Spring/Summer 2013 Denim Diversity
It’s back…Again! This SS13 you will notice on the catwalk as well as on the high street a real resurgence in denim. I know it has never gone away but it certainly hasn’t been at the forefront of fashion in recent years. One thing we can say for sure about denim, it will never go away entirely, it will always be used and re-used. This is true in particular in it’s application to footwear. Denim’s rugged toughness and non uniform stone washed look can be manipulated in many ways, caught stitching and grazed holes give a rough and ready finish. These properties among many others make it a natural choice for footwear designers all around the world and an obvious choice for a Spring/Summer upper or the odd random panel piece or tongue.
More often than not you will see denim used on footwear on a casual basis, however this season we will see it used for sneakers and formal footwear alike. Previously brands such as GSR and Diesel have really taken to using the money pocket from a pair of denim jeans as a functional pocket on shoes but most importantly as a design detail that evokes that feeling you get when you look at your favourite jeans. Metal button trims, bronzed studs and contrast stay stitching are all now common features in denim inspired footwear and accessories.
An important quality about denim is its ability to be “recycled” or as it is now being called in fashion “upcycled”. Upcycled literally means being used for a function other than it’s original intended purpose. So for example, taking a part of a pair of jeans that no longer fits to patchwork fix other pairs of jeans, or to use on shoes! The patchwork denim is perhaps it’s most commonly used upcycled purpose. I remember a talented colleague I used to work with being able to cut half the legs off of her jeans (just above the knee), take out the seams, re-stitch it together and she had a new skirt. These DaniKshoes Upcycled jeans sandals are a perfect example of what I am talking about. The belt loop on the collar, the lining type material of the pockets for the vamp and leather branded tab, all iconic parts of the modern denim jeans.
Denim doesn’t just show up in a torn and ripped format, it also has its uses as a robust and durable material, able to take on the shape of the wearers foot over time. At the end of 2013 Free & Easy collaborated with White’s Boots to create this rather funky looking welted boot. White’s are renowned in the work trade industry as producing some of the best quality work boots in materials and construction. The aim of this collab is to show off the ruggedness of White’s with a forward thinking, trendy, functional boot… and I think they have pulled it off. It isn’t subtle but it is quality!
All these properties make denim what it is, from a fashion point of view it is incredibly handy. 1 roll of denim will look near enough the same all the way through, once that roll is cut into pattern pieces there will be minor defects, caught stitches and probably some dirt. This will slightly change the look of the pieces but not to its detriment, it just makes it unique… which can be handy for quality control. Welcome back diverse denim, a great tool for any designer worth their salt.
Laid back denim