Denim Awards – Amsterdam 2014
We attended the Global Denim Awards 2014.
Interesting, indeed, but do we really need Denim Awards?
The Kingpins show together with the fashion consultancy agency HTNK gave mills and designers a very interesting opportunity to collaborate on Denim exploration, but it has been just partially captured.
Once again, when it comes to creating styles using Denim with a contemporary design approach, Denim gets lost into a variety of stylistic exercises. Its own nature is compromised between fashion attempts and catwalk attitude.
The selected mills were proposed to show both their novelty and classic articles combined with the stylistic ideas of the designers. A simple collaboration to be proved with five outfits.
The effort behind the creation of such an event must have been really, really big.
Amsterdam is the right place to make this happen, a city where Denim is becoming a heavy hitter among electronic music and dance festivals.
The almost completed City of Denim, a section of the central location Den Hallen with beautiful red bricks, offered the perfect frame for the Denim Awards. They will host the Denim School and the Denim Lab when the building is completed. Overall public response and attendance have been definitely positive.
But again, what about Denim?
The risk of attending the usual useless Denim re-interpretation made of contemporary tricks was definitely there.
We could sense it.
“Hey guys let’s make Denim look like something else, something cooler..”
Denim is cool the way it is. To make it look cooler and different is a very difficult job.
Denim can fit a runaway show without turning into crazy shapes and weird dresses.
C’mon guys, it’s Denim. WTF!
In fact, despite the “WOW” effect made by the Global Denim Award winner Jonathan Christopher (Holland) / ITV Denim (Italy) and one more exception made from the very fresh collection created by Stefano Ughetti and the historical Italian Denim mill Candiani (Italy), all the other runways have been proving the limit of a certain kind of creativity when it gets forced into Denim.
These Awards can be great advertising for our beloved fabric and also be a truly genuine opportunity for the mills and the designers.
Genuine, like the response of the market, like the applause of the public attending the catwalk.
Genuine, as Denim is.
Denim needs fashion and fashion probably needs Denim, but there is a very fine line dividing our genuine world, the Denim World, and the fashion world.
A line made of attitude and politics.
If that line does not get crossed then the Global Denim Awards are a great idea.
If it does get crossed… well, it would be a real shame.
Axel & Victor
Credits: pictures by Global Denim Awards