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The Magic of DENIM: its story, facts & latest trends.

Denim is the common denominator of 99% of women's closets around the globe. We all have either few or lots of pieces in our wardrobes and that is exactly what inspired us to pay tribute to...

Denim is the common denominator of 99% of women's closets around the globe. We all have either few or lots of pieces in our wardrobes and that is exactly what inspired us to pay tribute to this staple pieces which have lots to tell.

Add your denim staples to your closet @gosscloset and let your creativity write on them as if they were a blank canvas....

JOIN GOSSCLOSET TODAY!

 Image: Jane Birkin during the 70's. 

Jeans, jackets, jumpsuits, overalls... they all feel so good, so comfortable and once you find a piece that molds your body to perfection, the most probable fact is that you will wear it until it falls apart.

Contrary to popular belief, the story of jeans starts in Europe in the Italian town of Genoa and their name comes from two words: "jeane" which means corduroy and 'genuense' from Genoa and it refers to the fabric used to make sturdy sails. This fabric was highly durable and wear-resistant, which worked perfect in making clothes for peasants and people involved in hard-working trades.

Before the 17th century, the sailors from Genoa brought their jeans to the rest of Europe and weavers from France tried to reproduce this fabric, with little success. But they kept on trying until they came up with their own version incorporating wool in the blend and called it "serge de Nimes' (in France), eventually known as denim. It was taken to England not long after and its use started to become more popular with time.

Centuries later, Levi Strauss a wholesaler merchant for fabric, met in San francisco with Jacob Davis who was a tailor that made clothes for the miners in Reno. They went into business together and patented the idea of these pants, with reinforced pockets corners and the top fly of the button with copper rivets. The first release were waist overalls and after two decades they were producing jackets as well. And this is how Levi's was born.


 

EVOLUTION OF DENIM.

 

 

 

1930's: The use for for denim first went up in popularity because of the cowboys movies and then suffered a knockout during the WWII, seen as a symbol of western decadence by non-western countries.

 

 

 

 

 

1950's: Popularity picked up again and denim was spotted as a symbol of rebellion, as portrayed by James Dean in the movie "Rebel Without a Cause' in 1955 for men and the little-lovely rebel Marylin Monroe in the film 'The Misfits', and its said she loved denim!

 

 

 

NOW: CHLOE SS15 Collection:

 

 

1960's: denim didn't escape the freedom movement, becoming the fabric of preference for hippies, men and women, who let free their creativity in their denim pieces by painting, embellishing, embroidering it and wearing it in the most inventive ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOW: DOLCE & GABANNA SS15 Collection:

 

1980's & 1990's: metal rock, acid wash, punks, mom jeans, high rise... the 80's saw a fashion disaster in many ways but as always, denim adapted to the era and survived the extreme distressed look... so much that we can still find some memories in present trends.

Left: Salt N Pepa, 1980's concert. Right: Punk street style.

 

 

NOW: DSQUARED SS15 Collection:

 

What is beyond dispute, this period denim started finding its own place into different markets of all income levels, for different lifestyles and contexts. It started becoming the 'must' piece for high-fashion design houses as Gucci and Calvin Klein, which opened the door to a multi-billion industry in the coming years and many new brands where created focused mainly in denim as Guess, Marithe&Francois Girbaud and Pepe Jeans.

Calvin Klein Jeans Ad Campaign during the 1980's featuring Brooke Shields.

 

NOW: GUCCI SS15 Collection:

 

 

 

2000's - present: The big names of High-Fashion like Chanel, Dior and Versace brought denim into the catwalk, and since the beginning of the century, denim has been in most collections, every year and season, time after time with different application, shapes and approaches, but always there... we can just imagine what the european weavers from the 16th century would think if they saw how far their invention has come to!

Some people love it, some people don't. There are some people that still think that denim is only for cowboys and have nothing to do with sex appeal and feminie flair... but no one can deny the importance of denim in our everyday life its role in modern society.

 

 


 

FIT & CUT: what's the difference between these?

Specially when buying online, the different cuts, fits and wave of descriptions can become a nightmare at the time of making the right choice. These are the very basic characteristics that will give you a north to help you in the decision making process:

FIT:

It refers to how tight or losse the jeans are, the way it will rest on your hips and and how snug in the thighs. For branding or marketing purposes, the stores might use different terms, but they will all fit in under these terms:

Slim/Skinny: They are close to both the seat, hip and thighs; usually have a tapered leg. They might not be the most comfortable option, but this type of jeans are great to pair with long boots and a chunky knit for winter. BUT beware of the love-handle's spills.

Easy/Relaxed: These have a relaxed waist and thigh but often have a tapered leg. Perfect to wear with shirts and tops tighter to the body, looking after proportion.

Natural: They sit in the waist and gently flow through the hips and thighs. Let's say between the boyfriend style and the relaxed fit.

 



 

CUT: It refers to the actual shape of the jeans as it follows the leg, but vary a lot from designer to designer and are sensitive to fashion trends. Like these pair of very trendy globe-like jeans from the last FENDI SS15 collection:

Straight Leg/Traditional Cut: They have a straight narrow leg, that doesn't flare of taper at the bottom hem.

Tapered Leg: These are narrow through the leg and taper a bit more as they hit the ankle.

Boot Cut: These are cut to skim the thigh down to the knee but have a slight flare at the bottom, giving enough room for your boots.

Flared Leg: Their cut is narrow down to the knee but from there it flares widely and it's most common to see them in the low-rise versions.

Bell-Bottom Leg: Same as the flare leg, but exaggerating a bit more, for a lot wider flare. Very popular in the 60's.

