Thursday, 31 July 2014

Jean Genius

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It was eighty years ago this year that Levi's launched its first range of jeans for women, and in doing so changed the course of fashion history.

In a recent article for the Telegraph online, Kate Finnigan looked back at how the humble jean has become the mainstay of our modern wardrobes.  And here's a short recent history of how denim developed from the utilitarian to the ubiquitous...  

The 1970s
Denim was brought into the world of high fashion with the launch of 'designer jeans' by Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein.  The idea that you would spend a lot of money on a pair of jeans was a novel idea in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The 1980s
Anna Wintour's debut cover as editor at American Vogue featured the model Michaela Bercu in a couture Christian Lacroix sweatshirt and snow-washed Guess jeans. It was the first time denim appeared on the cover of the magazine, and it launched the hi-lo fashion culture that is still prevalent today.

American Vogue 1988

The 1990s
Earl Jeans, launched in 1996, produced low-rise jeans, slim around the thighs and boot-cut, bringing body-consciousness back into denim.  

The Noughties
Skinny jeans for men were introduced by Hedi Slimane, then the designer at Dior Homme, and the style was taken up for women by Stella McCartney. Worn with ballet shoes by Kate Moss and French Vogue editors to such chic effect, the cut was taken up by all denim companies from Levi's to Gap to the new "premium" designer brands.

Kate Moss

In the past 10 years jeans haven't changed that much. We may dally with slouchy boyfriend jeans, boot-cuts or crops, but skinny is still the mainstay. What has changed though is jeans' ubiquity. They've become entirely universal. 

To read Kate's article in full click here

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