“I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans,” Yves Saint Laurent famously said of the wardrobe staple. “They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.” Despite boasting a ripe old age of 150, jeans, and the world’s obsession with them, show no sign of slowing down, and Saint Laurent’s words perfectly capture the power of denim.
So while jeans are typically regarded as a daytime staple, they have rarely stayed within these confines, and the autumn/winter 2023 runway shows were a lesson in how to instantly make them look smarter. Indeed, some of the most-shared looks from the catwalks were seemingly the most innocuous: from Bottega Veneta’s low-slung-jeans-and-tank-top pairing to Gucci’s baggy-jeans-and-stripe-shirt look.
Yet, the devil was in the detail: Bottega’s pair were actually crafted from denim-effect, wafer-thin leather, while Gucci’s polished accessories ensured the nonchalant denim silhouette was elevated to new heights. Jeans were even given the couture treatment at Valentino’s fall 2023 couture show – which was held in the grounds of the Château de Chantilly, no less. Modelled by Kaia Gerber, the simple ensemble was made up of an oversized white shirt, silver shoes and a pair of mid-wash jeans, which were embellished with thousands of tiny glass beads. Jeans have come a long way from their humble workwear beginnings.
But even if you don’t have a couture budget, you can give your denim a runway-worthy reboot this season with the smallest styling tweaks. From smart denim co-ords to classic “nice-top-and-jeans” pairings, scroll down to see how the street style crowd are dressing-up their denim for the month ahead.
Scroll down to see Vogue’s dressed-up denim outfits.
The dark denim co-ord + gold jewellery
A skirt worn over jeans + platform shoes
A white shirt + sculptural jeans + heels
An embellished denim jacket + tailored trousers
The party top + slouchy jeans + slingbacks
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk