Designs on Denim

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Denims are going new age with cuts, designs, colours and styles that is ensuring that they are an eternal fashion statement.

Denims are known as the spine of wardrobe. Fashions may vary in every season, it may come and go but denims are not at all affected by this. Denims have become quite versatile over the years and designing with them have made for quite a few bold cuts and styles.

Pic Lenzing AG
Pic Lenzing AG

Do the New

Denim is no longer simply defined as a 5 pocket jean and has seen applications in dresses, jackets, shirts and even shoes.  With market globalization, denim is a democracy that is across all price points and looks.  From the street inspired styles to the luxury market, denim is everywhere. Denims are now not just about jackets or bottoms but also about the trendy shirts and Long shrugs and more. Likewise, the shades of denim have evolved drastically. Right now, fashion is running backwards and same happening with denims. Everything old is new again, whether its 2000s minimalism in denims or the 90s grunge look. ”Sustainability is grooving in inside the sturdy indigo cloth. Knitted denims are in trend right now in huge amount in comparison to 3 by 1 (woven twill) in menswear, womenswear and kids wear,” says Rishabh Raj Denim Designer Gric Clothing. It is time for high rise high waist and airy fit chic denim styles now which gives you a casual yet smart look for any occasion you choose them for. There have been revolutionary innovations in the Denim Production. The stretch technique, the spinning technique and knitted denim are few among many innovations used in denims today,” says a spokesperson from Madame. Masumi Mewawalla, Emblaze adds, “destressed denims are gaining a lot of attention along with embroidered denims are being a quick pick for the industry. Denim overalls are making a comeback and blingy and ripped denims also have begun to be a favourite for the new picks.” The making of the fabric has been seeing a continuous evolution. While traditionally denim fabrics are made with 100% cotton, the introduction of Nylon 6.6 gives it the flexibility of stretch and longevity. Combination yarns for warp and weft of cotton and nylon, spandex, modal and Tancel are used extensively for women’s apparel to give it the required stretch. Fibres of bamboo are also being introduced in the making of denims. Lakshmi Narasimhan, Designer and Co-Founder of Sahaa The Crafters says, “the latest addition to denim styles would be wide legged jeans, slit jeans and palazzos. In the Indian context denim profiles include introduction of patches with Ikat weaves and experimentation with traditional fabrics like kalamkari and lambani antique patches for the Indo-western fetish, is also in trend.”

Pic Gric Clothing
Pic Gric Clothing

Contemporary Cues

The turn ups at hem, frill edges are really in and the use of contrast color threads for stitching to give an appealing look is in. Patchy denims without a doubt are playing a role in this season, whether it is an unwashed area patch or another denim fabric, printed fabrics used to apply on jeans as applique. “The tapes applied on the sides of the jeans are getting permanent in terms of fashion. Denims are now headed towards athleisure wears too, which is a very successful step towards getting a foot over fashion in denims. Even the non-denims are attached with the denims to provide a tactile textures and versatility, complementing seasonal tones and innovative silhouettes. Corduroy denims are getting handy. Performance wise denim is playing mighty role in active sportswear (athleisure). These styles elevate core basics. Stripes in denim are again in hunt as they have impacted collection for a few seasons now,” adds Raj. Embroidered denims have made a big come back in 2019. Women have been expressing their unique taste through the different kinds of embroidered denims they pick for themselves, be it feminine florals or punk rock studs.

Pic Lenzing AG
Pic Lenzing AG

Going Green

The denim industry is notorious for its water wastage and the use of chemicals. A single pair of jeans needs 11,000 litres of water between production of raw materials and the finished jeans. This is why brands are opting for eco-friendly options. Sustainable denims, organic denim, khadi denims (handlooms) are some ecofriendly options being tested by brands. Sulphur based dyes used in the making process are now considerably ecofriendly which help manufacturers cut down on the rinsing process; instead contemporary dyes bond with the denim by oxidisation. Revolutionary times in denim as all the “rules of the past” are gone. There is a realization that the social and environmental impact of the denim industry has to change, so sustainability is driving this transformation. “We see a multitude of innovations starting from the supply chain around stretch, performance, and sustainability. Brands are seeking to lower environmental impacts by reducing water usage and introduce circularity concepts to the market. Using TENCEL™ Lyocell in denim helps curb the environmental issues to a certain level. Factors like responsible wood sourcing, closed loop manufacturing, and compostability of TENCEL™ provide the perfect ingredient for lower carbon footprint. TENCEL™ Lyocell with REFIBRA™ technology brings circularity by upcycling cotton scraps to make a new fiber which is strong, soft, and traceable,” explains Tricia Carey, Denim Segment Head, Lenzing AG. Brands have been closely engaging with their customers and have increased the storytelling around denim. Through social media, brands engage with customers to connect in ways that traditional retailing cannot. While denim is still dominated by the right fit; the attitude of the brand which is conveyed through digital marketing is key. There is an increase in recycled cotton for denim and some brands advancing in sustainable fashion by setting standards for recycling cotton. For Lenzing, we have TENCEL™ Lyocell with REFIBRA™ Technology to bring recycled cotton to denim. Major mills and global brands are already using REIFBRA™ technology in denim like Levis, Reformation, DL1961, Country Road, Boyish Denim, and more. While it is quite tough to push denims under the ecofriendly list of fabrics, there is a need to know that traditionally jeans were made of 100% cotton which makes it basically an ecofriendly fabric to a certain extent. “There are factories and brands that try to make a cut in this category in many ways that include use of less water with foam washed denims, reconstructed jeans that are upcycled from old stocks, denims made out of bamboo and hemp, 100% cotton denims and even factories that used recycled water and solar power for running their machines,” avers Narasimhan.

Pic Lenzing AG
Pic Lenzing AG

In Vogue

Brands are experimenting with this classic trend to enhance its versatility. Mid Rise Jeans with Lace hemlines and tie knot ankle detailing are trending. Denims are also being heavily adopted by designers to create accessories such as bowler and hobo bags. Designer Hemant Sagar opines, “pin tucks down the center of trousers are a prominent street wear trend this year which is being adapted in denim base. Denim based tie & die has made a comeback with bohemian skirts and jackets along with motif based patterns. Denim weaving and macrame techniques have gained popularity in the accessories category. Bubble Denim and bold prints on denim are futuristic techniques being used by industry disruptors and have also been featured in the Genes Autumn Winter 2019 collection.” For women’s fashion, trends like high waist and flare styles, perfectly running parallel to the comfort and drape offered by TENCEL™ Denim and for men multi-purpose denim with ease and comfort is in. “We see new application methods for indigo and garments finishing. Indigo applications with foam dyeing are modernizing the denim industry and we expect there will be more innovations for indigo applications in the coming seasons. Advancement in the garments finishing in laser, ozone and combined treatments reducing the environmental impact, while being safer for workers is in,” adds Carey. It is little wonder then that Technopak reports project that the denim market is now projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.5 per cent and reach Rs. 39651 crore by 2021 and Rs. 77999 crore by 2026.

This story first appeared in Apparel Magazine’s July 2019 issue here:TREND TALK DENIM STORY

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