If New York Fashion Week proved anything, its that the post-pandemic denim world is one full of unapologetic expression. Bold colors and artwork, thoughtful and conscious messaging, intricate textile manipulation and artisanal finishing techniques feel miles away from the gray marl sweat suits we sported for far too long over the last year and a half.

As our denim makes its way back to the front of our closets we see the humble jean playing a new role in our wardrobe. Our favorite vintage, faded, 5 pocket will aways be a tried and true staple piece, but the denim of this new decade will be a bread of its own and no doubt translate to future vintage and collectibles.

The shows spanned influences from 60’s and 70’s silhouettes, prints, patterns, and aesthetics to the opulence of Y2K sprays, bling and styling, and of course the beloved, off beat slacker style of the 90’s, so its safe to say nothing is off limits when it comes to this new era of denim design.


We’ve rounded up our picks of the most inspirational denim that hit the runways in New York last week.

Collina Strada

Collina Strada SS22, NYFW runway show.

Collina Strada kicked off New York Fashion week with a bang last week! Designer, Hillary Taymour, described the key looks in her collection to Vogue writer Steff Yotka:  “We’ve got a farm queen, broken skater queen, prom queen and a frog princess…. we should all have the freedom to dress up as the queens we are.”

This season the whimsical world that is Collina Strada played out in denim in collaboration with Levi’s. Two baggy pairs of jeans and a Y2K mini skirt are air brushed with stars while a classic straight leg dons the crystal version of the pattern. While another classic boot cut portrays a sort of color swatching pattern reminiscent of a first year color theory class project, a simpler time in lives of all fashion students.

See the full collection here.

Eckhaus Latta

Eckhaus Latta SS22, NYFW runway show.

Color and spray finishes (reminiscent of a pair of Y2K Just Cavalli’s) stood out as a key surface at last week’s Eckhaus Latta show. Fitted, translucent nylon weaves contrasted next to lustrous, black, loose fitting ankle length jeans, with exaggerated belt loops. The overall look was understated naughties reimagined through a gender neutral lens.

“It’s about feeling more free. Really feeling yourself, coming out of the past year-and-a-half and wanting to feel sexy and confident and free.” Mike Eckhaus told Vogue.

See the full collection here.

C+Plus Series

C+Plus Series SS22, NYFW runway show.

Designer C.T. Liu, explored human intuition, ‘presentiment’ (an intuitive feeling about the future, especially a foreboding one) and our ability to manage and live through change: thats a lot to fold into a pair of jeans!

He achieved this tension through contrasting design details such as sturdy and stable felled seams holding together what would otherwise be a totally shredded and distressed denim textile. Patterned destruction has been popping up in many forms across the runway, whether it be intricate textile manipulation or rough patch and repair. Liu’s show might just make him the new king of denim destruction!

Who Decides War

Who Decides War SS22, NYFW runway show.

If you hadn’t heard of Who Decides War before last week, arguably the biggest break out star of NYFW, you certainly have now! Everard Best (aka Ev Bravado) and Téla D’Amore’s line up broke the (denim) internet and fans were thrilled to see the designers in the on-schedule NY line up. The two have been gaining popularity on social media the last several years for stunning, bespoke, hand-worked destruction denim pieces. And more recently Ev Bravado released the first ever denim NFT.

The duo were inspired by a plethora of ideas from family heritage to self expression to none other than Ralph Lauren and described the brand as, “redefined Americana through our lens as people of color” when speaking to Vogue writer Laird Borrelli-Persson, and said, “Going into this collection [we asked ourselves], how do we make this like our Polo, but for 2021?”

This season featured everything from raw denim co-ords with detailed embroidery, patterned destruction, patch and repair to sun-faded washes and all over textile embroidery.

See the full collection here.

Vaquera

Vaquera SS22, NYFW runway show.

Patric DiCaprio and Bryn Taubensee are the brilliant designers behind Vaquera’s show stopping looks. True fashion aficionados and now with the recent support of Dover Street Market, Vaquera’s designs are one step closer to getting into our closets. In the past the brand has been dubbed ‘difficult production wise’ in terms of their bespoke and hand crafted  pieces.

This season the designers played with a sense of duality; using darker and shaded tones, in light and voluminous silhouettes and gray acid washes with deep seam pooling and high contrast fades.

See the full collection here.

Coach

Coach SS22, NYFW runway show.

This season Coach’s Creative Director, Stuart Vevers, paid homage to Bonnie Cashin, known as the godmother of the coach brand, credited with creating some of the best outerwear American fashion had ever seen. Vevers described the collection to Vogue as, “a collaboration between Stuart and Bonnie through the lens of the future.”

The show combined retro 70’s silhouettes and styling with a unisex, layered skater attitude, covering a multitude of fits: from high-rise to low-rise, straight leg, wide leg, and flare. Coach also hopped onto the denim vest trend we’ve been tracking lately, tapping a 70’s re-make look.

See the full collection here.

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