Denim in Film: Grace Kelly in Rear Window

by Kristen Philipkoski

Welcome to Denim in Film! Check back weekly for movie stars looking amazing in their jeans (or other denim garments).
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Photo via Modcloth

Grace Kelly brings to mind chic evening gowns and princess-worthy elegance. But she was revolutionary in the 1954 film Rear Window co-starring Jimmy Stewart when she wore a men’s shirt, blue jeans and brown loafers. It’s her final outfit of the film, and on her, the toned-down look is utterly smoldering. The ensemble may be boyish, but she has clearly added her own personal feminine flair to the look. Remember the scene below? It’s just before she swaps out the book for the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

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Photos via Clothes on Film

An Exhibit in Reno Honors the Tailor Who Invented the First Levi’s

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Being a San Franciscan, I always took pride in the fact that jeans were invented right here in my hometown. But what I never knew is that, technically, jeans were invented in Reno by a tailor named Jacob Davis.

Levi Strauss had a dry goods and clothing importing business in San Francisco, when Davis, a regular customer, shared with him his rivet-reinforced denim “waist overalls.” He didn’t have the money to file for a patent, so he suggested that Strauss become his partner. They were granted the patent together, and Davis oversaw the manufacturing operation, according to History.com.

If you happen to be in Reno, an exhibit that opened this week at the National Automobile Museum titled “Denim: Cool Rags and Rides,” honors Davis, and features a collection of rare blue jeans from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Bonus: an early 1970s special AMC “Levi’s” edition of the Gremlin, complete with denim-upholstered will also be on display.

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The exhibit will run through November 6—let me know if you make it there!

The CLOSED Winter 2015 Lookbook: More Than Denim

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Closed may be known for its denim, but the brands designers don’t seem to be satisfied with focusing only on jeans, if the Spring 2015 lookbook is any indication. The high-waisted jeans remind me so much of Girbaud circa 1986, anyone remember that brand? They were the most expensive, most coveted jeans at the time. Just one girl in my high-school owned them.

In any case, I’m loving the military-inspired pants here, as well as the high waists and tapered ankles. See the entire lookbook here.

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Calvin Klein Jeans Gets Racier Than Ever in Its Latest Ad Campaign

by Kristen Philipkoski

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The latest Calvin Klein Jeans ad campaign is typically provocative, bringing both sexting and threesomes to the table. For me, it’s a bit of an insight into that confusing demographic called millennials. This is all normal to them… or maybe it was always normal to everyone, but now it’s just down in black and white? One of the sexters asserts: “A light threesome never hurt anyone.” Reading that and the rest of these (fictional) texts makes me glad texting and social media did not exist when I was a twenty-something.

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The New Self-Edge Lookbook: Lost Island

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Self-Edge, a San Francsco-based retailer of rare and special raw denim, has a new lookbook titled Lost Island. In addition to denim, the lookbook highlights men’s and women’s shirts and accessories with a distinctive urban beach feel. If you like what you see, you can also find the retailer in New York City, Portland and Los Angeles.

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Bloggers in Denim: Olivia Lopez of Lust for Life in Perfectly Beachy Style

by Kristen Philipkoski

Welcome to Bloggers in Denim, where we highlight the best denim looks on our favorite blogger.

Photo via Lust for Life

Photo via Lust for Life

I was a bit giddy when I visited one of my favorite fashion blogs, Lust for Life, and blogger Olivia Lopez had published a post highlighting her Paige deconstructed jeans. I love this casual, beachy look with a chunky gray sweater (always necessary where I live in the Bay Area), and New Balance sneakers. It’s one of those posts that makes me want to just insert myself into her life for a minute. Check out the rest of her denim looks here!

Jennifer Hudson Is the New Face of Soho Jeans + Buy One Get One Free

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is the new face of New York & Company’s Soho Jeans Collection. The 70s-inspired styles include high-waisted sailor jeans (always a personal fave!), a a patchwork flare and more. Everything in the collection costs less than $70. And to celebrate the launch, if you buy a pair now you get a pair free. Not kidding!

The collab is launching just as Hudson is gearing up to a move to NYC to star in the Broadway production of The Color Purple.

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Scientists Are Using Bacteria for a Less Toxic Way to Make Indigo Dye for Jeans

by Jennine Jacob

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Indigo originally came from the Indigofera plant, a member of the pea family. But it’s really hard to extract the blue hue from its leaves. So, because the color is so coveted (for blue jeans and other garments and products), scientists came up with a way to synthesize indigo artificially. That process, though, releases chemicals that pollute water and harm fish if not handled properly.

