How Denim Première Vision changed my vision of Denim Photos and text by Runzhou SUN

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Unlike most of you, you can not find one single piece of denim in my wardrobe. Though this fabric has conquered the world and became a symbol of globalization, the first word that comes to my mind when it comes to denim,  is neither young nor cool. It is a fabric for making uniforms – Jeans. Rips and patches,  tricks the designers use as if we were still in the cultural punk movement of the seventies.

Weeks ago I received the invitation of Denim Première Vision. I never thought that this two-day event could totally change my point of view. The first thing I would like to share with you is that, denim, usually considered as a fabric with a masculine character, also has its romantic side. In fact, before becoming the workwear for western labourer in 19th century America, denim used to be a symbol of sex appeal worn by ordinary people in France in the  1700s. Now we have different garments made by denim, in particular those for woman. Who says girls in Denim can only be Thelma and Louise?

Diversity is the key word in today’s fashion industry. If you think those denim products can only be found on street snap, you are definitely wrong. From cow-boy (or cow-gril?) looks to catwalk, the love affair between denim and fashion houses is no longer a secret : Alexander Mcqueen, Miumiu, Balengiaca, the big names in the industry have already created some extraordinary looks by using this fabric. Today, we also have the designers such as Antonio Haslauer and Ksenia Schanider who developed their own silhouettes by deconstructing denim. Though some garments are more conceptual than functional, finally we can use the word “eccentric” to define the textile and  denim products not just   “simple”,”classic” and “basic”.

Look at these interesting graffiti prints, fun to customise your garments yourself., don’t you think?

Fun Fact of this embroidery : Crane and Denim jacket, symbol of longevity in eastern culture and timeless staple in western culture.


However, I have to say I am a little disappointed because I did not see too much fluctuation in denim products for men. But who knows if the pieces for women which I mentioned above will not be merged into men’s wardrobes as the boundary between men’s and women’s fashion has been blurred now more than ever.

Apart from its cultural meaning and physical construction, this year, Denim Première Vision also emphasized  the sustainability of denim  within the denim industry –  some associations such as Alliance for Responsible Denim in Amsterdam,  have recycled  worn denim articles for many years and given this fabric a second life.

I am sure the morphology of this fabric will continue to evolve by merging the DNA of different designers. Denim could always be a part of a political statement and a symbol of solidarity for one generation – whether it was used by American middle class as a weapon to protest against the racial and social discrimination in 1960s, or today, it has become the environmental footprint of the textile and fashion industry.