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 for details.

Booth Moore