Novelty was the name of the game at Pure London on Sunday. With nary a basic skinny jean in sight, the women’s contemporary fashion event offered Fall/Winter 20-21 women’s collections dense with embellishment, trims and other stylish details that cater to fashion-oriented retailers and consumers.
While their U.S. counterparts focused on heritage design and nostalgia, the brands at the London show placed a strong emphasis on denim that is made to be noticed.
French label Elenza Paris presented a feminine collection that emphasized denim shirting. Jean shirts were trimmed with oatmeal-hued chunky lace. Others featured exaggerated Peter Pan collars with boxy ruffles. A sheer button-down blouse was pieced together with a denim collar and pockets covering the most essential bits. The brand tied the look together with a classic denim trench coat.
Vilagallo, a brand that describes its aesthetic as “classic with a twist,” complemented a line of colorful outerwear and embellished button-down shirts with a pair a statement-making flare jeans. The stretch jeans featured a row of high-shine gold buttons down the legs and were finished with blue feathery hems.
Italian brand Trash & Luxury didn’t hold back the bling. The F/W 20-21 collection sparkled with rhinestone-embellished denim. Crystals dangled from the front pockets of skinny jeans and black skinny jeans were dressed up with diamanté side taping.
Denim was a small piece of Italian label Elisa Cavaletti’s collection, but it made the biggest impact. A stretch denim blazer and matching pencil skirt were trimmed with tonal navy leather and pale rose lace. Jewelry-like buttons added a luxury feeling to the jacket. A chambray shirt with “Love is the answer” stitched onto the sleeve added a youthful and optimistic feeling to the collection.
Spanish brand Yerse offered a casual nod to workwear with ecru denim culottes enhanced with traditional wheat-colored stitching and buttoned back pockets. The style was also offered in indigo with tortoiseshell buttons. The autumnal collection was capped off with wide wale golden corduroy pants and a matching, relaxed-fit track jacket.
True to Mat De Misaine’s coastal roots, the French brand offered a deep range of seaside must-haves like classic knits, rust-colored anoraks and pared-down denim. The brand’s organic cotton stretch ecru and dark-wash jeans offered a slimming effect and strong recovery, while a pair of high-waisted, double-yoke caramel-hued jeans added a fashion moment to the collection. The brand also offered washed gray skinny jeans, accentuated with deep front pockets for a workwear vibe. Organic cotton was also used in the brand’s lightweight corduroy button-down shirts.
The double-pleated mom jean dominated the show floor. Ichi was among the Danish fashion brands that updated the ’80s silhouette with organic cotton fabrications. For Ever presented washed-down black mom jeans, while its sister brand B.Young served up 100 percent cotton high-waisted double pleated jeans.
Dranella from Denmark played with subtle contrasts. A pair of black jeans featured tonal patchwork and shadowing down the legs. A pair of retro blue high-waisted jeans was punched up with an exposed fly made with flat copper buttons.
Black denim dresses smartened the collection, and were an all-in-one alternative to the casual jumpsuits that have been trending in the U.S. Ichi’s long-sleeve version featured a collar and simple snap closure, while B. Young had a long-sleeve collar-less black denim dress with a full-zip front. The brand also showed a belted version with a double-snap closure. Worn open, thee dress could also double as a lightweight trench.
B.Young experimented with coated skinny jeans. Front pockets with zippers enhanced the leather-looking jeans, which were available in evergreen, plum and black. Ready-to-wear label Sofie Schnoor tapped into the rocker look with a vintage-wash jean jacket decorated with flat top studs.
High marks were also given to brands that tapped into art, individuality and sustainability. Upcycled fashion brand Estera updates landfill-bound denim garments with hand-painted illustrations and trims made from factory cutoffs. A pair of vintage 501 Levi’s, for instance, is decorated with abstract line art and slivers of leftover brocade fabrics as a back-pocket detail. The brand currently sells on Asos Marketplace, but it is open to new collaborations with independents.
Likewise, Indian brand Agrajain is in the business of creating one-of-a-kind pieces, or as founder Agraj Jain describes it, “sustainable couture.” The denim portion of Jain’s collection takes cues from streetwear by sourcing sustainable 100 percent cotton denim to make boxy, androgynous silhouettes like short-sleeve tops, oversized blazers and full skirts. Neon paint splatters enliven the dark-wash denim. Jain added that he can also collaborate with retailers to create designs exclusive to their store.
And then there was 14-year-old Latifa Nass, the artist behind Lo7at, a women’s wear line from Bahrain. The brand made its London debut by showcasing jeans and denim jackets (among silk tops and robes) with Nass’ abstract artwork. Her paintings are printed on silk panels that are applied to the back of jeans jackets, while jeans are hand drawn.