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In London, Designers Effortlessly Weave Denim Into Spring/Summer 2020 Collections

Denim got a clean slate at London Fashion Week, where designers presented Spring/Summer 2020 sartorial interpretations of denim and jeans with details that reflected their own aesthetic rather than chased streetwear and utility trends.

The designer best known for her frothy tulle gowns applied her dramatic and feminine prowess to raw denim. Molly Goddard presented a multi-layered fluted skirt and with a puffed sleeve denim top embellished with 3D denim flowers. In a grunge-inspired look, Goddard paired a raw denim corseted jacket with a dark floral chiffon skirt.

In Rejina Pyo’s collection, puffed sleeve plaid shirts and punchy pops of orange and lime were paired with two-tone jeans with sailor buttoning. The trouser-like jeans featured a front patch pocket in contrasting denim. Pyo also took a stab at men’s wear with two-tone straight fit jeans, tropical print shirts and boxy jackets.

PushButton designer Seung-Gun Park interpreted the two-tone look with dye effects. However, the standout denim garment in the collection was Park’s version of the jean short/pant hybrid—a concept that Marc Jacobs also toyed with in his collection a few days prior in New York.

House of Holland kept its denim simple. A jean jacket and a belted jean dress was trimmed with red piping. The brand offered a denim version of a ’90s-inspired slip dress. Lacing details were carried into a jean jacket and flare jeans in a washed down shade of brown.

Georgian fashion designer David Koma presented a collection destined for nightlife, including a stretch denim mini halter dress with a jagged hemline and second-skin jeans with side cutouts. A traditional trench coat layered under a jean jacket was the most staid look in the collection, which was fleshed out with sheer bodysuits, one-shoulder frocks and midi-length dresses with the luminance and flair of a fishing lure.

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Denim and sparkle were present on the runway at Ashish, where embellishments took a turn toward handcrafted details and motifs that reflect designer Ashish Gupta’s Indian heritage. Women’s mom jeans and men’s drawstring shorts—made with multiple shades of denim fabric—were embroidered with circular mirrors that caught the light of the runway.

London Fashion Week was also a stage for environmental activism and sustainable collections.

Textile innovators Vin + Omi presented several dresses made from nettles gathered from Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate. As the Guardian reported, Vin + Omi employed a new technique that turns the fibrous “strings” from the nettle stalks into a fluff so “wispy [and] airy…you might think it was a type of alpaca or maybe a very fine fleece,” Omi said.

Along with the royal weeds, the collection included garments made from recycled plastic and repurposed Levi’s jeans, which were turned into dresses and inside-out jeans decorated with statements about sustainability.

Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques’Almeida continued to incorporate denim into their women’s collection. Though the garments were still oversized and featured unfinished hems, the raw look was less wild than previous seasons. Instead, the emphasis was on rounded cocoon shapes like a pleated skirt that bubbled out from the waist and extra-long pant legs and sleeves.

Pops of red and neon-green denim dresses were among the edgier looks. In an interview with Vogue, Almedia said the denim was sustainably produced with ozone technology that uses water in a closed system. “We’re on this issue now,” he said. “Everyone who’s in fashion just has to be.”