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FASHION NOTES: ICONS OF DENIM

04.09.15

It’s a well-known fact that denim defies seasons when it comes to casual attire and over the years, we have seen fashion’s favourite fabric take on multiple guises. Yves Saint Laurent himself once said; ‘I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.’ That in mind, we place a strong focus on jeans this season, introducing intricately crafted and quality assured styles that are sure to stay in your rotation for years to come. Here we explore three of this season’s trickiest denim trends, looking to both historical icons and present day muses to inspire fashion-focussed looks that feel wholly relevant for now.

WIDE-LEG FLARES

THEN: JANE BIRKIN

Working as an actress and singer and consequently famed for her chic and uncomplicated sense of style, Jane Birkin remains at the forefront many fashion lovers’ muse list even today. Her timeless aesthetic is easily imitable and forever relevant, with jeans and a simple white T-shirt capturing the effortless look in an instant. So iconic was she during the decade that she famously had one of the most prestigious Hermès handbags named after her.

NOW: OLIVIA PALERMO

Olivia Palermo rose to fame after appearing in reality TV series, The City, but has since earned her status as a highly reputable name within the fashion industry. Curating her namesake website and working alongside prestigious modern-day labels, she’s an authoritative figure when it comes to trends and styling. Blending the smart with the casual, she often opts to style her jeans with a sharply tailored blazer and elegant heels – a look that’s easy to embody and perfectly fitting for the coming season.

HOW TO WEAR FLARES FOR AW15

A daunting silhouette for some, the flare is a very obvious nod to 1970s fashion and a key trend for AW15. Dark washes are altogether flattering but the trick to mastering the look is to balance proportions. Take your cue from Jane Birkin and tuck a slim-fitting T-shirt into high waisted styles. Slipping on a pair of Olivia Palermo-inspired heels will create an elongated silhouette and modern day accents like a structured boyfriend blazer will work throughout the day and into the evening.

STRAIGHT SILHOUETTES

THEN: LAUREN HUTTON

Considering the launch of her modelling career was a contract with Dior in the 1960s, it’s no surprise that American-born Lauren Hutton has since been considered as an admirable figure in the fashion industry. Her love of fashion is apparent in her everyday dress and her signature straight-leg trouser and shirt combination has stayed with her throughout her career. When it comes to a personal sense of style, Hutton's mantra is to avoid following every trend but to find what suits you.

NOW: CAROLINE DE MAIGRET

Born into a famous family and working as a runway and editorial model from 1994, Caroline de Maigret has long since been in the public eye. Now at the age of 40, she is one of the few icons to be blessed with the title ‘Chanel muse’ – a badge of honour in its own right. Her sense of style is boyish, with her signature unkempt fringe and unbuttoned shirting resulting in an effortless overall aesthetic. Jeans and an oversized blazer are her wardrobe staples and her book, ‘How To Be Parisian’ outlines lessons on style in a tongue-in-cheek tone that conveys a witty personality.

HOW TO WEAR STRAIGHT-LEG JEANS FOR AW15

Perhaps the simplest denim silhouette on offer, the straight-leg jean has made a comeback for AW15. The black Carter style is cut for a longer length that’s especially versatile. Channel Caroline de Maigret by choosing to go up a size and roll them at the hems to create a slouchy silhouette, or pair them with heels to elongate your silhouette. A fluid silk blouse will nod to Lauren Hutton’s signature style and a boyfriend blazer will make for a polished final touch.

DOUBLE DENIM

THEN: CHARLOTTE RAMPLING

Having crafted a successful acting career in the 1960s, Charlotte Rampling was very much in the spotlight, both for her role in cinematic film and her acute sense of fashion. She defines a sense of individuality as well as elegant beauty, and thus remains influential still today. Listed as one of the muses for the Reiss AW15 collection, she inspired a strong yet feminine collection. For a more in-depth look into how Charlotte Rampling has influenced the collection, head to our AW15 muse post.

NOW: ALEXA CHUNG

Alexa Chung incarnates a modern day generation of celebrity who remains in the public eye namely for her desirable sense of style and glamorous lifestyle. Perhaps the nature of this type of icon is more readily available thanks to the rise of social media and street style photography, but nonetheless, Alexa Chung has secured her position in the front row of many-a reputable runway show season after season.

HOW TO WEAR DOUBLE DENIM FOR AW15

Charlotte Rampling and Alexa Chung can be recognised equally for their love of denim separates, with both muses expertly capturing an effortless weekend look. Team an oversized men’s shirt with skinny jeans to encapsulate Alexa Chung’s boyish charm, choosing a deep denim-blue hue for a nod to the season’s oh-so relevant 1970s style that Charlotte Rampling epitomises.