Thursday, April 26, 2007


There’s more to high-waisted jeans than the question of ‘how high?’ We consulted the experts…

As if the perfect pair of jeans wasn’t elusive enough, trends that seesaw from acid-wash to organic, and from straight-leg to boot-cut and back again, make the search that much more confounding. When the skinny jean became the jean of ’06, Nylon Magazine narrowed options down by measuring a few brands to find the skinniest. But when it comes to this season’s high-waist hoopla, they realized that there’s much more to the resurrected classic than the question of how high? Here’s how some denim experts envisioned their styles.

J Brand is to blame for some of the déjà vu you suffered flipping through US Weekly last year—everyone and their mothers squeezed into the denim label’s ultra-low-rise Jett Black jean. Well, now you can breathe a sigh of relief (and they can just breathe). “As much as we love our skinny jeans, we gals always want options,” explains J Brand Co-founder Susie Crippen on going to the other extreme—a high waist and wide legs. Made from premium Japanese Pima four-way stretch denim, “The Malik is perfect to go from a tighter jean to one with movement that still looks clean, sophisticated, and stylish.”

“They make your ass look like a juicy peach,” says Judi Rosen of the high-waisted jeans and jean shorts that she designs for her label, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. (Now that’s what we want to hear.) “And it’s no mystery—I have been developing the pattern forever!” Rosen’s Lower East Side boutique that shares the label’s name has had ’70s-inspired Elephant Bells—and high-waisted double-ruffle prairie skirts and trompe l’oeil lingerie too—hanging from macram hangers since 2001. “I remember when I first designed a low-waisted jean… eew,” she reminisces. “From Fredericks of Hollywood to Faded Glory to Gloria Vanderbilt, clearly the high-waist is here to stay.”

Cheap Monday has a rather creative competitive nature. The Swedish brand became famous for its 65-dollar denim, while never skimping in the style department. So, naturally, its high-waisted jeans are the highest we've seen yet. “After ten years of low-rise jeans, I was tired of them,” says Cheap Monday Founder and Chief Designer Örjan Andersson. “I wanted to see more art-inspired fashion becoming popular.” Inspired in particular by the couture styles that graced the catwalks in the early ’90s, Cheap Monday’s aptly-named Eiffeltower and Skyscraper jeans certainly reach sartorial altitudes. But even with all that extra fabric, they’re still as affordable as ever.

Built by Wendy Designer Wendy Mullin is always thinking outside the box. For spring, she adapted her favorite leather boots into a mini-wedged, breathable-canvas ballet flat. She also just designed a board for skate-art exhibition, Untitled, featuring a patchwork of vintage apron pieces. So it comes as no surprise that her high-waisted jeans aren’t really jeans at all… “I wanted to make a slim pair of pants that work well with longer tunic-type tops. Regular jeans sometimes give that muffin-y top look, so I thought of making stretch denim leggings that feel like a jean. Dyed a deep indigo hue and with a simple side zip, Mullin’s leggings achieve a smooth silhouette under anything. Specifically, she recommends, “with a fitted cardigan and ballet flats for a ’50s Laura Petrie good girl look.” And now you know where to get the shoes.

Aussie label 18th Amendment only recently made its U.S. debut, per a denim trunk show at the Elizabeth Charles’s eponymous boutique in downtown New York a couple of weeks ago. The label’s name is already a nod to the roaring ’20s—in particular, Prohibition—and as for the new jeans, 18th Amendment Creative Director Rebecca Dawson affirms, “There are no rules.” Still, these styles live up to their sassy namesakes: “A true-high-waist (the Bacall) can be very elegant and dramatic, but if one finds this too extreme, a high-rise (the Lollobrigida) can be just as sexy.”

From: Nylon Magazine

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