be “uniform” but only the fabric, not the fashion. People want acceptance but with their own twist. For years I would think….denim is dead instead of long live denim!
Obviously the latter is the case and it just gets stronger and more trend worthy. Take for example the entire denim collection Karl Lagerfeld did for Chanel in 1996.
He is quoted as saying Mlle Chanel thought Mini skirts were dreadful as was denim….there you have it…the rest as they say is fashion history (or fashion myth!)
When I worked with Victoria Beckham, in 2008, she was only doing sunglasses and we introduced her jeans which became status symbols so much so that I “paid” our models in the jeans they wore for the personal appearance, I must admit a rather clever marketing ploy on my part…gorgeous young models wearing the product out and about didn’t hurt sales!!!! The jeans all had embroidered stars on the back hip pocket….the item of the season. Her talent has blossomed and I might add, she was a dream to work with, loved her.
Claire McCardell’s popover dress of 1942 featured in the FIT Denim exhibition and book
“Rosie the Riveter” interpretation 1942-1945 also featured in the FIT Denim exhibition and book.
Junya Wataniabe dress 2002 (detail is on cover of the FIT exhibition book)
From the creativity of the Antwerp designers 2005
Vivianne Westwood’s denim interpretations…
John Galliano for Dior 2002…
And wearing denim 2009…
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen 2016.
Celebrities have always wore denim….
Then….Marilyn Monroe in the film The Misfits
Now…Rihanna out and about.
The 2018 Collections featured denim in its many guises…..
The King of American sportswear, Ralph Lauren, at his beginnings and at the finale of his extraordinary 50th anniversary extravaganza 2018….I’m obsessed with the tuxedo jacket and jeans…what could be more modern….
Or perhaps a patchwork quilt…..the possibilities of working with “blue jeans” is obviously endless…I can hardly wait to see what our designing geniuses will create in future collections with what was considered “workman’s” cloth…..stay tuned….