Posts Tagged ‘Vogue’


The same year that J Brand launched, a then 41-year-old Christophe Decarnin started at Balmain, a once-staid house that hijacked the skinny jeans look and transported it to the world of luxury, selling its ripped skinny denim or black leather jeans for £2,000 upwards. Decarnin’s vision of modern woman – a futuristic glamazon with long, attenuated legs, encased in shiny or metallic second skin and cartoonishly exaggerated shoulders – was part punk, part preternaturally long-legged insect. French Vogue couldn’t get enough of it, and the rest of fashion followed, an evolution not lost on Rudes who, next week launches J Brand’s long-awaited ready-to-wear range: masculine-inspired jackets, silk tops and man-tailored skinny trousers. Prices, around £700 for a jacket, an eye-watering £1,500 for soft lamb leather jeans in grey or cream, which, says Rudes, “have been bonded on to stretch fabric so they never bag”, confirm that the jean has surpassed any definition of luxury that Calvin Klein or Gloria Vanderbilt might have dreamed of back in the Seventies when they first toyed with the concept of designer jeans.

Even if most women won’t be spending £1,500, the leather, pleather (fake leather) or coated (shiny) drainpipe – once a staple of the hoary old punk rocker and, before that, a sub-section in the sex shop catalogue – has become a modern classic, from Topshop’s £32 line to Joseph’s yummy-mummy £600 versions. There’s no sign of demand abating. Before Christmas, Zara and Topshop did a brisk trade in metallic jeans – a trend that looks set to last well into 2012. The effect may not always be subtle, but they’re unarguably alpha-female. Elle Macpherson’s silver leather skinnies and soaring Louboutins caused much abrasive internet discussion last autumn, most of it, predictably, focused on her age – 47.