Recently I caught up with prolific author Joyce Carol Oates to discuss her just-published memoir, A Widow's Story. If you haven't read her excerpt published in The New Yorker in mid-December, I urge you to do so. I cannot even fully grasp the anguish and despair of losing a spouse after 47 years. However, Oates' well-written, lucid, and unusual book, must be a painfully close description of the days leading up to and following her husband, Ray's, death.
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Levi’s or Lanvin, on any given day, nearly half the world’s population is wearing denim. Even though the fabric's status is 100 percent tried and true, designers everywhere experimented with it for spring. Creating all kinds of unexpected shapes and silhouettes, they used the once-working-class fabric for every element of the ensemble: a chambray trench at Derek Lam, an A-line dress with tuxedo ruffles at Valentino, a floor-length denim skirt at Céline. And, in a surprising yet stunning appearance in Paris, the humble faded blue even made its way into the Chanel couture collection.
Designers aren’t the only ones obsessed with the twill-weave cotton. The book Global Denim, by Daniel Miller and Sophie Woodward (Berg), is in stores now and attempts to understand the causes, nature, and consequences of denim as the garment of our world. New York’s Didier Aaron gallery is also tapping into the zeitgeist with their exhibition, “The Master of the Blue Jeans,” a small but noteworthy show running through February 4 that explores denim’s history back to the seventeenth century. Consisting of seven oil paintings, which had once been attributed to artists like Diego Velázquez and Georges de La Tour, the exhibit examines the works of a single, unknown Italian artist nicknamed “The Master of the Blue Jeans.” “The Master's” paintings of the signature indigo cloth threaded with white in the jackets, aprons, and dresses worn by Italian peasants more than 300 years ago look remarkably contemporary (there’s even a popped collar).
Of course, Vogue has been a loyal believer in the power of denim since 1988 when the magazine first dressed a model in jeans for the cover. Two decades later, the fabric still looks right. From jackets and skirts to heels and espadrilles, check out our favorite denim looks for spring.
View the denim slideshow and original post on Vogue.com.