This spring, minimalist denim is so much more than an elementary assemblage of rivets and twill. The emerging story? Threads for a utilitarian, downtown-cool lifestyle, where blue (or black or white) jeans go back to their no-nonsense roots: clean (or ripped off) back pockets, classic cuts, superior fabrications, and an intense focus on construction and fit.
“The Rag & Bone denim line created a lot of excitement in our New York office,” says Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch about new brand Rag & Bone/JEAN (coming soon to Shopbop), which also offers essential knits and menswear-inspired button-down shirts. “This collection is like the backbone of your wardrobe. In true Rag & Bone fashion, the line consists of all those perfect basics every girl needs—classic styles that can go from beach-chic to urban-cool. Highlights for me were the pastel yellow skinny jeans and the denim overall shorts.”
Like Rag & Bone/JEAN, cool-kid label Rogan clothing complements its Svelte Jeans with edgy yet simple necessities: hooded scarves, and sweaters and tank dresses with provocative sheer panels. Vince may be associated with the question of what to wear to work, but this spring the brand exudes attitude with the launch of Vince Denim. “Their High Line Skinny Jeans fit like a glove,” says Kate. “Acid washes, paint splatter, missing back pockets, and interesting side panels are such great touches.”
Helmut Lang Denim (also coming soon) fits seamlessly with this urban aesthetic as well, albeit on a more experimental level. Keeping with the avant-garde spirit of its parent collection, this line pushes the boundaries of what is expected from denim. Look for leather and jersey panels and washes inspired by industrial, distressed textures such as peeling paint, oil on asphalt, and decayed walls. “Their body-con leggings and dresses with black jersey insets are among my favorites,” Kate says. “Skirts, jackets, shorts, shirts—Helmut Lang Denim has it all covered, and done well.”