Last weekend when I was in Nashville for the Antiques & Garden Show, my very chic client suggested that we swing by a place called Imogene and Willie. She said I needed to check out their denim because they made their own jeans and that I would love them. Also, she needed to grab another pair.
When we walked into the slightly refurbished old gas station, you could literally smell Garden & Gun with a hint of Billy Reid wafting through the air. I fully expected to be greeted by tall man in a waistcoat, plaid shirt, dark, cuffed skinny jeans, and pointed leather brogues, with a long-beard, horn-rimmed glasses, and a bow-tie.
But, I wasn't. It was just cute college girls.
I had a pretty tall order that I was pretty sure Imogene + Willie would never be able to fulfill: 100% cotton, straight- but not wide-leg denim, with a waist higher than a 501 but lower than a high waist. I need a rigid denim and also a faded summer wash. Without blinking the cute college girl asked my size and then proffered the Imogene Rigid and the Imogene Kennedy. Boom!
And, I was all "No way this is actually what I asked for" in my head. Something, I was sure, would not be right.
But . . . they are perfect!!! Exactly what I was looking for!! Eureka!!!!
Why the euphoria? I have grown to hate stretch. I do not think it is flattering to 98% of the population. Even if you have skinny legs (which the majority of us don't), jeans with stretch grab and cling to the quads, emphasizing their size - especially from the side view - and they sag in the butt and poke out at the knees. Also troublesome is the fact that you have to size down because they become so loose so quickly - except for the waistband which doesn't stretch (and then, they miraculously continue to grab the quads).
I began my hunt for the perfect straight-leg 100% cotton denim back in 2016 when I was thunderstruck by Brock Collection's Fall/Winter 2016 Collection. They sent both a rigid and a faded pair of straight leg denim down the runway and I have been obsessed ever since. I ordered the faded pair via a Moda Operandi trunk show following the collection, but the leg was too wide and the waist too high for my much shorter and plumper body.
But, the Imogene Rigid and the Imogene Kennedy (you can get both for less than the cost of the 1 pair of Brock Collection denim!!) are perfection and beautifully capture the best essence of the Brock Collection runway looks. These two pair of jeans offer a chic, refined take on denim that is flattering like a great pair of black slacks and not edgy like sorority date night. Maybe I am getting too old?
Maybe. But, I do think this is where denim is headed. Just last Friday, Brock Collection sent another pair of straight leg, rigid denim down the runway in their Fall/Winter 2018 Collection. Then on Monday, Re/Done, which has been the Number 1 influencer in the denim market in the past five years, dropped their Fall 2018 Collection and every single pair of denim was straight-leg - to raves reviews by Vogue. See the Collection and the review here.