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Denim Daydreams

Valerie McPhail

(8/2016) The story of denim and chambray is merely a recreation of fabric. The tale concerns its interest and influence upon societyís way of dressing. Chanel, Sonia Rykiel and MM6 Maison Margiela initiated the denim fashion statements throughout their Resort 2016 Collections, among countless brands that reintroduced this fabric as funky fashion for summer. In the same way, chambray charmed the Menís Spring 2016 Collections of Tommy Hilfiger and Perry Ellis, emphasizing the classic talent of this French-based material.

My story with chambray and denim is much more of a personal account. In the beginning, there was a devotion to denim jeans. As a portion of my everyday outfit, something I wore, and continue to wear indefinitely through the summer ó denim presided and continues to preside my outfit: sneakers and a blouse follow. My denim stands as MVP, the most important influence on my outfit. Through the seasons of difficult hot and cold weather, the thick and thin, denim represents a vision for how I want to dress. In moments, most remarkably understood during the summer heat waves in New York City, with humidity and subway trains without AC, its fashion introduces a sacrifice. While reflecting upon its impact on how I understand fashion and style, here too lay many reasons for how it has outfitted fun in the summer sun.

Denim is expressive. Styles, fits and features ignite the systematics of basic wear and the monotony of everyday clothing: boyfriend, cuffed, skinny, flare, patched and yes, Iíve even tried the adventurous distressed denim look. These options inspire movement and shake up the way fashion clothing is communicated and perceived.

In another fashion, chambray exists in a regality and privilege, I never quite understood. Upon its first introduction to me of selling menís button downs at Brookís Brothers during my last semester at the Mount, I had no previous interaction with the fabric. To my fascination, those chambray button downs folded in a starchy dust pile, laid as if almost untouched. My conclusion: the product was either disregarded or sold self-sufficiently. Either way, this is the Frenchís best-kept secret. This fabric offers an advantage into the most comfortable suits for the summer of sunrays and humid heat waves.

The Details about Denim and the Certainty of Chambray

Denim is the American dream and chambray is a premium product of Cambrai, France. Chambray is an expression of the exquisite beauty from the seaside of this European country. Technically speaking, this material is a "lightweight gingham fabric, traditionally with a white weft interwoven with a colored wrap to produce a checked or striped pattern, although it may also be plain in color." Similar to its origins, Chambray is a quaint statement. For a memorable exhibit of painless attire, let this quality of the fabric speak for itself.

However, denim was my first love. Smitten over a summer love for my boyfriend jeans, I was struck with endearment expressed in loyalty and a sense of fidelity that will forever remain. Cupidís match stroke by means of a comfort in these denims: slouchy, baggy, relaxed fit best explain its attraction. The development of my passion for denim advanced with an awareness for brands and their contributions, the subtleties that differentiate the market for fashion in the most casual quality. A journey with J Brand quickly proved they were my favorite jeans. The simplicity of style ó classic fit, and the namesake of this trendy brand captured my interest. There was a confidence purchased with this brand, something I could wear through any weather.

This was the state of my maturity during the season of my senior year at the Mount; when I found out I was bound for New York, everything shifted. As I dressed to compliment a work environment focused on trends and statements, I would dress in everything but my denim. The light at the end of the tunnel appeared at the introduction of a few of my favorite labels: Rachel Comey, Elizabeth and James, Topshop. These were the brands that reinstated my love for denim. These brands are bringing back the utility of clothing through the details of aesthetic and fit. In this modern sphere, my appreciation for the fabric stands as a functional and expressive form of fashion. Finally, I am reunited with denim.

My favorite piece to wear is defined by its durability and accessibility: "A hard-wearing cotton twill of fabric typically woven with a color warp and a white or undyed weft, and produced in a variety of weights... Originally used to make protective work wear, denim is now widely used for leisurewear, including jeans and jackets." It too is a product established in France; Nimes, in the South of France. It is difficult not to consider denimís influence on fashion, an industry attending to clothing, as well as its perception.

Ways to Wear Summerís favorite fabrics

Christian Dior had not made any comments on the presence of denim within a womanís wardrobe. Maybe the material was deemed too casual, not appropriate for the fancy ladies he designed for. In spite of this, denim crept into the ways of American sportswear and in association with summer attire. In the Dukeís of Hazard, Daisy Duke didnít parade in her jean shorts for nothing. The southern sun is without a doubt one fair reason for the influence denim shorts have sustained throughout the sun shined season. However, the practicality can only scratch the surface. Denim shorts are an abrasive decision to state. Aggressive in design and style, these shorts are dared to be touched.

However difficult the hunt requires, a more conservative look can be achieved by ways of Bermuda shorts, cropped jeans or denim dresses; all assemble a wardrobe comfortable for everyone this summer. Explore these options to find fashionís experiments with denim. Bell shaped and frayed hems, v-neck dresses are remodels. Brands tend to creatively redesign with these pieces.

As shirts remark a resemblance to beachwear, Hardy Aimes boldly states that this one and only piece is the "most important garment in a manís complete wardrobe after the suit." A shirt is his solution, and has the influence over statements and good looking appearances. For summer, the denim shirt couldnít be a better option. Similarly to the beautiful blue of tides or the still seaports, chambray is an undeniable alternative to the coarse cuts of denim, in addition to acting as the cornerstone for an understated summer statement. Its gingham material, classic and lightweight, is approachable for a collared shirt.

Venture to set aside the white tie and the blue-colored three-piece ensemble. Chambray looks admirable on the formal suit attire as well. But the suit, on the other hand, will forever remain a piece of menís fashion heritage. Unique in texture, classic in design and functional in season, chambray reads the epitome of a gentlemanís attention to fashion.

For these reasons explain chambrayís influence ó over denimó on the menswear industry. The lighter weight and gingham feature is attractive in practicality and aesthetic. As for women, denim is associated with shorts and dresses in the summertime. In this side of the fashion business, practicality is hardly ever concerned. Rather, comfort is measured in design, aesthetic and appeal. Perspectives are overtly opposing; it is remarkably quizzical. Fabrics manipulate the definition of design. Nonetheless, if contentment is key,sm then fashionís industry need not worry. When its designers focus on denim and chambray in this current season, their jobs are complete with five star ratings.

Read other articles by Valerie McPhail