If ever there was a fabric that gained widespread popularity this year it would have to be denim. Denim has taken 2023 by storm and infiltrated the hearts of fashionistas everywhere. Renowned for its durability and versatility, denim is used to create everything from clothing, shoes, accessories, and even furniture. It's no wonder why this heavy-duty fabric has moved from casual street style to high fashion runways.
THE HISTORY OF DENIM
Denim has its roots in a lesser known fabric called dungaree, which has been produced in India for hundreds of years. The word ‘dungaree’ originates from the Hindi word ‘dungri’ which a thick hard wearing fabric produced in the region of Dongri, Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay).
It was introduced to the Western world by traders during British colonial rule, and made its way to Europe. The fabric quickly gained traction and was used for various purposes, including workwear. By the late 19th century, dungaree became associated with labourers and known as the fabric for the ‘working man’ (e.g manual labourers and those with industrial occupations) because of its sturdiness.
The fabric that is affectionately known today as denim was created in Nîmes, France sometime in the 17th century. It was originally called “serge de Nîmes” after the French city. But as its popularity ensued and time went on, “serge de Nîmes” was eventually shortened and replaced by the word “denim”.
Denim soon began to replace dungaree as the choice fabric for workwear, and gained global prominence. The famous fabric became wildly popular in the United States, where the first pair of jeans was created by a German known as Levi Strauss in the mid 19th Century. Over the years denim has transitioned from being a durable fabric essentially used for workwear to one associated with casual, easy to wear fashion.
Sometime around the mid 20th century denim made its first fashion debut. It became insanely popular amongst youth subcultures and counterculture movements in the 1960’s and 70’s as a symbol of rebellion because of its ruggedness.
Judging by the crucial role serge de Nîmes played in the evolution of denim and how it is worn today, it’s clear that this humble fabric of has come a long way since the 17th Century. Denim has stood the test of time, making a fascinating transformation from a modest fabric worn by workers to a well renowned fashion staple.
DENIM TRENDS 2023
Fast forward to 2023. Denim continues to grace the runway with creative deconstructed looks, oversized silhouettes, and skirts of maxi-length proportions. Here are a few of the Beauty Disruptor's top picks for this season.
DENIM TOP PICKS