From the Society for Science:

People used to make the blue dye by extracting it from plants. But as demand for the dye grew, so too did chemists’ know-how. By the late 1800s, German scientists had figured out how to synthesize indigo from chemicals in the lab. Their plant-free approach was faster and allowed for factories to make huge amounts. Today, factories churn out some 36,000 kilograms (about 40,000 tons) of indigo per year — just for blue jeans. That’s roughly the weight of 6,000 African elephants!

To avoid the toxic runoff, scientists have been working on a cleaner way to produce indigo dye. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley recently made some progress in that direction. They genetically engineered a bacteria to produce the indigo dye—it’s less toxic than the current process, but not efficient enough yet. The scientists have four years left on their grant, so fingers crossed they’ll figure it out by then! Read all the science-y details here.

Levi’s Has Launched a Whole New Women’s Collection

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Earlier this month, Levi’s launched a new collection of women’s denim with singer Alicia Keys as the spokeswoman.

“When you are authentically yourself, you are so gorgeous and powerful, Keys says in a statement. “I’ve come to the revelation that I’m just a jeans girl at heart. I feel the most confident, comfortable, sexy and strong in my jeans.” A woman after my own heart.

Levi’s says on its website: “Creating the perfect fitting jeans for each body type is no small undertaking. The Levi’s® team traveled the globe, getting input from real women. And they tapped into the latest fabric innovations and slimming technologies, the most advanced stretch and recovery, signature authentic Levi’s® details and world-class finishing.”

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The collection includes a 700 series, which are super skinny and slim, a 300 shaping series, a 300 plus shaping series, a 400 relaxed series, a 500 icons series, and and 800 curvy series. All that adds up to a whole freaking log of Levi’s women’s styles. Interestingly, there’s not much evidence of Levi’s jumping on any trend bandwagons, namely the lust for everything seventies that’s everywhere at the moment. I try not to fall for trends too obviously or often, but I have to say if Levi’s came out with an amazing high-rise fell-bottom, I would snap those up in a jiffy.

If, like me, you’re wondering what happened to the Curve ID series, it has apparently morphed into the 700 series, if this Google listing is to be trusted:
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Talley Jeans Are Now Available on Demand

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Remember I told you guys back in April about Talley, a custom-made denim line that let’s you track the making of your jeans every step of the way? Don’t worry if you don’t, that’s what archives are for :) Check out the post here, which includes an interview with Ben Talley Smith, the brand’s founder and designer. And if you like Talley jeans, you’ll be happy to know that the brand has just launched an “instantly available” line of jeans for both men and women. That means you get the same high quality you got from the custom versions, but they’re ready and waiting to ship to you right now. Personally I’m loving the LOLA high-rise slim. The men’s instantly available styles are pretty great too, check them out!

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Dip Into These Seven Ombre Denim Styles for Summer

by Kristen Philipkoski

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I am loving this season’s ombre denim offerings. I’ve been in love with indigo ombre denim for quite a while, and now these colorful denim ombre styles are calling my name. They’re slightly less hippie than tie-dye, but still have a summery, laid-back feel.

While I was “researching this post,” i.e. shopping, I found several ombre denim, AKA dip-dye, DIY how-tos. This one from Honestly WTF is pretty straightforward and obviously a great option if you’re on a budget. But if you’re lazy like me and/or money is no object, shop away below!

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House of Holland Ombre Denim Dress, Rag & Bone/JEAN cropped boyfriend jean jacket, Splendid Ombre Chambray Shirt Dress (not technically denim, but denim-ish!), Olive + Oak Ombre Denim Mini Skirt, Runaway Gypsy Ombre Denim Shirt, Stella McCartney Ombre Cropped Denim Trousers, Rag & Bone/JEAN Dre Skinny Jeans, Charcoal Ombre, Escada Boot Cut Ombre Jeans, Greige

Bloggers in Denim: Walk in Wonderland in a Western Denim Dress

by Kristen Philipkoski

Welcome to Bloggers in Denim, where we highlight the best denim looks on our favorite bloggers.

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Remember when I was looking for ways to pull off a Western denim look without looking like a country singer? All I needed to do was visit Walk in Wonderland, where blogger Sheryl Luke shows how it’s done.

If you look closely this is indeed a Western-style denim dress, but paired with a simple Coach bag and wedge sandals, the look doesn’t scream cowboy (or cowgirl). It just screams chic.

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Check out Walk in Wonderland for more of Luke’s great looks!

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