“Denim Delights”

Alaia Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo Courtesy of Alaia

Fashion’s obsession with denim is nothing new, but like all other iconic items, denim will periodically have its moment in the sun. That moment is now. I believe it all started this past July when Pieter Mulier, creative director of Azzedine Alaia, unveiled his spring 2023 ready-to-wear collection during Paris Haute Couture Week.

Alaia Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo Courtesy of Alaia

Built on paradoxes, Mulier’s third collection for Alaia celebrates the inherent contradictions that are at the heart of the Maison; a tension between the brut and well-made, the raw and refined. Mulier uses sophisticated denim designs, several of which are accessorized with masses of pearls.

Harper’s Bazaar November 2022,
Photo harpersbazaar.com

All of a sudden, denim on denim looks fresh. It’s even showing up on magazine covers. Harper’s Bazaar’s November issue features Emily Ratajkowski on the cover wearing a supersized Balenciaga jean jacket and jeans. It’s meant to be amusing and satirical. Still, there’s nothing jokey about the new takes on the Canadian Tuxedo.

“I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, practical, relaxed, and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.”

Yves Saint Laurent

Denim is humble, sturdy, durable, and highly accessible, which makes it perfect for today. No wonder the world lives in denim. The problem is most people look like slobs. While much of what is out there is ordinary, there are exceptional and surprising pieces that are anything but run-of-the-mill.

Marc Jacobs Raw-Cut Denim Maxi Skirt and Denim Puffer Jacket Stole
Photo bergdorfgoodman

For spring 2023, Marc Jacobs supersized jean jackets and created ball skirts out of denim, imbuing the humble fabric with French Couture. Jacobs’ floor sweeping high waist Raw Cut Denim Maxi skirt, $5500, and matching Denim Jacket Stole with puffer underlay, $4500, are for sale at Bergdorf Goodman.

Puffer Jacquard Logo Jacket Stole & Long Logo Jacquard Denim Frayed Maxi Skirt
Photo bergdorfgoodman.com

A similar skirt is available in a light blue wash with a subtle allover jacquard logo pattern and frayed trim. Priced at $3405, it is shown here with a matching Denim Jacket Stole, priced at $6305. Both are available at bergdorfgoodman.com.

Vaquera Denim Maxi Skirt with Train
Photo vaquera.com

Vaquera is known for subverting conventional sartorial codes and exploring the drama of exaggerated texture, oversized cuts, and reworked wardrobe staples with innovative fabric pairings. The brand’s subversive outlook permeates this skirt, constructed from panels of washed blue denim shaped into an elaborate train and exaggerated patch pockets.

Vaquera Denim Maxi Skirt with Train
Photo vaquera.com

Best of all, the long train detail in the back is buttoned up to the side for a more compact option. Brilliant! Priced at $710, the skirt is available in limited quantities at vaquera.com and hlorenzo.com.

Alexander Wang Denim Tank Gown
Photo alexanderwanag.com

Alexander Wang’s tank gown with a formfitting bodice is crafted from faded blue denim blended with a little stretch for comfort. It’s cut for a contouring silhouette and gently draped through the waist. The back has a high slit which allows the hem to flare out, showing off your shoes. Priced at $795, it is for sale at Alexanderwang.com

He is known for his youthful and creative collections with an effortless New York City spirit. Alexander Wang has built a loyal following with his mix of gothic sportswear and tailoring.

Alexander Wang Single Breasted Denim Coat
Photo alexanderwang.com

Wang’s unique denim coat is classic with a subversive edge. Crafted into a maxi silhouette for a retro-inspired ambiance, it channels unique duality, making it versatile to your well-curated wardrobe. Priced at $1330, it is for sale at alexanderwang.com.

“Blue jeans are the most beautiful things since the gondola.”

Diana Vreeland
Sally LaPointe Vintage Denim Relaxed Trench with Shearling & Vintage Denim Slouchy Pant,
Photo shoplapointe.com

For those who want a coat with a bit more drama, you can’t go wrong with Sally LaPointe’s Vintage Denim Relaxed Trench with 100% dyed Mongolian lamb shearling collar, $2550, shown here with the matching Denim Slouchy Pant, $690. Both are available for pre-order at shoplapointe.com

Sally LaPointe Metallic Denim Slouchy Pant Baby Blue Cashmere Crossover Sweater Photo shoplapointe.com

Sally LaPointe is always right on point, so it’s not surprising that she has just added a small group of denim to her 2023 resort collection. The Metallic Denim Slouchy Pants, in a color called “celeste,” has a high rise and relaxed fit. Priced at $1100, it is available for pre-order at shoplapointe.com.

Vivienne Westwood Metallic Foiled Denim Jacket,
Photo 1stdibs.com

This rare 3-piece Vivienne Westwood set features a corset, jean jacket, and jeans in a metallic turquoise foiled denim with a deconstructed finish. Originally shown on the spring 2003 runway, it is priced at $14,900 and for sale at 1stdibs.com.

Junya Watanabe Washed Denim Dress and Pants Ensemble
Photo 1stdibs.com

There is a well-documented, long-standing relationship between Levis jeans and Junya Watanabe, as he has often used their classic western offerings for his candid typographic imagery. Junya’s dress and pants ensemble, from spring 2002, is constructed from heavyweight Japanese-washed denim.

The deconstructed floor-length dress has multiple curved panels with matching low-rise flared pants. It is a collector’s item and a museum piece for sure. Priced at $12,600, it is for sale at 1stdibscom.

Saint Laurent Denim Blazer
Photo mytheresa.com

Saint Laurent has been renowned for suiting since ‘Le Smoking’ debuted in the ’60s. This denim blazer is structured with padded shoulders and contouring princess seams. Style yours as part of a suiting set, too. Priced at $2990 it is for sale at mytheresa.com.

Latest Comments

  1. Great reporting, once again, by Marilyn, not to mention her critiques. Perfectly spot-on and correct.

  2. Yes, Ackerman: “So the more and more we can restrain each other and be quiet and silent- I think that’s…

  3. Hello Marilyn, At last we have Haider Ackerman, providing clothes that are beautiful, becoming and wearable. Yes, believe it or…

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.


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