From stupid to sensible is the trajectory this weekend. Supposedly Hawaiian florals and a grey bit of tulle was a bit too much for some people so I've done a 180 and turned to the mundane wardrobe beast that are jeans. I say beast because since this blog has been going, I've dropped post titles such as 'Denim Challenge', 'Denim Difficulty' as well as countless anecdotes about grappling in the changing room with x labelled jeans, feeling embarrassed, red-faced and generally looking upon jeans as evil condoms for the legs. Since those days, I've resolutely eliminated jeans from my wardrobe, until I found the Liberty printed MiH collaboration, a validexcuse to dip my toes back into the jean pool (Did I partake in Jeans for Genes day at school? I substituted with a denim skirt…).
Recently I've gone further down the line to confront two specific jeans pet peeves. This is my way of cartharsis. The point isn't to purge the pet peeves entirely but to face up to them and go "Hey, isn't it great that you don't disgust me anymore?" I might loathe something to the point where I begin to wonder that loathing and then slowly eat my words until that loathing no longer exists and all is resolved. That's how I got converted back to eating tofu and cauliflower.
Therefore, my tofu and cauliflower equivalents in denim to overcome today?
1) Super low-rise, hipster/bumster jeans. The sort where colourful G-string straps used to poke out at the sides where lady lumps would curve into a teensy tiny waist or erm… cause a bit of overhang. I suppose my own straight-up-and-down hips and slight muffin top never really gave me cause to suddenly don a pair trousers that would point those traits out. Their prevalence in the 90s/00s means that their re-appearance in fashion isn't quite due yet but McQ by Alexander McQueen can lord it over the bumster and revive it with correct timing. McQueen of course famously showed his own 'bumster' trousers in 1996 in his 'Dante' collection, which trickled down into the G-string revealing entities of later years. McQ have therefore taken this bit of bumster history to inject in their jeans.
I'm generally a firm believer that my trousers should sit between my belly button and two inches below – anywhere below and I start to feel like I might not be able to eat properly (for fear of the post-meal bulge) or bend down. These are a good six-seven inches down the belly button. Pulling them up would surely cause some sort of internal damage. The trick was to get over that normal trouser urge and instead revel in a shape that inherently makes you want to push your fingers through the beltloops to tug them down. Revealing a bank of midriff isn't my normal cup of tea but then again neither was tying up shirts into knots and rolling skirts down to make them shorter and somehow these jeans have tapped into that distant memory lane. As long as coloured G-strings and builder's bums don't make an appearance, McQ's take on the bumster could very well cause more flesh flashing.
2) My second denim shortcoming? Bleached out washes and deliberately positioned holes and rips, again the sort that was rife in the 00s. It hit a new pinnacle of head-scratching for me, when holes and bleach ran riot on a pair Balmain jeans that hit four-figure sums. Why not just let the denim take its natural course and get holey and faded all by it self?
Weirdly though from a choice of three washes for Diesel's new Jogg jeans, the most bleached out, ripped up wash appealed the most. A mysterious sounding 'secret laboratory' at Diesel have developed a hybrid between jeans and jogging bottoms to create jeans with none of those bits that feel a bit 'crusty' at first. Instead these are jeans for people that want to pull them up without the awkward 'Oh, crap, I can't pull the zip up…' feeling. In effect, they're not jeans at all but jogging bottoms that look like denim. Anyhow, it's all denim techno mumbo jumbo to me. The main point is that bleached out bits and deliberate holes aren't making me want to shake the person who created those holes and bleached out bits by the shoulders going "Why why why?!"
On another denim note, I'd like to thank Glamour for starting this denim trail by winging over some denim pieces by Junya Watanabe – a fleece-lined biker jacket and a deconstructed fishtail skirt – that has roots in Watanabe's earlier denim dabblings (most notably S/S 02 and S/S 09) and letting me have a play with them for their August denim issue. Again, deliberate distress marks are all over the joint on the skirt but the cut of it reveals Watanabe's mastery in experimental pattern, warming me to a skirt shape that I'm not usually enthusiastic about.