Denim, a timeless classic

Last Updated 29 January 2018, 06:34 IST

The biggest truth about fashion is that it repeats itself. Decade after decade, an old trend resurfaces, making your mum's blouses relevant again or your older sister's tucked away shirts, the toast of a night-out. While most styles come and go, some never leave the runway. Ever. They only evolve, progress and regress - in a loop. We're talking about denims! The evergreen fabric has stood the test of time, making itself more and more relevant with each passing year. Thank god, may we add. Because honestly, what would you rather have as your go-to garment?

While the denims made a splash on the world stage in the early 1900s, most designers agree that its Indian debut took place around the 60s with the advent of the hippie culture and went on to become a statement in the 70s with the likes of actors Zeenat Aman and Rajesh Khanna lending it their star power.

Forever loved

"The proliferating jeans market indicated a radical change in urban lifestyle. To its credit, mass-manufacture of Indian denim jeans, induced a revolution in retail marketing. I think this really helped the country to accept a ready-to-wear industry, which now is worth billions. By this time, jeans are no poor imitation of hip Western culture or a limited edition of elitist apparel, but most definitely a way of life," says designer Anu PD, who as a girl in the 70s, saw the gorgeous John Travolta striking his iconic pose in Saturday Night Fever. Next day, she had her first pair of denims.

Today, the fabric has more than its fair share of ambassadors, of course. While Urmila Matondkar and Karisma Kapoor may have led the brigade in the 90s, the current crop seem to be doing more for it off the screen than on it. The airport looks for instance, are a great indicator of 'what's in'. A quick glance through malls and a college campus will tell you that ripped knees, short denim dresses, flute-hemmed jeans, dungarees and mom jeans are dominating the scene today.

Bad phase

But like every fashion cycle, denims have had their cringe-worthy days too. "Bell bottoms for women and skinny jeans for men, certainly fall in that category," says designer Kunal Tanna. For Saakshi and Kinni, it was the denim accessorising that didn't make the cut. "The denim bags and shoes were a huge mistake," they say. Ask Bhavana Pandey and she cringes, "Definitely, the acid-washed jeans."

Despite its misses, denim continues to rule the roost because of its sheer versatility, adds Bhavana. "The staple fabric can be easily teamed and worn with almost anything, all through the year. Some of my favourite styles and hot favourites include denim joggers, culottes, bomber jackets, fringed jeans and cut-out dresses. An all time favourite amongst the young denizens is a pair of ripped or distressed jeans."

If you're not someone who checks out fashion forecasts, you can spot a trend by checking out celebrities' airport looks, suggests Anu PD. "When celebrities aren't dressed up or modelling, they're oftentimes wearing jeans, and there's a good chance that whatever jeans they're spotted wearing on repeat, will be the next big denim trend. Internationally, celebs like Sofia Richie and Kate Bosworth are donning classic styles like skinny jeans and cropped flares and some niche styles too." But closer home, ripped knees are certainly the big thing.

What's hot

* Ripped skinny jeans - they are feminine and sporty at the same time

* Short denim dresses - not that they ever went out of style

* Mom jeans - they are huge in the West, but yet to make their way to India

* Low-rise jeans - they are arguably dated, but that's not stopping influencers from wearing them again.

What's not

* Denim on denim: This could be an overkill, specially given the Indian weather.

* Denim accessories like bags and shoes.

* Super-ripped jeans

* Bell-bottomed jeans

(Published 25 January 2018, 11:42 IST)

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