Levi’s Wants to Help You Hack Your Denim

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Levi’s clearly got the memo that denim-lovers’ latest passion is DIY customization. The company will soon release a DIY Hacks kit at Levi’s stores across the country, according to Refinery 29, which is rolling out a series of denim DIY articles with the brand. Look for a tutorials on making your own jeans, cool cutoffs, as well as a sew-free way to hem your jeans. If these articles are any indication, the Denim Hack kit will contain chalk, sandpaper for distressing, a pumice stone for more aggressive distressing, a seam ripper, scissors, and perhaps a needle and thread. Look for it in Levi’s stores on April 20!

Fidelity Denim’s New Women’s Designer On the Rise of Wide-Legs, the Fall of Skinnies, and Her Love of Anti-Fit

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Fidelity Denim has a new lead women’s designer, denim maven Rokhsan Enanoria. Her 20-year career the denim industry has included creative director at Larry Hansel’s Grass Jeans and for the past six years she was the creative director at Level 99.

We got a sneak peek at Fidelity’s fall/holiday 2015 women’s collection, the first to see her influence. The appointment is perfect timing for the brand—the ’70s and anti-fit (a.k.a. dropped crotch, relaxed or boyfriend) jeans, both of which are trending hard, hold a special place in Enanoria’s heart. Look for the fall/holiday collection in stores and online in August, and read on to hear Enanoria’s thoughts on trends, how she stays inspired, and the death (or not) of skinnies.

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1. Which pieces did you design for the fall 2015 collection? And how would you describe the collection?
“I joined the company a bit late in the game for fall, so I had only a few insertions in the collection. The collection was very eclectic, with a lot of amazing fabrications and finishes. One of my favorite pieces was the Slash body. It’s a slouchy-straight. It is an updated, forward version of a boyfriend body with an 11-inch rise. So depending on your body type, it can be worn in a variety of ways.”

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2. What trends were most important for this season?
“Anti-fits were a big part of our collection, and of course wide legs.”

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3. It seems like we’re seeing every denim trend imaginable all at once: high + low rise, skinnies + wide legs, drop crotch + fitted. What’s going on? Are trends going away?
“I don’t think so. We have the ability to reference a lot more now than we did in the past. Hence the wide range of information available to consumers now online (Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, etc.) That being said, I think women are becoming very savvy now. There was a time that things were very simple, we had 2-3 major denim brands and the girls had 1-3 pairs of jeans they loved and wore for years. Now, there are way more options and information to go along with those options.”

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4. The dropped crotch trend in particular is interesting to me because we’ve been seeing it creep in for quite a while—is the general public now starting to get comfortable with it?
“I think it depends on the region. Europe has been comfortable with this for a while. So it’s nice to see anti-fits and drop crotches now being accepted more in the US.”

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5. Many people are saying skinny jeans are dead. Do you agree? Are wide legs taking over, and for how long do you think we’ll see them?
“I think it’s a bit premature to say that skinny jeans are dead. I think there is still an entire market out there wearing them. But, wide legs are huge, and they may stick around for longer than people think. I think what’s important about wide legs now is the diversity in inseams and rises. More choices are out there for different body types. Remember, there was a time 8-10 years ago, when people would say they couldn’t get caught dead wearing skinnies!!!”

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6. When it comes to designing denim, how do you stay inspired to create something new each season?
“History, movies, music, and family albums all play a really big role. I have been scrolling through my family albums for inspiration for the spring/summer 2016 collection. We lived in London in the 70’s and I traveled all over Europe and the U.S. during that period. The albums are just amazing and filled with inspiration!!”

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7. Over your 20-year career, what has been your favorite denim design? What is your favorite denim trend?
“That’s a hard one… I don’t think I have ever had a favorite over the past years specifically. I have a niche and love for anti-fits. That’s what I have always worn. I have been wearing my Stella McCartney drop crotch cotton pants for 10 years now.So I guess that would be considered one of my favorites! I do have a favorite era though, and it’s definitely the ’70’s.I love the Bohemian, I love the classy Halston and YSL … all across the board, the ’70’s is amazing.”

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The Denim of the Moment Is Re-Made, Re-Done, Re-Imagined and Decades Old

by Kristen Philipkoski

Re-tooled vintage denim from Vetements, Paris.

