The humble denim jacket has assumed its rightful place as a perennial favourite both on and off the runway.
There aren’t many items that remain steadfast amid fashion’s cyclical trends but this one’s a keeper and persists as the ultimate wearable and functional piece. The first denim jacket was created in 1880 by denim legend and Levi’s founder Levi Strauss. Starting life as a breathable utility garment for railroad engineers and miners it has since evolved, becoming synonymous with change, independence and revolt.
The 50s saw it earn status as the rebel’s garb of choice – think James Dean’s iconicly denim clad character in Rebel Without a Cause – while punk-rock vanguards used it as a canvas for personal expression from the 60s to the 80s. It’s had a rich and varied existence for sure but this season it’s been elevated and deconstructed. Everyone’s favourite all-American staple has found new life.
Having popped up on the runways in various iterations, the denim jacket has been cut in half and pieced back together, quite literally. For his debut at Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia stitched his denim jacket askew to create a billowing silhouette worn off the shoulder while Stella McCartney opted for a series of bleached elongated renditions. The hard working fabric made an appearance at Miu Miu too where embroidery, badges and white guipure lace collars were the look du jour. Having been on-trend for more than 130 years the denim jacket is showing no sign of stopping, instead, becoming a visual representation of the times. Whether it’s swaddled in patches, washed out or lengthened, it’s a sure fired way to inject a little style and personality into your outfit.