It is known for its easy appeal, for its versatility, for allowing women to dress it up or down, for effortlessly transitioning in between the laid-back and the super-sexy, but for spring 2014 denim is ready to take another evolutionary step towards the heights of fashion. Currently, the traditional material is being reinvented as a luxury fabric, with the runways overflowing with such statement-making pieces.
As a result, the spring 2014 fashion trends invite you to rethink your denim repertoire by moving past the idea of street wear, because everything you thought you knew about denim is about to change.
Read on to find out all about spring’s deluxe interpretation of denim, the key denim styles to invest in and how to to take full advantage of the easy fabric’s splendid transformation.
From common choice to fashion statement.
The abundant production of cotton during the 18th century is what brought forth the existence of denim, a material appreciated it for its durability rather than its potential appeal during that specific period of time. From work-gear to street style sensation, the road was rough, but it was the 1970s to finally put an end to fashion’s obstinacy when it came to embracing the authentic fabric’s raw essence.
The far more relaxed dress codes, together with the new cuts and innovative treatments made possible for the very first denim garments to walk the New York Fashion Week runways towards the late ’70s. From that point on, designers took an increased interest in updating the denim classics by playing upon their individuality, all throughout the 1980s: acid wash, stone wash, ripped, cuffed, it all originated then and there.
By pioneering the denim look, the street style muses all around the globe made sure its existence spanned from uncool to super cool in a matter of seasons. But a trend cannot get big without the promise of getting better and although difficult to imagine, the impossible happened. It happened this season, with more and more designers envisioning denim as reworking traditionally non-denim looks. As expected they ended up looking polished, modern yet incredibly sophisticated, cool but a refined kind of cool.
High fashion denim for spring 2014.
To get a better feel of what this trend promotes for spring 2014, try imagining a myriad of exquisite details and intricate embellishments adorning your traditional pair of jeans. Add to that a string of bold patterns, elaborate embroideries and meticulous studwork that translate to couture-like opulence, a new and richer palette of colours, polished finishes and fine tailoring.
But despite the “showgirl” sensibility and the extravagant showcase of details, the attitude for high fashion denim should still revolve around effortlessness this spring.
High-end denim at Frankie Morello, S/S ’14
High-end denim: heavy embellishments.
A leading example in the fabric’s unhurried metamorphosis into a thing of pure luxury, the heavily embellished denim pieces to have walked the spring 2014 runways made use of everything in between gold chains, layers of lace, printed alligator and python skins, metal studs and jet beading to make their new identity almost couture-ready. The sleek silhouettes and the feminine accents helped the casual pieces appear more like fierce fashion statements.
High-end denim at Balmain, Louis Vuitton and Roberto Cavalli, S/S ’14
High-end denim: intricate pattern work.
Another eye-catching denim statement to be made this spring lies in the bold patterned and intricately reworked denim pieces, some hiding an Art Deco sensibility, others envisioned as to carry a glossy finish, and a modern edge. From layered motifs on skirts and tops, to a certain softness lent by the presence of linen in the actual denim, the textural dimension is what really transformed denim into a noble material.
High-end denim at Barbara Bui, Holly Fulton and Versace, S/S ’14
Fine tailoring, new denim silhouettes.
It’s not only in the intricate embellishments and bold patterns where one can seek for the more delicate and definitely more luxurious of denim interpretations. The fine tailoring, along with the new denim silhouettes transformed the sturdy fabric into a more refined vision. Loose fit jeans, crop tops, sleek jumpsuits, exquisite pieces of outerwear and flowing skirts spoke of denim’s sophisticated identity.
High-end denim at Rebecca Taylor, Max Mara and Ermanno Scervino, S/S ’14
How to style the high-fashion denim.
Seeing how the high-fashion denim is imagined as a statement of luxury, either in a more confined manner, or an “all-out” kind of approach, the best way to increase its potential is by keeping the rest of the outfit clean and minimal. Opt for:
- A simple, neutral top (short, or long-sleeved) to nonchalantly tuck into a pair of embellished jeans; complete the look with statement heels and some utterly feminine milkmaid braids;
- A white button-down and a pair of loose, tailored pants (preferably in a soft, pastel or neutral tone) to enhance a cool denim jacket;
- A bandeau worn underneath a sheer shirt, ankle strap heels and gold accessories to complement a denim pencil skirt.
High-end denim at Nicole Miller, Rebecca Taylor and Versace, S/S ’14
Of course, you can always play upon denim’s newly found sense of luxury by adding to its already extravagant identity. Choose:
- Metallic accents, delicate studs, fine silks and luxe leather to complement your heavily embellished choice of jeans; do try to keep the colour palette clean and tonal in this case;
- A clashing print to collide with the one showcased by your denim garment of choice; here’s where the silhouette should be kept sleek and sophisticated;
- A delicate, ruffled top to go with your fraying jeans; top the look with statement heels and delicate accessories.
High-end denim at Roberto Cavalli, Sister By Sibling and Isabel Marant, S/S ’14
- Make denim an evening choice by pairing its casual feel with sophisticated silhouettes and fabrics; pick a denim crop top to go with satin pants, ankle strap heels and a laid-back beaded blazer;
- Channel the cowgirl-style by pairing a statement denim skirt finishing just above the ankles with a crisp white shirt, choosing an oversized belt and a hat as final touches;
- For a bohemian take on denim, pair a chambray cut-out with a floor-sweeping skirt, oversized sunglasses and glamorous waves.
High-end denim at Ermanno Scervino, Donna Karan and Holly Fulton, S/S ’14
Of course, minimalism works just as perfect in successfully approaching the high-end denim trend this spring. Seek fine tailoring and polished finishes in:
- Elegant pencil skirts made out of dark denim that you can style with a pair of stilettos, a printed silk shirt and a slick bun;
- Cuffed denim shorts, casually styled with a light, sleeveless top and a pair of mule shoes for the perfect laid-back outfit;
- Fitted dresses featuring interesting details (such as a cut-out neckline) that you can wear with something as basic as a pair of white wedges;
High-end denim at Ashley Williams, Jen Kao and Jill Stuart, S/S ’14
Tailored denim: picture inspiration.
For more inspiration on how to wear tailored / high fashion denim this spring 2014, head to the gallery above.