Skinny/Tight leg: These jeans are very close fit from top to bottom.

Stove Pipe: these have an oversized straight leg cut.

Capri/Cropped: The hem finishes below the knee or mid-calf. Made popular by Audrey Hepburn.

Gaucho/Culottes: These are mid-claf lenght but with wide flare legs. They are very trendy and a hit in the Resort 2015 collection.

 

 

 



 

LOUIS VUITTON SS15 Collection:



 

TAKING CARE OF DENIM.

Even when your denim pieces, specially your jeans, are hard wearing and very reliable, if they are not looked after they will give in sooner than you wish they did. And it's a considerable tragedy once you have found that pair that seems mould your body and make you look (or feel, at least) like Beyonce... you want those to last forever, right?

Rinse your denim before wearing. Sweating or rubbing against a new piece of denim will transfer the blue dye into your skin, favorite bag or white couch, so giving a first rinse will cause the excess indigo to go away.

Before the first wash, soak your jeans in cold water and add a splash of white vinegar. Cold water will perserve the tone of denim and won't put the fabric under stress; the vinegar will help to set the dye. Leave it for approximately half an hour, rinse and hang to dry.

Use cold water to wash them and turn them inside out. As we said, cold water will perserve both color and fabric and by turning them inside out, the dye will tend to stay inside the jeans. Wash your denim pieces together to avoid damaging other clothes as dye might come out still. Use mild detergent and set the washing machine in a gentle cycle.

Skip washes as much as you can. Apart of protecting them from fading, the less you wash denim the most the fabric will mould to your body. Some denim devotees suggest to NEVER wash denim... but we think they deserve some cleaning after running along with you, just mind them properly.

Stains? Remove them ASAP. Don't leave stains to set into the fabric for too long. If you get grass stains, pour some alcohol on the stain, leave it for a few minutes and rinse with soapy lukewarm water. Gum? Place your denim piece in the freezer or put an ice cube on the gum and peel it off.

Avoid using the dryer. Heat will deteriorate the fabric and strip the indigo; plus, overtime, it ruins the stretch component of denim which will cause it won't come back to its original shape. It's best to air dry them either laying flat or hooked by the belt loops to retain their original shape.


 

PREMIUM DENIM: is it worth it the price tag?

 

It is stating the obvious to remark the main difference between premium denim and the commercial version: price. But is it the big difference in price justified? What can we expect from a pair of jeans that costs around USD300 compared to a USD20 pair?

 

1. The process and cost of creating premium denim. The weavers producing most of the premium denim are from the 1950's and are located in North Carolina. They are old, narrow and a lot slower, which makes it able to the weavers, most withe at least 20 years of experience, to pay close attention to detail in the making, imparting texture and character to the fabric and are experts in the refined washing and distressed methods for this high-quality denim. These workers are creating art, not just denim, and are rewarded with better working conditions, elevating costs.

2. The best fit guaranteed. Premium denim has stretchy fibers carefully positioned and weaved in the hips, thighs and seat. This offers the wearer the best amount of movement without bagginess, plus coming back to its original shape over and over again. Such designs require an big amount of research, design and experience, backed by a specialized team of people.

 

ANNA SUI SS15 Collection:

 

3. Attention to detail: this is what makes the designer's pieces stand out from their cheaper counterparts: special designed pockets, like True Religion's 'U' to mention one; they also use zippers, buttons and rivets made from special materials for long lasting and design purposes, from antique brass to even gold and Swarovski crystals, giving them a particular flair and distinction that you won't find anywhere else.

4. Distinctive stitching. How much attention you pay to the stitching when buying clothes? Well, you should pay close attention as it is stitching which holds your garment together and for premium denim designers is one of the most critical processes involved in their manufacturing. Some brands use reinforced stitching and even an specific color for branding purposes. Paper's Jeans for example, are hand sewn and the back pockets are different size according to the size of the jeans to assure a prefect finish.

 

VALENTINO SS15 Collection:

5. Manufacturing. In order to support local workforce and to appeal to consumers, brands like J Brand and True Religion manufacture their products in the US, in Los Angeles to be precise. This elevates costs, but they share their piece of the cake locally.

 

 

 


More and more, designers are creating clothes that are actually wearable in a daily basis by 'normal' women, fitting every lifestyle and different personalities. The incorporation of denim to most of the runways around the world shows how down to earth fashion is and yet without losing the creativeness and elegance that set apart the design houses.

Their idea of partnering with stores like H&M, Target and other high-street shops shows their determination to offer and market their designs not only to the very wealthy ones this time round. And they for sure will be cashing in deep pockets from their brilliant idea and hard work.

TO PUT IT IN A NUTSHELL: you get great fit, perfect design, longevity, comfort and the best fashion look even while wearing jeans. So, it's up to you to decide if paying a premium price is worth the expense.

 

Want to see more denim trends from the Spring 2015 collections? Scroll down.

 

Alberta Ferreti

Romantic style: Denim with sheer inserts & a crop top in skin tones:



Contrary to the myth "Denim on Denim: fashion disaster",

these looks awesome and in very different styles for different personalities.

 

Bally & Stella McCartney:



 

For that hipster trapped in your body, add some patchwork to your outfits.

 

Vanessa Bruno & Tommy Hilfiger:



 

If you are after inspiration for more tailored look, chek out these designers:

 

Louis Vuitton & Bally:



 

Michael Kors & Tod's:



 

And for the most daring personalities:

 

Jean Paul Gaultier & Dsquared2:



 

 

CASADEI SS15



 

Join Gosscloset Today

Add your denim items to your closet

Do your mix & match

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Most important: Let us know what YOU think.

 


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Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia

 
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