Denim - for people who have to try too hard

Forget 501s, only designer jeans will do, says Emma Cook

Denim may be le dernier cri on the catwalks but don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Reach for those ten-year-old black Levi's at the back of your wardrobe and you could be in danger of committing a serious fashion faux pas. Quelle embarrassment - everyone knows they're so yesterday.

Forget 501s, think designer, deep indigo, turn-ups and lemon stitching. It's in the detail. We're talking soft weave, variegated, left-hand double wring spun. After all, this is denim territory, home to the most anally retentive fashion spotters. Fraser Cooke, DJ and importer of US labels Pervert and Subware, recently sent his jeans to Japan to get the "right sort of stitching" on his turn-up. He explains: "Everything is rehashed - take something old and give it a twist." This year's twist is to take the naffer aspects of the Seventies and Eighties and tell us they're cool. Hence Alexander McQueen's patchwork flares and splash-bleached denim, Ghost's bleached jeans, woven with silver threads, and Helmut Lang's low- slung, loose-fit range, which make you look as svelte as a sack of potatoes.

But that doesn't stop them selling faster than you can say rivets. Mandi Lennard at Browns tries to explain. "That baggy look may not be flattering but, in fashion terms, that means it is. It's got that look; it's anti- fashion and that whole unisex thing." Diesel UK marketing manager, Jethro Marshall, adds: "The look is dark, rigid denim. We mix the Sixties and Seventies with a contemporary look." Best summed up as workers uniform - a look the Japanese have capitalised on with their Evisu label, which sell for around pounds 160 a pair. There's also the Evisu denim jacket, with what looks like a large, white seagull on the back. ("It's taking the piss out of Levi's back-pocket detail," decodes Cooke.) Unsurprisingly, they go down a storm. Browns sold out before their first delivery arrived.

But fashion labels and denim will never be truly compatible. "Evisu is real fashion-victim territory," sniffs Cooke. "If you're going to spend pounds 70, Lee are good and work-wearish. I prefer old jeans - the best are Levi 501 XX." Reading between the seams, we can look forward to a designer backlash by June.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

    £37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

    Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

    £25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

    £16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea