Cotton:On deluxe denim jackets, www.cottonon.com(Cotton On)
Levi’s women’s Boyfriend Trucker Jacket in Traveling Road Embroidered, $148 at www.levi.com.(Levi’s)
Fashion’s love affair with the 1970s shows no signs of slowing down, and elements of the Me Decade are none more apparent than in the eclectic and expressive embroidery adorning denim this season.
From flowers and tigers to butterflies and outer space, themes in embroidery span nature and the otherworldly. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering a main driver behind the look is the whimsical styling from Gucci.
The Italian luxury house has been incredibly influential in all reaches of current fashion, but the embroidery and intricate graphics seen on accessories, silk jackets, dresses and bags are now pushing denim designers in a similar direction.
Brands including Mother, Jordache, Alice + Olivia, 3x1, Stella McCartney and Citizens of Humanity have infused their fall and winter offerings with a smattering of colorful and often quirky embroidery.
But the fanciful detailing shouldn’t be seen as something totally outrageous, says Elyse Walker, owner of Elyse Walker stores and fashion director of Forward by Elyse Walker.
“Don’t save it for special occasions,” she says. “This should be an update to your everyday styling. Just throw it on like you would your normal jeans, and you’ve instantly elevated your look.”
Walker’s Pacific Palisades and newly opened Newport Beach store locations carry a wide assortment of embroidered jeans and denim jackets, including Gucci and Sandrine Rose.
The embroidered trend reaches far beyond Southern California, with shoppers clamoring for the free-spirited vibe across the globe.
“It’s about revisiting the ’70s-embellishment trend in a modern, slicker way,” says Erin Fridja, owner of Bad Denim, a denim boutique carrying contemporary and vintage product in East London. “The seminal ’70s book ‘Native Funk & Flash’ is on every denim designer’s bookshelf and embodies this movement. At Bad Denim, we have interpreted this with slick leather and velvet appliqué in a days-of-the-week series reminiscent of the days-of-the-week underwear of our youth.”
Though the high waists and vintage washes found with most of these denim styles keep the aesthetics grounded in the ’70s, don’t be afraid to modernize the look with something sporty or contemporary to keep your vibe current.
Whether it’s the days of the week or delicate flower blossoms festooning the backside and upper-thigh areas of jeans, there is embroidery out there for everyone this season.