TREND ALERT | Decorative Denim

As denim continues to become a part of today's cultural zeitgeist, designers are adapting. That’s not to say that New York Fashion Week is flooded with a spread of skinny leg jeans, on the contrary. Denim pieces are being refigured and redesigned to add an element of individuality in this sea of sameness we seem to all be swimming in. While we’re only three days deep into NYFW, we’ve already spotted this expressive trend that will no doubt resonate with influencers and editors alike.


ANDAM SELMAN Spring/Summer 2018 ready-to-wear collection. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.


With Calvin Klein early out the gate on the decorative denim trend, Raf Simons peppered in a few matching combos overlaid with bold graphics resembling vintage photos. The technique was replicated on varying men’s looks but this time in different colorways. The odd placement of the photo prints spliced the heaviness of what would’ve otherwise been quite a heavy and traditional looking outfit.

Over at Jeremy Scott, the decorative aspect came via distressing which we’ve spotted on the festival circuit for a while. It made sense coming from Scott who frequently references youth culture to recycle trends. It was a high-waisted fit-and-flare skirt with a handkerchief hemline that got the special treatment – the piece was randomly distressed with pressed-on graphics that took on a rainbow cartoon form.

DESIGUAL Spring/Summer 2018 ready-to-wear collection. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.


Adam Selman heavily explored experiments with denim. His white matching denim suit was used as a vehicle to overlay blue-toned foliage and florals on to, with a similar silhouette (but in a classic blue rinse with green and red foliage) used in the same way. Other denim pieces within the collection got the master treatment with this technique like his high-waisted jean shorts (look 17) which were mostly plastered all over with the aforementioned print. 

While much of the Desigual show felt quite rich in decorative details, it was a cropped denim jacket that stood out. With tribal-inspired embroidery lining the hemline and yoke (which was ultra-short, mind you), the body of the jacket was mostly kept intact. It was the sleeves where most of the intricate craftsmanship was seen – from intarsia detailing to golden embellished cuffs.

At Ulla Johnson, an atypical approach to updating a denim classic – the jumpsuit – was spotted. Except it wasn’t really denim. Johnson adopted a trompe l’oeil effect in order to make a normal woven jumpsuit seem like it was constructed in denim. The faint black pen lines mimicked that of stitching, decorating the one-piece in a way we haven’t yet seen. 


Read more features on NOWmagazine.