New York Denim Runway Highlights

We look back on the past N.Y. fashion week highlights for denim, featuring BLK DNM, Diesel Black Gold, GenArt, Helmut Lang and Jeremy Scott. Check out our previous blog posts on Levi’s and Raleigh denim last week as well as our recent Scandinavian highlights, too!


If anyone encapsulates fashion’s drive to seep into all aspects of life and art, it’s Johan Lindeberg. When he created BLK DNM a year ago, he wasn’t satisfied with merely a clothing label. Instead, he birthed a gazette, a series of films, an eyewear collaboration, a fragrance, and a charitable initiative. 365 days in, and the collection continues to pivot on the three main offerings BLK DNM was founded upon: denim, leather, and tailoring. New pant silhouettes focus on feminine fits with retro high-rise topblocks with modest bootcut legs, glossy skinny fits and ankle grazings looks in leather-like coatings. The designer himself is rarely seen without his beat-up biker jacket, so he offers slimmed down versions for women to complement the denim offering.

Diesel Black Gold

SHE might not have been present at the show – she’s expecting a baby and was at home – but Sophia Kokosalaki’s vision for Diesel Black Gold certainly was. The Fall/Winter 12 collection was very menswear orientated, which makes sense for a label whose look is about practical outdoorsy style – wide-leg jeans, chore coats, tailored jackets and Western shirts were all given a feminine spin with cropped hems and glossy finishes. Shorts came slung low, hanging just at the hips with quilted constructions and drawstrings at the front. For wilder moments, there were print montages combining zebra, butterfly and geometric motifs, while haphazard paint spills on three-quarter length jeans appealed to the relaxed and laidback attitude of Kokosalaki’s girl.


Gen Art is the leading platform for emerging designers in the United States. Since 1995, it has shown more than 500 emerging womenswear, menswear and accessory designers in a variety of fashion programs around the country. The collection – a mixture of emerging designers from the U.S. – showcased some great denim inspiration including an innovative take on two-tone denim, a gold coated biker look and some directional silhouettes like a trench-coat dress and ultra-wide legged chambray pants.

Helmut Lang

Nicole and Michael Colovos put their second season collection for Helmut Lang down the runway, and they found a way to bring their DNA to the core image of the brand once again. Many of the jeans were sculpted into the label’s signature asymmetrical shapes, with pieced constructions that ergonomically combined leather and denim. The prints bore strong references to nature, leafless branches of trees and hardened swirls of lava; however, the shapes remained resolutely urban. The details represented a sleek silhouette of moody looks with Helmut Lang remaining faithful to his urban girl muse. As for color, which had yet to have made an appearance in a collection by the neutral-loving Colovoses, this collection brought in vibrant red tones to break up the otherwise monochrome palette.

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott presented more denim inspired silhouettes this season after his successful trashy-chic denim runway six months ago. Print, pattern and surface were key for this kitsch-y cool collection and traditional denim styling such as the trucker jacket and the bib-and-brace coverall were updated with high-color photo prints and plastic-look foil finishes. Abstract flame-effect prints were given a rainbow dip-dye transformation, and an almost holographic effect reworked the simple pencil skirt and bodice, reminiscent of the recent Manish Arora x Notify collaboration featured on the DDD. This is denim at its most daring and playful!

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