Every decade flaunts a scandalous aesthetic which rides against the tide of convention. In the 1950s, it was denim that was making sartorial waves.
Having found its fashionable feet in 1871 when the iconic ‘jean’ pant was invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss, denim has had a somewhat troubled upbringing since the 1950s when jeans emerged as the unofficial uniform of youth counter-culture.
Popularised by Marlon Brando and James Dean, jeans were torn, patched and intentionally abused by stone and acid washes, demonstrating the anti-authoritarian reputation of jeans and their wearers.
While at the time these rebellious revolutionaries stirred controversy with their sartorial courage, their visions have not only endured but been contemporised, and today denim is reinvented and reinvigorated season after sartorial season.
Its modern manifestation continues to court favour with the who’s who of fashionable circles, where it has since emerged as a timeless addition to your sartorial portfolio.
We put our fashionable noses to the ground to find out how this seasonal staple is being reimagined in upcoming collections and how you can up your denim game.
We probably don’t have to tell you that high-rise, non-stretch, vintage-inspired mum jeans are everywhere right now, and they’re a good investment because, with their timeless, flattering aesthetic and ability to suit everyone, they’ll likely never fall completely out of favour.
Yes, relaxed, full-length jeans in straight and even gently flared silhouettes are making their way back into our lives. A little groovy and a little 90s, they are practically made for a small heel and, with a little bit of a roll-up, you can go from dressy to casual with one pair.
A walk on the dark side:
Forget about acid wash or so-light-it’s-almost-white denim. Denim is taking a walk on the wild side this sartorial season, with dark wash denim trending in a very big way – dresses, skirts and shorts included!
When it comes to flash fabrics, leather is held in pretty high regard. While leather can add luxe to your wardrobe, the latest leather looks aren’t all dark and moody. There is after all, so much more to this timeless staple than biker jackets and boots. So, take a walk on the wild side and be a lady of leather.
1 – POWER PLAYER:
Strong, tough, provocative, leather represents strength and that’s what you want when you’re
heading to the office. An investment watch or briefcase are power dressing at its finest.
2 – MIX AND MATCH:
You may have the crisp white shirt and patent leather shoes to make any mother in law proud, but a
pair of leather pants can add some much-need edge to a play-it-safe look.
3 – SAFE SPACE:
Brown leather is classic and sophisticated. It looks crisp and clean with white and can be thrown
over a casual look to completely alter the ensemble at face value.
4 – YOU LITTLE SOFTIE:
Despite its tough exterior, leather can soften easily. Pair that leather pencil skirt with a light
silk blouse to rock a completely different vibe.
5 – BETTER WITH AGE:
An investment piece, real leather actually looks better with age. So purchase wisely and it will
stand the test of time.
6 – KICK INTO GEAR:
Incorporate some luxe leather into your wardrobe from the ground up, with leather looks on offer
from heels through to some cool new kicks.
High fashion is creeping even higher yet, with the latest trend of high necked ensembles sweeping into sartorial consciousness. The 2018 incarnation of the high neck is about so much more than the turtleneck sweater, with dresses, coats, blouses and even wedding dresses donning this dynamic detail.
We’ve got the low down on the history of the high neck.
The turtleneck has been around for hundreds of years, taking form as a protective garment worn under chainmail to prevent chaffing and it has maintained this element of practicality throughout the years.
By the mid-sixteenth century, the turtleneck was decked out in voluminous starched ruffles and donned by members of high society. In the late 1800s, it had become a functional favourite amongst the working class.
By the 1900s it was again a high fashion garment, but it was the 40s and 50s that cemented the foundations of the turtleneck as the iconic basic it is known as today.
Popularised again in the 60s, it later became the uniform of the enlightened and intelligent feminist during the 70s before again finding favour in the 90s, when it became widely worn by both women and men across all socioeconomic groups.
We look forward to seeing how this high fashion staple will play out this sartorial season.
Great things happen when great companies come together. Two years ago, Laney Apparel and Arbi Monograms merged to form L & A Apparel and Monograms, bringing more than 30 years of experience and expertise to the industry.
Company directors Brendan Laney and Nikki Johnson deliver a personalised, tailored and flexible approach to meet your uniform and company branding requirements. Their core business is monogramming – corporate, workwear, sports teams and clubs, school uniforms, hats, caps, bags, towels and anything else that can be stitched. One of the largest South Island suppliers, the company has highly experienced machinists, sales and support staff.
Along with many promotional products – pens, drinkware, umbrellas and corporate gifts – it also offers screen printing, digital transfers and sublimated printing, which can be a more effective option.
Visitors are welcome at the spacious showroom, which has an extensive range of local and international apparel and promotional product from many popular suppliers, as well as the company’s own brand: IMPAKT Customised Team Wear.
The team goes above and beyond to meet all customising requests and there is very little that won’t be considered for personalising to promote your branding. As the saying goes: ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, and a visit to L & A Apparel and Monograms will do just that, which goes to show what the solid reputation of this company will do to get your name out there.
If this season’s sartorial selections are teaching us anything, it’s that muted tones are far from boring. Effortlessly chic, they can hold their own from summer to winter.
While beige, dusty pinks and pale yellows have been in our fashionable consciousness for some time now, powder blues and soft greens are now making their seasonal splash – in the softest way possible.
