Denim skirt

The patchwork denim skirt is this summer’s must-have piece

The fashion world has fallen in love with rascals. Trends that peaked in 2002 – ruffles, low-rise pants and even belly button rings have re-entered the cultural conversation. But the denim skirt, a must-have at the time, worn iconically by Britney Spears (with a matching top) and Lindsay Lohan, is making a comeback in a slightly different way. Patchwork denim skirts, made from cut and reconfigured slices of jeans, have become a designer fashion staple, spurred on by an industry increasingly focused on ways to reduce waste. While not all iterations of the current trend are made from recycled fabrics, many brands are finding ways to reuse leftover materials to create these cool, nifty designs.

“Brands with some of the strongest designer positioning… Gabriela Hearst [and] Marine Serre, to name a few…have made very loud and clear meaningful commitments to sustainable practices, including upcycling,” says Jana Hofheimer, advanced designer, evening and denim buyer at Moda Operandi. “For such important luxury brands, adopting this position reinforces for the customer that prioritizing sustainably produced goods is not only the responsible thing to do, but also maintaining the costs things to do. Upcycling, in some ways, has become synonymous with premium and elevated fashion.

Courtesy of Loewe

This shift, now supported not only by brands with a long-standing penchant for sustainability like Reformation, but also by luxury brands that are increasingly focused in conversation, suggests a broader ongoing movement towards a respectful narrative. of the environment. Young shoppers want brands to align with their values, not just to provide them with something to wear.

Fashion’s focus on environmental impact

If you need further proof, look no further than the recently launched partnership between The Real Real and Gypsy Sport that repurposes vintage denim sourced from California in a 12-piece collection that includes both a color block miniskirt and a with applied details. New York brand La Ligne also created a patchwork skirt for Earth Day in partnership with Alyssa Miller. “This button-front patchwork skirt was created using fabrics from La Ligne’s sampling and production yardage scraps mixed with unsold denim from FABSCRAP,” says co-founder Meredith Melling.

Courtesy of The Line

A 2020 article titled Understanding Denim Recycling: A Quantitative Study with a Lifestyle Assessment Methodology notes that the US denim market is expected to be valued at more than $107 billion by 2023, and that the amount of waste generated globally exceeds 2.16 million tons. As global clothing consumption increases, advances in large-scale recycling technology and smaller-scale changes by designers and consumers are needed to address the environmental impact of what is produced. But, as with any change in aspiration, without the existence of clothes that consumers actually want to wear, there can be no belief.

The return of the miniskirt

So, beyond the practical motivations (reusing fabric scraps and reinventing what denim can look like), why is the trend cycle focusing on skirts in particular? “I think Miu Miu’s (but not for everyone) ‘Internet breaking’ micro mini really brought skirts of ALL lengths back into the conversation,” suggests Melling. “While we love a sundress, a must-have summer skirt has so much versatility and is a great style alternative to jeans, pants, or sweatshirts.” Amid months of working from home and forgoing big social events, skirts have taken a back seat to more practical or comfortable wardrobe staples. But, as the collective excitement around the dress-up continues into summer 2022, the style is set for a comeback.

Courtesy of The Real Real x Gypsy Sport

The trend can also be seen as a continuation of the craftcore trend that has emerged over the past few years. At the same time that many shoppers were taking up DIY fashion as a hobby or side hustle, major brands have embraced the movement with crochet bucket hats, patchwork cardigans and chic granny knit bags. The handcrafted aesthetic of these sewn-together skirts embraces the attitude that fashion doesn’t always have to be tailored to perfection.

Curious to test the trend for yourself this season? Ahead, shop a selection of the best patchwork denim styles to put through their paces.

At TZR, we only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.


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