When one thinks of luxurious clothing, often the first things that come to mind are the ball gowns of beloved fairy tale princesses or the couture creations of our wildest sartorial dreams. With ribbons made of the finest silk, exquisite lace embroidery and threads made of the purest gold, these gowns ostentatiously ooze opulence and extravagantly exude elegance. Due to the prevalence of monarchies and kingdoms as the main system for political organization throughout civilization, the idea of luxury has irreversibly intertwined with the wealthy — the wealthiest of course being royalty.
Amazingly, across centuries, the traditional garb of royalty that’s so closely associated with the realm of luxury has barely changed. In fact, the whole concept of fashion itself was previously considered a luxury, acting as a divider between the upper and lower classes. However, with time the sartorial influence of the royals began to decline due to a shift at the start of the twentieth century — when fashion designers like Coco Chanel gained increasing prominence as style icons and tastemakers. To this day, while our childhood selves may have gawked at the gowns of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, our adult selves seldom look to real-life princesses for sartorial inspiration. Along with this shift of influence also came a consequent shift in the perception of what it means to look luxurious. Although lace and silk may be classically luxurious fabrics, the world of fashion has allowed a few unexpected fabrics to join in the ranks of luxury, as is showcased by this week’s Fashionista.
Leather and denim have been historically associated with rough and rebellious characters like cowboys, bikers and punk rockers, however both of these fabrics have experienced a re-emergence in an equally cool yet infinitely more chic context. Leather in particular is one fabric which has become synonymous for quality and luxury, particularly when accompanied by skillful tailoring and avant-garde designs. However, the same concept can be applied to denim — while blue denim in the form of jeans may be a casual go-to, a collared shirt tailored from the same fabric can look very elegant, while still retaining a hint of its playful, rebellious charm. This Fashionista shows the bold impact that can be made when incorporating both of these fabrics into one ensemble, creating a look that is incredibly edgy, yet still exudes an air of modern luxury. To attain a similar look, pair a leather jacket with a contrasting chambray shirt. Realizing what an incredible duo denim and leather make, many designers have opted to create pieces that incorporate both fabrics, such as these leather panel jeans from rag & bone and this enviable biker jacket splurge from Acne.
The concept of luxury will likely continue to evolve as time goes on, be it changes in fabrics, silhouettes or fashion icons. Until then, forget the diamonds, tiaras and glass slippers — this season, living in luxury is as simple as wearing a combination of denim and leather that will surely leave you feeling like sartorial royalty.