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Kingpins Amsterdam: Fall/Winter 19-20 Denim Trends Relive the 90s

Denim isn’t ready to let go of the ’90s just yet.

Providing a framework for the season at Kingpins Amsterdam Wednesday, denim consultant and trend forecaster Amy Leverton said rave culture, logos, rhinestones and geeky outdoor fashion are among the major looks for Fall/Winter 19-20.

Millennium Blues

Millennium Blues is a hodgepodge of the decade’s iconic denim looks, including body-con silhouettes, deconstruction and androgyny. The theme is the most indigo-friendly trend for the season. Denim on denim, mid casts, green casts, snow wash and lots of pales live here, Leverton said, but don’t expect traditional jeanswear styling.

Leverton described the trend as “somewhat trashy, somewhat tasteful.” Tailored denim and simplified genderless silhouettes are mashed with glitzy style references from dynamic duos of the late 90s and early 2000s, including “Posh and Becks” and Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton.

On one end, styling is effortless and clean. The decade’s interest in androgyny crosses over with the current demand for genderless fashion, resulting in utilitarian ’90s workwear with simplified seaming, practical pockets, zipper details and supersized shapes, which Leverton noted are getting stronger with each season. Pieces are updated with twisted seams, raw edges, fine pinstripes and reverse denim that shows off the weft.

Running counter to that, “trash fashion” returns in all its glory. Expect to see the denim corset, low-rise jeans and sexy Italian looks with “in your face” bling, Leverton said. Chopped waistbands, plastic-like surfaces and kitschy “Clueless” plaid add an ironic vibe to the “fake glam” look, she added.

And a ’90s trend wouldn’t be complete without a dose of logos. Leverton said logos are loud, repetitive and clever—with some appearing as a jacquard pattern.

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Offbeat Rodeo

Vintage Las Vegas, glam rock, garage bands and subversive rodeo styling combine with ’80s opulence to create this quirky Western trend. Think “Elvis during the Vegas years,” Leverton offered.

Cinched silhouettes, high-waisted bottoms and “Texas tuxedos” are among the key looks. Leverton said indigos will be a touch greener, contrasted with jovial pops of bubblegum pink, leprechaun green, gold and a muted toffee color reminiscent of suede.

Here, designers can play up the glitz factor with rhinestones, diamante and two-tone panels worn by rodeo stars. Patchwork and quilting becomes quirkier, inspired by traditional blankets from New England. Rich piles of shearling outline the seam of jeans and add a sense of coziness to jean jackets.

As one of the most decorated stories of the season, Leverton said embroidery is important in “oddball” designs like eagles, roses and stars. Photo-real prints of cowboys and frontier landscapes blanket jean jackets and skirts. Top-stitching pulls inspiration from traditional cowboy boot designs. Studding takes a glam rock feeling, while leather-looking coatings and multiple buckles adds a dark and edgy vibe.


Natural and technical materials with moisture wicking properties and tape seaming are mixed together in this streetwear-driven winter story. The trend picks up where last season’s Dad Denim left off, but is updated with a “geeky outdoor” vibe and more color, Leverton described.

Influences from ski, surf and skate permeate the trend. Jean jackets are deconstructed with puffer coats and polar fleece lines denim. Overalls take on an outdoor look with quilting, vibrant colors and extended rises. Jeans are updated with elasticized ankles. Workwear looks to Carharrt for direction, T-shirts are redone with denim sleeves, and extreme layering creates new proportions.

Deep indigo and mid casts are contrasted with neon-like limeade, palace blue and dandelion. Leverton said offbeat colors, retro panels and fabric blocking add a touch of ’80s to the trend.

The theme takes a turn toward quirky with nostalgic prints like bold tiger stripes, basic logos and colorful tie dye.

Lost Youth

This youthful trend looks back at emo, grunge, punk and rave subcultures. As a result, Leverton said the styling is eclectic and shares some parallels with Millennium Blues, particularly a fondness for trashy style.

Ultra-frayed and destroyed jeans, overworked surfaces, threadbare denim and chewed up hems are combined with A-line silhouettes like those coined by JNCO. The raver look is brought to life by accents of chili pepper, orange and cyber yellow—colors that clash with classic mid casts.

Hardware inspired by bondage, jeans with multiple straps and logos with gothic lettering bring an edgy feeling to otherwise novel silhouettes. Airbrushing, photo real prints and hand drawn designs add personality.

Voluminous bottoms are paired with body-con tops and mesh tanks. Retro track jackets are styled with denim minis, while hybrid jackets, like cold shoulder jackets, or jean jackets with leather sleeves, become statement pieces.