White, once relegated as a dominant hue solely for spring and summer, is branching out to be a truly seasonless color. Spurring this revolution in what can and can’t be worn and when is denim—a fabric with a rebellious history of its own. Together, they are pioneering exciting new ground in fashion.
White, often mistaken for the absence of color, is actually the perfect harmony of all colors at once. This simple lesson in physics helps explain why white is the ultimate neutral, and begs the question why only now, has it become acceptable past Labor Day. Part of the explanation may be found in psychology rather than physics. White is symbolic of many things: purity, clarity and optimism; all characteristics that are highly desirable in these uncertain times. Plus, there is a wholesome steadiness to white that speaks to the immaculate character of the wearer.
Denim, on the other hand, has always been a rebel, but has been gaining ground in the eyes of the fashion world in recent decades. First there was the general acceptance of jeans as a non-conformist teen uniform. Next it gained acceptance as fashion through designer jeans, in ready-to-wear via premium jeans and, more recently, denim has bordered on the couture through elite premium jeans. Today, jeans are worn to clubs, to the office and on the Red Carpet by celebrities who influence trends. One celebrity in particular, Kathryn Heigl, wore a stunning white denim gown to the 2007 Emmy Awards. The dress, by Zac Posen, owed much to the Golden Age of Hollywood, right down to its mermaid tail.
A white denim gown? For one of the biggest Hollywood events of the year? Yes, and in the wake of that mermaid tail the trend for white denim has rippled out to a multitude of well-known denim brands. Currently, 7 For All Mankind is offering white cotton denim in a high-waisted and a cropped jean and the J. Jill brand has an eggshell denim jacket that is both sass and class. Denim powerhouse Levi’s has a skinny white jean under its eco brand, as well as a white rendition of its all-purpose 501 boyfriend style jean for women, and a white denim trucker jacket for men. This is but a sampling of what is currently available at retail, but all of them and more will earn their keep by being able to be worn all year long.
To further validate this trend, Rolling Stone magazine identified the Texas garage band White Denim as a recent Breaking Artist. Denim, rock and roll and white—a force to be reckoned with on the catwalk, the Red Carpet and at retail.
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.