Colgate Couture: Diving into Wardrobe-Wide Denim

Laura Stoloff

Fashions come and go, but one thing’s certain: denim never dies. The fabulous cotton creation has transformed from simple pants to daytime dresses, rompers, pencil skirts and shoes. Whether prim and preppy, ladylike and refined, boho-chic or downtown rock and roll, denim has made its splash on every style.

Dive into the sea of denim to update your spring look. Add a denim vest or cropped jacket to a floral mini or to a white t-shirt and skirt for an all-American look. After all, the legendary Yves Saint-Laurent once stated, “I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity — all I hope for in my clothes.”

And the hottest runway designers have joined the denim front for an exclusive collaboration. Alexander Wang, Ann Demeulemeester, Bottega Veneta, Derek Lam, Rodarte, Rogan, Stella McCartney and Versace have teamed up with Barneys New York to reinvent worn, donated denim into unique styles of dresses, jackets and skirts all in the name of the sea. The one-of-a-kind pieces will sell on eBay April 30, with proceeds to benefit Oceana, the largest international ocean protection advocacy group.

But for those who don’t see a future in snatching the unique Rodarte denim dress, Current/Elliott and Charlotte Ronson offer the most innovative denim designs for spring. Current/Elliott’s “The Bib Romper” will take you back to childhood memories, but adds a modern spin. The striped overall jean shorts with front button straps that cross at the back pair perfectly with a simple white t-shirt. For a western vibe with a sweetheart twist, Current/Elliott’s “The Heart Dress” will do just the trick; think lightweight denim with a sweetheart neckline and pleated appliqué. And for those who find their evenings spent out on the town, Charlotte Ronson has created a cutting edge number ideal for a late night soirée. The v-neck denim dress looks undeniably sexy, focusing on the open back with strap detailing and an exposed zipper.

Rag & Bone, D & G, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Sari Gueron and Louis Vuitton have also taken the all-American classic and transformed it into show- topping pieces. Who said preppy had to be boring? Rag & Bone’s spin on denim went for a more tailored fit with carbon-blue jeans and a matching fitted blazer, whereas Boy by Band of Outsiders opted for preppy-cool with looser fitting jackets. The look? Nonchalant prepster. Sternberg paired an oversized double-breasted jean blazer over matching high-waisted denim shorts (with a crisp white Oxford and Ray-Bans of course). The denim rage hasn’t stopped with clothing. The denim boat shoe has arrived, courtesy of Sperry Top-Sider. This dark denim shoe with suede lacing will put a little pep into your step.

But denim doesn’t always have to be classic. Take a lesson from Sari Gueron, who transformed the casualness of denim into ladylike sophistication. The denim dress has never looked better; it is fit for the day with flat sandals or perfect for night with a pair of heels. The detailing on the collection’s denim minis made the creations one-of-a-kind, with ruffle lining on the bell sleeved dresses.

And if you’re not keen on traditional blue denim, designers used jean material in cr??me, red and blues. Nanette Lepore’s honeysuckle pencil skirt is not only perfect for the workroom, but for the evening as well. And for a pop of color, McQ by Alexander McQueen’s “Stretch Denim Pencil Skirt with Zippers” in lapis blue hugs all the right curves. Once relegated to the depth of the dress code, denim has reclaimed its place as a staple for any diva’s daily wear.