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This fall, an indigo boom in denim

Denim lovers, clear some closet space. This season there are lots of new choices. Here's the skinny on some of them.

Booth Moore and Ingrid Schmidt

9:30 AM EDT, August 25, 2013

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D-ID (Denim Identity)

Quilting from a leather menswear jacket inspired the distinctive diamond stitching that is the signature of D-ID, or Denim Identity, the new line designer Jimmy Taverniti debuted last month.

"The whole print trend is slowing down, but the customer still wants [something] novel. This is a new way of doing a print that is a little more sophisticated," says Shane Markland, D-ID sales director, who also oversees much of the brand's marketing and has worked for clothiers Goldsign, Notify and Current/Elliott.

The textural diamond stitching is applied to jeans with light and dark washes, waxed coating and one faux leather style, as well as classic jean and moto jackets, which top off the line.


FOR THE RECORD:
New denim: An article about new jeans collections in the Aug. 25 Image section said the name of the creator-designer of McGuire Denim is Melissa McGuire. Her name is Marianne McDonald. —

Originally from France, Taverniti's first collection was J. Taverniti; his designs have a European aesthetic, yet he has always been heavily influenced by American vintage style and developed new vintage washing effects.

"He kind of invented the use of the garment-dying process in denim, like over-dyed grays and over-dyed blues," says Markland.

Crafted of Italian and Japanese fabrics, half of the D-ID line is made in Los Angeles and half in Asia. "The complicated styles [quilted] are done in Asia, and the basics are made in L.A," Markland says. "If we did these in the U.S., a $180 jean would become a $350 jean. We use the same fabrics; it's just the actual production that is done there."

The best-selling jeans so far are the skinny ankle, biker and moto styles — the black quilted Moto jean has been selling out, so expect more moto styles to come. New coatings will be added for holiday. Also coming in the spring are shorts, beat-up washes, more jackets and a new riff on quilting that looks like a grid pattern of miniature holes, as if the threads had been washed out, explains Markland. How ingenious: denim that looks as if it has come completely undone.

D-ID, $148-278 at singer22.com, revolveclothing.com or d-idjeans.com

Ingrid Schmidt

McGuire Denim

On a trip to Nimes, France, said to be the birthplace of denim, Melissa McGuire was inspired to create a new denim line with a nod to the fabric's workwear origins. The city's symbol, a crocodile chained to a palm tree, appears on the buttons of her new McGuire Denim line, which launched last month.

"I think a lot of [labels] make references to workwear, but none of them really capture it being relevant for an urban environment like New York or Los Angeles; they stay a little bit too literal," says McGuire, who formerly worked as a designer with Joe's Jeans and Gap. "I felt like there was really a need to do something that combines elements of workwear, but made much more modern and sexy."

That translates into skinny carpenter jeans, engineered piping inspired by traditional railroad uniforms, exposed zippers and vintage washes. Stitching on the back pockets is purposely imperfect, and the design is a stripped-away M that is actually an inverted W, inspired by an old Austrian worker's guild symbol, according to McGuire.

Another signature of the line is the high-rise and mid-rise silhouettes, that she says are a "little more sophisticated and sexy" that the ubiquitous low-rise.

The collection is made completely in Los Angeles with stretch fabrics from Italy and Turkey.

Beyond jeans, the fall line includes a jean jacket, a flared skirt, two chambray shirts and a quilted chambray fencing-style jacket that sold out at Ron Herman in two days. The flared Voyage Trouser with railroad piping also sold out.

McGuire Denim, $158-$498 at Ron Herman in West Hollywood, (323) 651-4129; mcguiredenim.com

Ingrid Schmidt

Frame Denim

"It is for the woman who wears the beautiful shoes, the beautiful bag, the beautiful jewelry. The jeans are the frame of the look...to sort of pull the whole thing together," says Joshua LeVine, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Frame Denim, speaking of his collection that hit stores last November. Fans include Amanda Seyfried, Miranda Kerr, Sienna Miller, January Jones, Reese Witherspoon and Gisele Bundchen.

LeVine's partners are Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson of global fashion marketing, branding and advertising powerhouse The Saturday Group, a London-based umbrella of 12 companies. Grede and Torstensson created Industrie magazine, Man About Town magazine and its offshoot, men's e-tailer mrporter.com, for Net-a-Porter. One of their first projects was a global campaign for H&M, and they have designed digital platforms for Balenciaga and Tory Burch and even signed Natalie Portman as the face of Dior.