Hailing from the same family as peach, these feminine hues are calm and composed, bringing a breath of fresh air to the palette in time for spring.
So, if you don’t want to buy into the bold catwalk colours that come and go with the seasons, opt for a muted colour palette instead. It’s far from flat
There’s no more versatile shade than blue, with sartorial selections from pastel to navy making their seasonal debut.
Certainly no one hit wonder, blue has been making a splash everywhere from the beauty counter to the red carpet and, when it comes to taking our cues from the top, we’re taking guidance from Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta.
No matter how you choose to embrace the watery hue, there’s something for everyone in this sartorial shade because, although we’re still hung up on the beautiful deep navys of winter, lighter palettes are making an appearance in time for the warmer months.
Even blue eyeshadow, which has developed somewhat of a bad rap over the years, has seen a coming of age, with a wave of designers adopting the trend on the runway.
We have discovered it splashed across bags, shoes and watches as well as nail polishes and even homewares and accessories.
So quench your colour craving with our mood board of our favourite blues. We’re sure it won’t be long before you’re singing the blues yourself.
The original style chameleon, black crosses every single sartorial divide; it flatters the figure, goes with everything and is available in looks from classic and contemporary through to wild and edgy.
Not surprising then that black is a recurrent feature on the what’s hot lists, more constant in its forceful repetitions than anything else in the style books.
With this humble hue’s ability to make everything look that little bit chicer, it’s time to get ‘black’ to basics. Besides, if Karl Lagerfeld, Coco Chanel and Christian Dior extol the virtues of black, then who are we to argue? It was Lagerfeld himself that once said, “One is never over or underdressed with a little black dress”.
So check out our mood board for inspiration, after all, as they say, black is the new black.
Vibrant and warm, The Fitting Room is as overflowing with enticements for your embonpoint as ever, plus owner Deborah Lewthwaite has doubled the temptation with the opening of her second store in Colombo Street.
We are all dreaming of warmth at midwinter, and whether your getaway will see you reclining in the islands, or enjoying a local therapeutic soak in thermal pools, there is a swimsuit or bikini to flatter and to fall in love with. “We have something for everyone in swimwear,” Deborah says.
In sizes 8-26 with plenty of choices in size 26, all the swimwear has decent support. There are bikinis for the young and larger busted and the young at heart, with cup sizes up to J. There are bright, on-trend colour options and a large range in classic black and white. “We handpick our styles and often try the samples on ourselves to make sure they work,” she adds.
Jets and Seafolly are always in demand, while chlorine-resistant ranges are popular for those with a spa pool habit and the athletic length swimmers. Fabulous value range Zoggs and Poolproof, and the Miracle Suit (‘look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds’ – yes please!) are new in store.
There is a gorgeous selection of lingerie in C-K cups, with long established luxury Belgian brand PrimaDonna now available. If you spot something on the website, phone first as not every style/size/colour may be in both stores at once. The Fitting Room is in Fendalton Road and Colombo Street opposite The Colombo entrance.
Eclectic, edgy fashion at Louis Who in Waikuku is a real find for the trendy fashion hunter. Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Moochi, Paula Ryan, Trelise Cooper, Rude Riders and Japanese premium denim Haikure are a few of the brands which adorn the well selected and sourced items on the racks at Louis Who.
It features a mixture of high end preloved clothing, as well as one-off next season samples from Rich and Royal, Crossley and Hannes Roether and other European fashion brands. These have become bestsellers and, with the stock constantly changing due to the high turnover, it’s a great reason to come to North Canterbury’s best kept secret, only 20 minutes from Christchurch.
“New customers are surprised when they first come in; they never knew we were here,” says owner Lisa Willetts, who stocks only high-quality preloved items in excellent condition.
Becoming a regular at Louis Who has its advantages, as Lisa has VIP nights for her best customers when her new stock comes in, giving them the first look before it goes into the store.
Lisa keeps things fresh and exciting, so there’s also a $20 and $50 designated discount area. Catering for every budget, she has a great knack for recommending the perfectly fitting outfit.
Like on Facebook and follow Louiswho1 on Instagram to see the latest arrivals, which are posted as soon as they come in, then make a bee line for Louis Who – within the Twine Antiques store at the Brick Mill – Main North Road Waikuku. Phone 021 804425 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This coming spring and summer, if your clothes are a bit rad, you’re instantly in fashion. Think out-there shapes and cool mix-ups of items worn together. For instance, who said that scruffy and loose frayed jeans shouldn’t be donned with a gorgeous tailored-waist, satin jacket?
Herein lies the glory of getting dressed. Designers are trying to shake us free of our introversion or apathy. For the timid, out-there looks still beckon. It could be just wearing a tactile texture or incorporating a mad ruffle effect to an ensemble. As with comedy, it’s the unexpected gag which makes everything work.
This means that the less you try to put things together properly, the better! It’s all about interesting shapes, colours and patterns. And if you want your look simple, there’s nothing wrong with one long dress in an interesting shape.
Have a look at Paris Fashion Week for Spring-Summer of 2018 for inspiration. It seems the key is to possess one or two items that fit beautifully. Such as the paradoxical fitted cropped top paired with a capacious shaggy number.
Ok, for those photographed in most city street-style shots, looking good might be a business. But even for the rest of us, life should be vibrant.
Visiting op-shops for radical pieces is a fabulous, sustainable way of walking on the wild side. Or maybe just the verge.