Re-tooled vintage denim from Vetements, Paris.

You know those jeans that look like they were someone’s grandfather’s, but somehow are incredibly chic on a very thin French woman outside the Isabel Marant runway show in Paris? You become determined to find a similar pair, and finally score some old Levi’s at a thrift store in the men’s section. Sartorialist, here you come!

Re-done denim by Re/Done

Re-done denim by Re/Done

But then you try them on and you look nothing like that French street style star. The word frumpy comes to mind. They’re mom jeans in a bad way.

Re-tooled denim by Protagonist

Re-tooled denim by Protagonist

Well say goodbye to all that because a handful of companies is taking those old Levi’s and tailoring them to look good on women—even those who don’t subsist on croissants and cigarettes—and to have the silhouettes we’re looking for now. They’re taking them in a bit at the waist, tapering the ankles, and shortening the hem. They don’t come cheap, but each pair is one of a kind. Time to start practicing your French accent.

For ’70s Denim Inspiration, Gucci’s Spring Campaign Is Everything

by Kristen Philipkoski

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We’ve told you, and so had everyone else everywhere, that flared jeans are back, and seventies style is THE trend for spring. But after a solid decade of the skinny-jeans reign, it can be tough to imagine incorporating flares into your everyday wear. Well, wonder no more, because Gucci has nailed the look.

And while head-to-toe Gucci may not be in your cards, take cues from these looks and you’ll be seventies-ready in no time. Pair your flares with a high-heeled suede boot, carry a great bag, find an interesting non-jeans denim piece, and pair your washed-our flares with bright colors and patterns for a style that’s less hippie (maybe just a touch) and way chic.

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JNCO Jeans Are Coming Back and Teenagers Are Confused

by Kristen Philipkoski

Do you remember the incredibly wide-legged, frayed and embroidered jeans by JNCO that were all the rage in the ’90s? Skaters, ravers, hip hop performers and even metal heads all loved them for a hot minute. If you remember this, you might wish that you didn’t. And, like the teens in this video, you might be very confused as to why anyone would want to introduce them back into the world (Jennifer Aniston looks confused, too). But the company that makes them is doing just that. Their explanation:

(JNCO will) appeal to trendsetting men and women who wore the brand in the nineties, as well as a new generation of consumers who will be introduced to the brand’s fashion-forward sensibilities for the first time.

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And it will be fun for those who just like to know their entire body will fit inside their pant leg.

How Tom Ford Does Denim

by Kristen Philipkoski

Tom Ford walks the catwalk in a Canadian tuxedo after his spring 2015 show. Photo via Style.com

Tom Ford walks the catwalk in a Canadian tuxedo after his spring 2015 show. Photo via Style.com

Now that we’ve all had a chance to digest the shows that happened in fashion capitals across the globe the past couple months, let’s take a closer look at some of the strongest denim to walk down the runways for fall 2015. Tom Ford’s take on denim is to me the most exciting, because it’s SO glamorous. His denim skirts incorporate patchwork in a decidedly un-hippie way, and I think I would do just about anything for that denim peplum top.

The day Tom Ford has this much denim in a collection is the day you know denim is going to be huge for the season. A strong 70s influence is also evident, and the combination makes me extremely happy.

Ironically, when the designer himself came down the catwalk, he was wearing a chic black suit, in contrast to the previous season when he sported a full denim-on-denim ensemble—looking handsome as ever in both cases, naturally.

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Photos via Tom Ford

Kendall Jenner Is the New Face of #MyCalvins—This Can Only Mean Trouble

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Photo via Calvin Klein on Instagram

Calvin Klein confirmed last week via Instagram that Kendall Jenner is the new face of the brand’s #MyCalvins denim series, “a limited edition line inspired by iconic logos + classic sportswear.” The line will be available soon at CalvinKlein.com and select retailers.

Anyone remember the original “Nothing gets between me and my Calvins” ad from the ’80s? It featured Brooke Shields, who at the time was only 15, even younger than Jenner is now at 19. It was, apparently, controversial because she was so young, and because it seemed to suggest Shields wasn’t wearing underwear. Ah, the ’80s. So quaint! But Calvin Klein is known for pushing the envelope when it comes to its ads—the brand has been accused of promoting child porn, gang rape, violence, and drug use. I imagine we should all clutch our pearls in preparation for a campaign featuring a member of the Kardashian clan.

