Denim brands and retailers are aching for a new industry-shaking trend like skinny jeans. Will they finally have their moment in Fall ’17?
WGSN West Coast Denim Editor Lourdes Linares and Fashion Snoops Director of Culture and Lifestyle Heather Picquot shared their predictions for Fall ’17 denim trends with Rivet. While some looks may not have the universal appeal of skinny jeans, stretch fabrics and updated classics are poised to reconfirm denim’s staying power once again.
Straight & Wide
Spurred on by a new generation discovering Levi’s classic 501s, and the social media success of brands like Vetements restyling the classic fit, trend forecasters expect straight silhouettes and some wider cuts to snatch a piece of skinny jeans’ market share next fall.
Wider cuts are already beginning to come back into fashion with the kids. WGSN reported that wide cut jeans were the second most popular silhouette—second to skinny—during the 2016 back-to-school season.
“Skinny” will likely never leave denim consumers’ vernacular, but Linares said the style’s popularity will wane.
“There is definitely going to be seasons when the skinny is going to be overshadowed,” she said. However, the likelihood of skinny jeans disappearing all together is unlikely. “[Skinny] is so versatile. At this point you can go to work in it, you can go to dinner in it. I think it will be impossible at this point for something like this to fall out of interest all together,” she added.
After taking the helm of Gucci as creative director in 2014, Alessandro Michele has started a revolution in runway denim with ornate, baroque-inspired embroideries decorating denim jackets and jeans, with little distinction between women’s and men’s collections.
The ripple effects of baroque denim can already be seen in the various copycats with Zara, Topman, Diesel, Frame and Scotch & Soda offering their own versions of embroidered jeans and denim jackets.
The chance that baroque denim will become the next skinny jean is slim to none, but brands will have a playful fling with the decadent trend for at least one more fall season.
Picquot predicts that the DIY and personalized quality of embroidered denim will help fuel the trend for another year. Fall ’17 will bring a continuation of Gucci’s over-the-top denim details, including animal and text embroidery and eclectic collections of patches and designs on sleeves, pockets, the back of jackets and down pant legs.
When Linares first saw the denim creations by Vetements, she was struck by how unusual it looked, and she knew it would be a trendsetter. The French label has become the talk of the fashion world with its wildly unorthodox silhouettes and constructions.
The brand’s most memorable piece is the Reworked jean made with a Frankenstein-like patchwork of mismatched washes and uneven hems. Combining different shades of vintage jeans, the Reworked jeans are desirable in part because they don’t look one-of-a-kind. Piquot cites Vetement’s Russian-born stylist Lotta Volkova as one of the main forces behind the unorthodox eclectic fashions that created the Reworked jean.
For Fall ’17, expect to see more premium brands recreate the hodge-podge look by combining to two pairs of jeans to make one, and by focusing on mismatched washes and fading rather than uneven constructions. Rag and Bone, Frame and Guess have already released their own iterations of retooled jeans.
With the rise of athleisure and the obvious comfort benefits of stretch, male shoppers are demonstrating that they’re ready to accept synthetic materials in their denim. Comfort stretch denim is expected to grow even further next fall as men seek sharper looking alternatives to this season’s joggers and sweats.
“Men’s denim is going to continue to move toward comfort. It already is, but it will continue to evolve. Guys are looking for stretch and that is attached with athleisure trends,” Linares said.
Men’s denim brands are ready. Levi’s introduced the first 501 with stretch this fall. The recently revamped Jackthreads only offers denim with at least 1 percent spandex, and more brands are expected to jump on the stretch bandwagon. Good news for denim labels facing rising cotton prices.