The History of Denim Is About More Than Just Jeans

December 2, 2015 - fall Denim

Die-hard denim fans, ready to group to Denim: Fashion’s Frontier, The Museum during FIT’s latest exhibition—but don’t design a room full of selected Levi’s (though they have those, too). Organized by a museum’s partner curator of costume, Emma McClendon, a uncover explores a story of denim and a transition from workwear to high fashion.

“The impulse indeed came when we was doing investigate for a Yves Saint Laurent-Halston uncover we did final year that we focused wholly on a 1970s,” explains McClendon. “And we can’t demeanour during a ’70s yet entrance across a lot about denim. That’s a impulse when a denim attention exploded. What unequivocally irritated my seductiveness was that denim was so entire in early ’70s conform that Levi Strauss Co. won a Coty award since they had such a clever change in what was going on!”

Levi’s are represented in a few opposite areas of a exhibition, from a customized “hippie” span from a 1960s to “new vintage” recreations from Japan. “The Japanese denim attention is so critical to a contemporary denim impulse that it had to be included,” records McClendon, who acquired pieces from Studio D’Artisan and KAPITAL for a museum while scheming for a show. “That was something we didn’t have in a collection beforehand, yet that we knew we had to get.”

All a other common suspects are represented—classic American ensembles from Claire McCardell and Bonnie Cashin, an festooned fit by Roberto Cavalli, a oh-so-quotable TV ads from Jordache, Calvin Klein, and Fiorucci—but it’s a obtuse known fashions that are expected to pleasure a cloth’s connoisseurs a most. Pieces by Pinky Diane, UFO, Sara Shelburne, Landlubber, and Claude Sabbah call for possibly a sentimental outing down memory line or an complete Google search.

Standout pieces aside (though there are positively many of those), maybe a many fascinating thing about a exhibition—and a story of denim it represents—is that it comes full circle. Moving by a show, viewers knowledge denim workwear during a earliest, furious styles from a ’60s on, and then back to workwear-inspired denim as new as Fall 2015.

“I find it unequivocally engaging that in a ’70s and a ’80s, it was some-more [about] regulating denim to emanate a high conform look, yet now what we see on a runway is designers holding denim’s possess story and looking for opposite style, aesthetics, and building those, putting those together, and entrance adult with this character that is really suggestive of a past.”

As Acne Studios owner Jonny Johansson offers on a board in a museum: “Five slot jeans are a Coca Cola of fashion… It’s never in, it’s never out. That’s a beauty of it.”

Denim: Fashion’s Frontier is on perspective by May 7th, 2016 during The Museum during FIT, 227 West 27th Street.

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