"Two years ago, Jens said, 'I'm building all these brands on behalf of clients...Why don't we have our own brand?'" says LeVine, who previously worked for Lucky Brand Jeans. "And we landed on denim... And the whole idea was to bring a European sensibility and aesthetic [to it], but base it in Los Angeles."

A local team produces the jeans, from design to washing and sewing, using stretch fabrics imported from Turkey.

The company launched with only a skinny jean fit, and has since added a tailored, boyfriend fit and a skinny flare. All have the same higher rise. Delicate details — fine thread, miniature rivets and polished gold hardware — add feminine appeal.

"When we showed it to the first retailers, everyone was doing print and novelty, and nobody was doing basic blues," says LeVine. "And we said, 'Let's turn to core.' Beautiful blues, beautiful fabrics, beautiful washes, simple colors that everybody wears...Timeless styles that aren't going anywhere any time soon."

Now into their third season, the line is inching into fashion with new washes, overdyed colors, skinny cargo and moto styles, and fabrics such as ultra-soft sateen, velvet and corduroy.

For those with legs-up-to-there, the company teamed up with supermodel Karlie Kloss for a capsule collection, Forever Karlie, designed for women 5'11" or taller, that debuted in June. The two jeans — a flare and a skinny — each come in a light and dark wash with a 40-inch inseam and a higher waist to accommodate longer torsos.

Frame Denim, $179-$269 at Nordstrom stores, Ron Herman in West Hollywood, (323 )651-4129; and Barneys New York in Beverly Hills, (310) 276-4400; frame-denim.com

-—Ingrid Schmidt

Malhia Kent x 7FAM

We've seen denim on the couture runways, and now denim brand 7 For All Mankind is bringing couture fabrics to a capsule collection of jeans.

What started as a 7 For All Mankind inspiration trip to Paris turned into a visit to the famous Malhia Kent textile mill, which produces fabrics for the likes of Chanel, Proenza Schouler and Alexander McQueen. The designers were so taken with the fabrics they saw, they tapped Malhia Kent to become the brand's latest high-end collaborator, following in the footsteps of Jonathan Adler, Zac Posen, Azzedine Alaia and others.

Available in September, the limited edition Malhia Kent x 7FAM jeans were created by piecing panels of luxurious metallic tweeds and jacquards together with the denim brand's new Slim Illusion Second Skin fabric, which has 100 % elasticity, to mold and hold all the right places. The result is an exquisite, high-low piece with the comfort of a jegging.

Specific styles include "The Skinny" in silver geometric tweed, the Egyptian gold tweed pant and blue metallic stripe tweed pant with matching moto jacket.

Malhia Kent x 7FAM collection, $395 to $650, is available starting Sept. 1 at 7 For All Mankind stores nationwide, including the Century City and Santa Monica Place locations, and at 7ForAllMankind.com.

Booth Moore

Calvin Rucker

Joie Rucker and Caroline Calvin have years of experience in denim between them. Rucker was the designer behind Joie and Rich & Skinny, while Calvin was with Levi's in Europe. The two friends joined forces last year to launch Calvin Rucker, which they describe as "a mix of casual and couture."

When it comes to denim, the designers are all about thoughtful details — hand treatments, hand-stitched cuffs, pick-stitch finishing. "It's the antithesis of the churn of the denim industry," Rucker says.

The line's cult style is the "Love Me" jean, a subtly sexy, low-slung jean that's slouchy on top, with a straight but not-too-straight leg, a wide, coffee can-sized cuff and double belt loops, allowing the wearer to choose a thick belt or one of the cool, thin chain belts that come with the style. It's a "feminized boyfriend jean," Rucker says, and it's available in several fabrications and washes.

Other denim styles include The "Heartbreaker," a slim, cigarette silhouette, which comes in a cool, crackly, black-painted "Nightrider" finish for fall, and the "Sledgehammer," a mid-rise skinny fit with zipper-and-chain trim down the fronts of the legs, which comes in black or crimson red..

But Calvin Rucker is about more than just denim. The designers describe the rock 'n' roll vibe for the fall collection as "Francoise Hardy goes to high tea at the Chateau Marmont with her mom," which translates into French lace T-shirts, butterfly-print chiffon blouses, rayon shirt dresses with high-low hems and crepe blazers nipped at the waist, with moto zipper details on the pockets.

"Each piece makes a difference in a woman's wardrobe," Calvin says. "Everything is made in L.A., with fabric from Europe and Japan. It's rough but refined."

Calvin Rucker, $240 to $960, available at Ron Herman in L.A., Gratus in Beverly Hiills, Michael Nusskern in Newport Beach and other boutiques. Go to CalvinRucker.com for details.

Booth Moore

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