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S/S 2023 Denim: London, Milan and Paris

European collections threaded denim into their Spring/Summer 2023 stories with ease. 

Designers aren’t finished experimenting with denim’s core details. Annakiki used frayed and wavy seams to add shape and patterns to jeans, shorts and bra tops. White frays outlined the cargo pockets and hems of Act No.1’s indigo pieces. 

Burberry ran with denim’s hallmark details. Jackets featured wide cuffs and extra-large pockets. Seams detailed the front of jeans. Jacket sleeves served as belts tied around models’ denim-clad waists. 

Meanwhile, frayed edges doubled as fringe for Fabiana Filippi’s mix-and-match collection. The line also included denim jackets, jeans and miniskirts in a variety of classic washes. 

With an indoor stadium audience of almost 5,000 (including design students), Diesel earned the Guinness World Records title for the largest inflatable sculpture with its 160-foot-wide runway centerpiece. The denim was also larger than life with oversized moto jackets, low-sling jeans treated with sun-bleached techniques and shirred corseted jackets and skirts. Frayed edges turned into feather-like trim while the Diesel logo was transformed into a ballgown skirt. 

“The anchor of everyday style is rethought in imaginative, artisanal treatments including torn tulle embroidery, totally distressed denim held together by rough stitching and sheer layers, cotton-bonded, acid-washed denim, denim prints and exaggerated raw silhouettes,” it wrote on Instagram.

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Yellow- and green-tinted washes added grit to collections.

KNWLS used the moto-meets-apocalyptic color for its denim miniskirts, duster coats, chopped jackets and body-hugging jeans with split hems. Yellow tints gave Vaquera’s collection of cropped jackets, distressed skirts and low-rise jeans a patina effect. 

Givenchy applied the vintage wash to denim bras, midi skirts and slouchy jeans, and bleached wash baggy cargo jeans. 

Taking a turn from its hyper-girly aesthetic, Blumarine used the dirty-looking wash across its range of goth-tinged denim. Wide wrap belts and brushed gold studs decorated the Italian label’s low-rise flare jeans, shackets, bustier tops, strapless gowns and midi-length dresses. A lace-up, cross-shaped top served as a subversive alternative to the S/S ’22 butterfly top Dua Lipa helped put on the radar of Gen Z fans. 

GCDS channeled a similar vibe with a denim bra top with shirred cups. The edgy top was styled with a cutout denim miniskirt held together with a crystal-covered logo. The same shirred effect was applied to the front of jean shorts and a yellow overdyed, back-slit denim midi skirt. 

Chloe added large grommets to denim trench coats and jeans with twists seams. 

Low-slung, wide-leg jeans were also part of Drome’s collection. Jeans were detailed with exposed zippers, patch pockets and double-grommet belts worn around waists and over busts. Likewise, Kimhekim Studios presented a belted denim bandeau top with cinched-ankle jeans. 

Sparkle—some subtle, others generously piled on—injected a youthfully feminine vibe. Self-Portrait presented denim pieces in a classic blue wash and embellished with diamante buttons and encrusted bow details. In synergy with key knitwear pieces, tailored denim dresses are finished with a plaited woven trim.

Diamond-like crystals and crystal-covered red hearts with daggers gave Philipp Plein’s denim its signature shine. AZ Factory inlaid jean jackets with Chevon-shaped swatches of crystal-covered textiles. 

Maje added sweet floral embroideries to high-rise straight jeans, while Paradis trimmed jean shorts with dove-shaped white lace. It also presented relaxed-fit jeans with dove prints. 

Collections were also filled with new classics. Bally’s made a denim shirt with snaps looks chic with both wide-leg jeans and a high-slit long black skirt. Cormio and Christian Dior kept it simple by pairing low-rise wide-leg jeans with tank tops—a normcore basic making a comeback. Thin leather belts with a chain attachment added a jewelry-esque touch to Etro’s loose baggy jeans.  

Bottega Veneta returned with its trompe-l’œil leather “jeans”. In a cleaned-up take on grunge, the laidback slouchy fits were paired with leather flannel-inspired tops and button-down shirts.