Let the Workers of the World Unite!

Sunday 16 September 2012


Photography by catwalking.com
Report by David Hayes

“They’ve never freaked me out, if that’s what you’re asking,” replied stylist Steph Stevens to what seemed like a pretty innocent question. Dungarees: love them or hate them? More people than you’d imagine are firmly in the ‘love’ camp. “You need to be leggy to carry them off,” Stevens adds, “but I’ve always loved them.”

Henry Holland loves them, too, albeit filtered though childhood half-memories of acid house. In Ramsbottom, Lancashire, if you please. “I wanted to capture that grungy attitude I had when I was growing up,” Holland said after a show that included a rather fetching pair of lilac dungarees in his Nineties-inspired ode to the Summer of Love. “It was all about a boyish silhouette with the dungarees and loose-fitting shapes.”

Workwear influences – the digging-up-roads-and-plastering-ceilings kind – are a slow-burn big trend for spring. NY saw Proenza Schouler open with an update of the classic denim work jacket, 3.1 Phillip Lim sent out hot pink dungarees, and even glamour-puss Joseph Altuzzara embraced Oshkosh B’gosh-style ticking stripes.

Here in London it wasn’t just about Henry: Kinder Aggugini opened with a pair of floral dungarees over a gingham shirt, and even Jasper Conran put denim jackets and jeans on the runway for the first time (left).

Some of the cooler members of the fash pack are working the look already, of course. “I love dungarees,” admits Vogue’s Emma Elwick-Bates. “On Friday, I wore a pair by JW Anderson. I’ve got Topshop velvet ones I might bring out for evening, too. I’m a commuter, so I go for comfort in the early mornings.”

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