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DENIMS : Decoding denim trends in 2016

TRENDSPOTTING 2016 : "Athleisure, the trend that’s added leggings and sneakers to everyday wardrobes, has now emerged into a full-fledged category at the intersection of activewear and traditional sportswear. While the category has taken a meteoric rise, it has also threatened its main competitor in the casualwear category, denim. At the Women’s Innovation Summit last year, Nike CEO Mark Parker announced, “Leggings are the new denim.” But jeans have fought back and found a way to incorporate comfort with elements like extra stretch, knit denim fabrications and sweatpants styling."

 

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The youthful, stylish, favourite of all fabrics stands witness to many changes to become today’s denim. From a worker’s uniform to a symbol of youth rebellion and a fashion statement-- denim stays fashion’s favourite through the ages. Even in 2016, denim continues to be a major contributor in world fashion, making headlines with new trends and styling. In today’s varied denim jeans market, there is a wide range of styles on offer for New Age consumers, – from classic boot-cuts and bell-bottoms, to ‘boyfriend’ and ‘mom’ jeans. Zayan Ghandour, Co-founder and Creative Director of S*uce concept stores in the UAE, says: “Denim has always been a staple in every wardrobe – especially denim trousers, of which every woman owns between one and 10 different washes and cuts”.

Denim an expression of personal style

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Gone are the days when the standard denim was five pockets and indigo dyed. Today, it has become lighter and more stylish, innovative to be a part of casual wear as well as semi formalwear. The idea of artistically revamping denim isn’t entirely new. Art competition held by Levis Strauss revealed as many as 2,000 entries which suggested that even in 1973, Americans loved decorating their own jeans. The brand showed that Levi’s jeans had evolved to become canvases for personal expression. While it talks of a DIY trend on their jeans at home, today there is a wide range of expressive denims readily available on the high-end market. The new season of denim, thus , seems to be a personal style segment, atleast in the designer category. From Stella McCartney’s new season gold polka dot and embroidered wildcat jeans, retailing at up to Dh2,500, to the Ashish’s sequinned pair costing about Dh7,800, denim is becoming more of a personal style statement with innovation and styling. The trends will get bigger in 2016.

In their campaign, Ghandour features denim dresses, blouses, skirts and kaftans decorated with colourful embroidery – all rose bouquets intertwined with hummingbirds. While the base is a typical blue-jean shade, embellishments are dainty and romantic, giving a playful vibe to the jazzed-up denims. “We wanted to introduce a line of denim that included fashion pieces rather than basic staple items,” says Ghandour. She adds that the addition of lace and embroidered elements elevated the pieces from basics to “must-haves” and claims that denim can no longer be confined to casual wear. For spring/summer 2015, the collection from Chloé combined femininity with utilitarian and prairie influences. Three of the looks were completely made up of denim: a detailed minidress, a poncho and jogger ensemble, and a button-down maxi skirt with a relaxed crew-neck sweater. Gucci’s spring/summer runway show also incorporated a great deal of denim, from cropped wide-leg jeans to panelled dresses that mixed different shades of denim with textured eyelets. at Karen Walker, retro silhouettes were produced in baby-blue denims, and at Acne, the fabric was dyed in shades of indigo and purple before being pieced together in an eclectic patchwork manner.

Athleisure to remain strong

Athleisure, the trend that’s added leggings and sneakers to everyday
wardrobes, has now emerged into a full-fledged category at the intersection of activewear and traditional sportswear. While the category has taken a meteoric rise, it has also threatened its main competitor in the casualwear category, denim. At the Women’s Innovation Summit last year, Nike CEO Mark Parker announced, “Leggings are the new denim.” But jeans have fought back and found a way to incorporate comfort with elements like extra stretch, knit denim fabrications and sweatpants styling. Jeans as a category are not dead but they have done a good job of redefining themselves or reimagining their product in light of athleisure trends.”

