Denim’s Spring/Summer 2013 Reincarnation

Joshwa Saint James
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Denim has been incorporated into most wardrobes for many years, but for spring / summer 2013 the much loved trend has had an exciting reincarnation. Arguably the fabric of Paris Fashion Week SS13, and much loved with street stylers and bloggers, denim is back with a vengeance.

It seems the key to wearing denim successfully is being both bold and brave. When doubling up, varying colours work better than trying to match. Layering with softer fabrics gives a sense of off duty masculinity. With collections shifting away from the 1990s inspired oversized trends of recent seasons, it’s important to experiment with contemporary cuts and streamline silhouettes.

During the brand’s SS13 show, Valentino showcased sharp, streamlined tailored suits teamed with crisp white button-up shirts and trainers, giving the collection a sports-luxe feel. Label’s head designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli combined garments with camouflage accessories, providing an exciting and daring twist to the dignified masculine collection.

Renowned for their exceptional denim range, Acne Studios drew inspiration from traditional workwear styles with raw edge jackets and gilets. The material was also used in the construction of more formal elements. A four piece stiff-denim suit, consisting of blazer, waistcoat, tunic and trousers, also pushed a smarter aesthetic. Proportions are voluminous and relaxed, as dark denim blazers were also paired with oversized shorts and silver lace-up shoes, providing a quirkier take on formal denim.

For SS13 Richard Nicoll brought the fun back into denim as part of his first full men’s collection. Generally, clean simple takes on sportswear, smart bomber jackets and preppy cuts on trousers with subtly tapered ankles, were taken down a notch by denim jackets; a perfect contrast to the smarter tailoring, adding an edge, while masterfully contrasting the classic rugged style with clean contemporary details for which the designer is known. A stand-out piece came in the form of a stonewashed jacket with contrasting navy patch-pocket detailing, worn with grey and blue colour blocked tee and outré short-shorts.

In typical Dsquared2 style, dark, gothic and grungy were the main influences along with some rather fetish undertones. The limited colour palette of black and white was lifted at times by weathered denim. Pieces were particularly striking as they incorporated leopard-print collar detailing and were multi-layered beneath tailored blazers. Small snippets of denim worked just as well in the form of plain shirts with denim collar detailing, while other shirts were embroidered with denim panelling and accompanied by a floral denim brooch.

Channelling a 1980s throwback vibe with sleeveless denim gilets, Versace have re-enforced the past with a strong present. The fabric was sometimes printed with graphic floral print and abstract shapes, giving it both luminosity and fluidity. Teaming denim with summer-weight bouclé, nylon jacquard, parachute-silk lame, summer-weight mohair, summer wool jacquard, and leather across the collection, the Versace man is not afraid to make an entrance.

On the highstreet Topman and River Island have gone all out with their choice of styles, fit, cuts, colours and prints. Both retailers stock a huge choice of products as diverse as two-tone denim shirts, tie-dye, denim-panelled and patch-pocket shirts, bleach-effect pieces and denim jackets in varying tones and washes.

With so many varying tones, washes and styles available, and the highstreet strongly backing this trend, denim is certainly the go-to fabric for an effortlessly cool summer look. Described as “the fabric of the season” by many fashion publications, it’s certainly time to dig out your denim jeans!

About Joshwa Saint James

Film and photography stylist Joshwa Saint James is both passionate and creative in his work, with a natural flare for fashion and styling - possessing the ability to combine colours, styles and current trends when pulling looks together. @JoshwaStJames