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Designers Weave Denim Throughout Their SS19 Runway Collections

Following the denim-heavy Spring/Summer ’19 runway shows in New York, fashion weeks in London, Milan and Paris set the stage for more creative denim design.

In London, streetwear and workwear continued to dominate the catwalk.

Underground brand Toga went for full Western garb with a dark rinse denim button-down shirt, matching jeans, a bolero necklace and a bold belt buckle. The styling was pared down at Alexa Chung, who also favored coordinating denim pieces. However, Chung emphasized the utilitarian aspects of her denim pieces with white contrast stitching.

Contrast stitching added dimension and visual interest to House of Holland’s denim jumpsuit, too. The brand also played with seaming, using the detail to create a striped pattern on an oversized jean jacket and twisted seams so back pockets appeared on the front.

That topsy-turvy look was front and center in Natasha Zinko’s spring collection. Some deconstructed denim pieces were made with up to four pieces of different colored denim, fused together to create a layered jean pant. Denim jackets and shorts were shredded to reveal other layers of denim and the shafts of boots were weighed down by swatches of denim fabric.

Maximalism ruled in Milan, where designers like Antonio Marras, Blumarine and MGSM transformed denim staples into pieces that smacked of late ’70s and ’80s excess.

Trucker jackets were a canvas for Antonio Marras’ metallic appliques and patchwork sleeves, which included a multitude of realistic and abstract animal prints. The always feminine collection from Blumarine introduced intense tropical shades of orange, yellow and pink. The brand lined destroyed skinny jeans and oversized jean jackets with the bold floral print.

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Cristiano Burani played with dark wash denim and intense neon hues, too. The designer took a painterly effect by splashing just the top or bottom half of jean jackets and shirting with the trendy pop color.

High-end streetwear label MGSM revisited ’80s silhouettes like an off-the-shoulder ruffle top jean jacket and an oversized bow crop top. The loud look was amplified with a tie-dye indigo effect plumes of blue feathers. Other key denim items from MGSM included a denim chore jacket and Bermuda shorts, which continue to gain traction in the women’s market.

The dark denim pieces by Emporio Armani and Fendi were a reprieve from otherwise flashy style choices from the week. Fendi’s elongated denim bomber jacket featured large pockets fastened by sporty side release buckles and logo-printed straps. Emporio Armani added a touch of sparkle and sheen to dark denim boiler suits for men and women.

Meanwhile, woven denim pieces from Missoni added some softness and delicacy to the season.

In Paris, designers folded denim—seemingly effortlessly—into their collections by pairing the utilitarian fabric with drapey silks, tweed boucle, bridal tulle, lace, cotton gabardines and other sophisticated materials.

Paul & Joe flung a traditional trench coat over a mid-wash Trucker jacket and denim Bermuda shorts. The outfit was one of the more staid looks in a collection that embraced vinyl trousers, mini-skirts and tops adorned with dinosaurs and cats.

Zippers took center stage in Chinese label Mashma’s spring collection. Zippers snaked up and around jeans’ legs, allowing the wearer to show as much or as little leg as she wishes. The brand also played up branding with belts and pocket details bearing the address of its Parisian atelier.

Y/Project and Isabel Marant both embraced stonewash denim. Marant broke free from her signature Western look with glammed-up silhouettes from the ’70s and ’80s. Patchwork and quilted denim were punctuated with metallic lamé and aggressive slouchy boots.

The continuation of half and half fashion played out on the runway at Sacai, where jean jackets were spliced with trench coats. Junya Watanabe keyed into the deconstructed denim trend ball gown hybrids. The designer stitched denim pant legs in varying shades into a full skirt with a frothy white petticoat. Paisley printed dungarees were fused with a white silk and tulle dress.

Designer Stella McCartney tapped fresh-faced model Kaia Gerber to walk the runway in a youthful, denim tie-dye flight suit. The statement piece encapsulated McCartney’s focus on sustainability and comfort for spring. The men’s and women’s collection—the first since splitting from Kering in March—combined tie-dye jeans with zip details, V-neck tops and organic cotton tees, with relaxed suiting made with linen, sustainable viscose and Econyl recycled nylon.

Balenciaga artistic director Demna Gvasalia’s fixation for odd proportions (and humor) hasn’t waned. Along with revamping the label’s logo in one of the most mocked fonts ever created, Comic Sans, the designer also mixed men’s printed silk button-down shirts with stonewashed jeans and black straight fit jeans with belt chains. The look was recreated for women with silk shirts with extra-long sleeves and fit and flare jean skirts.