Athleisure trend would be a strong trend as companies focuses on bringing out products to cater to this trend. Referring to the trends from 4th Denimsandjeans.com Bangladesh show, Sportswear and Activewear aspects of denim were prime focus as companies from Brazil, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Turkey etc brought out fabrics with upto 100 per cent stretchability and high recoveries. As part of Athleisure, strong fibers were also used in the fabrics like Dyneema fibers- to give that rough and tough character to denim for action sportswear. Hence denim goes lighter and lighter to match with the new categories. Subtle and smooth feel with satin weaves and play of Tencel, modals, rayon, linen and other fibers were extensively used to create the high end denims for females as well as for males sometimes. Dobbies and jacquards weaves to create new designs and accentuating their effects

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with washing

Innovation add dynamisms to market

As a result of Athleisure influence and changing styles, there has been
much innovation to create contemporary structures and finishes. Marcus Boson, The Blue Uniform Designer, says “the company has always used stretch, but it has been more about their ongoing dedication to comfort than a dedication to trend. Their emphasis is on timeless fashion, and their main concern is that their customers are comfortable, whether they are sitting in front of their computer or on the move.” Boson believes, however, that the fitness and health trends will continue, so something similar to athleisure will endure in future. As competition increases brand are now Capitalizing on new innovations.

Brands like Denimocracy created a capsule collection of knit pants with a variety of wash treatments, including coating, foil and mineral washes. The knit line complements their premium denim, maintaining the look of denim with the stretch and comfort of a legging. The trends follow across the globe. Turkish brand Mavi’s collection for Fall/Winter 2014 used a new ‘sporty’ fabric, which is actually a French terry. The fabric in fashion silhouettes and combined knit with an indigo yarn, which gave the look of a true jean in authentic-looking denim washes. The brand has joggers by using more premium French terry fabrics to allow the customer to experience the fabric in a tried and true fit they love.

70’s retro will inspire Fall/Winter 2016

70’s chic denim, a women’s wear trend that breathes new life into retro denim styles to create 70’s-inspired pieces with a clean, contemporary appeal will continue to be big in 2016. Already a big trend in 2015, ’70s-inspired designs will remain a touchstone in the new year, with designers drawing from the bygone decade with wider flared jeans, culottes, and denim skirts, which Polyvore recently named as one of their most-searched items of 2015.

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“I’ve got all inspiration from ’70s silhouettes and washes,” said Katie Kim, Hidden Jeans designer. “Very calm, clean medium blue tone, but with a hint of great detail such as frayed hems, embroidery and hidden zippers. I’m focusing on wide legs, culottes, and flares with great ’70s detail.” “San Francisco has so much inspiration when it comes to the ’70s,” said Amie Gains, designer at Level 99. “Naturally I love to check out the vintage shops that hold a true ’70s flare, from the vintage 501 Levi’s to the old Maverick, Lee, Jordache, and vintage suede jackets. Denim skirts are also coming back in all shapes and lengths from slim fitted long skirts, to A-line silhouettes.”

Women’s denim replete with tonal patchwork, flat finish

This year women’s denim introduces a 70’s mood with striking patchwork prints, executed in tonal denim blue shades. Clean lines enhance simple cuts, as seen in the form of cropped culottes and flared jeans. Meanwhile, more casual DIY looks can be created with pieced-together materials and raw edgings. Double-denim coordinations make a contemporary statement when formal jackets are styled with jeans. In Fall/Winter denim , flat finish emerges with anti-treatment finishes and clean-cut designs. Purist shapes lend a chic appeal, from A-line mini dresses to longline coats. Wide-leg dungarees can be layered over a tactile roll-neck knit for a cozy winter 70’s look, as high-waist silhouettes and shirt collar details emphasize the modern-retro feel.

Distressed woos customers

Of late distressed jeans have become increasingly in vogue as well. They have even made a startling entry into high fashion, which is particularly surprising given the rumpled and ragged appearance of distressed jeans, and contrasting posh nature of the orthodox fashion industry. The luxury segment in markets like Abu Dhabi offering cutting-edge styles from international brands such as Jonathan Simkhai, Prabal Gurung and Markus Lupfer. Founder Lina Mustafa launched a dedicated in-store denim-distressing station, where customers can bring in their denim pieces and have them customised. “We started this because I’ve found that it’s very difficult to find perfectly distressed jeans according to exactly how you want them,” Mustafa says.

Changing with time and to compete with newer categories like knitted sportswear and active wear, denim makers have introduced new techniques to keep up with the changing wardrobe requirements of today. In today’s internet savvy world, information and exposure flows everywhere, making fashion highly competitive. While consumers are continuously looking for innovation, denim makers are also working relentlessly to introduce new trends and technology to keep their market share. In continuation with the prevailing trends of last year, 2016 will see a more focused approach of denim makers to be ahead of the game in terms of design and product innovation.

 

 

 

 
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