The Night When Every Vogue Editor Wore Jeans

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Images via Vogue

Last week, Vogue, Rodarte and the denim blog Jean Stories got together to celebrate all things jeans at L.A. restaurant A.O.C. Editors Sally Singer, Lisa Love, Lawren Howell, Susan Plagemann and others mingled with celebs including Mandy Kaling and Jaime King, all of whom were wearing their favorite denim from brands including Mother, Current/Elliott, Frame and Rodarte. It was a night when everyone could don denim and not feel one bit underdressed—which in my opinion should be every night.

Skinny Jeans Aren’t Dead Yet

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Despite murmurings across the fashion internet (including on this very site), the skinny jean is not dead. That’s according to denim expert Amy Leverton, denim trend forecaster at WGSN. She has predicted denim trends for the past eight years, and tells The Debrief skinnies aren’t going anywhere just yet:

The skinny still constitutes over half of sales. It’s easy for people in fashion to think it’s over, but actually for the wider public, who are only just becoming comfortable with boyfriend jeans, it can take a really long time for styles to come in, or out.

She should know, she literally wrote the book on denim: Denim Dudes was published in February, the paperback is available as of March.

So don’t chuck your skinnies just yet—or any jeans ever, according to Leverton: “There’s always something you can do with denim, it can change with you, from adding patches, to unusual stitching, to embellishing with sequins and eyelets.”

Denim Maxi Skirts: Your Go-To for Spring

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Kenzo Stone-Washed Denim Flare Skirt; Preen Line Celina Denim Skirt

I’ve only been at this gig for a couple weeks and we’ve already discussed the ’70s trend a few times. There’s no denying it’s one of the biggest influences for getting dressed right now. One item in that category that I love seeing is the denim maxi skirt. I particularly love the Saint Laurent patchwork version—it’s looks straight out of Woodstock (OK that was in ’69). And you can be sure you’ll witness this style repeatedly at this year’s music festivals.

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Saint Laurent Denim Patchwork Skirt

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Stetson Long Denim Skirt With Back Slit

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Paul and Joe Alcove Stretch Denim Maxi Skirt

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Further proof that the trend is going strong? This $813 Chloe skirt is sold out.

Greetings, Fellow Denim Lovers!

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Photo by Jennifer Henry-Novich

You may have noticed a new byline (mine) around these parts, and I thought perhaps I should introduce myself. My lovely friend Jennine has moved on from blogging, and I’m stepping in to attempt the difficult job of filling her stylish shoes. My obsession with denim, and writing will hopefully help me in this endeavor.

I’m also editor over at Independent Fashion Bloggers (again trying my best to fill Jennine’s shoes!), I write about luxury style and design at Forbes.com, and I have a personal blog called Stylenik (where you’ll find gratuitous photos of my toddler and me, both of us often wearing denim). But for all things denim and only denim, stay tuned here. I’ve got lots of reviews, features, trend alerts, designer interviews, and other musings on deck that I hope you’ll be into. It’s awesome to meet you!

Joan Smalls x True Religion Capsule Collection Is Already Selling Out

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Get it while it’s hot—the Joan Smalls x True Religion capsule collection just dropped this week, and items are already selling out. The supermodel cum designer’s first collaborations includes 16 pieces featuring cropped sweatshirts, denim leggings, a bralette and high-waisted briefs. Smalls told Style.com that she wanted every woman, not just those with model bodies, to feel comfortable and empowered in her clothing:

I was very conscious that it doesn’t matter what body type you have. These will still look good on you and they’re still flattering––because not everyone has model legs or my shape, but when other women try it on, they accentuate your butt and it looks nice, it feels tight in the right areas. You feel more confidence—I think that plays a big part, how they look and feel.

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She says the leggings are super soft but “tight in the right places.” I’m loving the charcoal color, but alas, they are sold out!

Check out some of the pieces here, and buy them exclusively at the True Religion website or at TR stores. Prices range from $58 to $258. If you find yourself craving something, better snap it up fast!

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