From festival fringe and Chanel suits to ‘90s-style denim jumpers and inspired embroidery, denim has perhaps never been more ubiquitous—think a denim-first with Kanye West’s ripped jeans at this year’s Met Gala. So, it’s not surprising that many of us are feeling overwhelmed by the choices. Fortunately, we had a chance to chat with accomplished fashion/wardrobe stylist and denim aficionado, Joanne Plana-Anderson to help us navigate the denim scene. Joanne, AKA Jo, formally studied fine art & photography but had a head start in fashion at home assisting her mother – a remarkable seamstress. She has an infectious creative energy for all things fashion, including denim.
Q. What are your denim styling inspirations?
A. My personal denim styling inspirations are ones that I spot in the blink of an eye whether on the street, or through an old image of a railroad worker. Denim work wear is an obsession of mine, but I love how denim completely transforms more contemporary looks. I’m always on the hunt for polished denim since there are so many brands that make denim look "worn." For me, denim is at it’s best when you see it’s story told through it’s wear and tear.
Q. Do you follow any denim experts on social media?
A. There are tons of really great denim blogs, but some of my favorites are the Bandit Photographer, Ruedi Karrer @swissjeansfreak — he is a dedicated denim-digger from Switzerland and has been sourcing denim from all over the world since ’73. Denim Dudes, Denim Hunters...the list goes on.
Q. Why the continued fascination with denim?
A. The versatility. Denim truly is timeless.
Q. Favorite denim icon?
A. Some old favorites like Jane Birkin, Steve McQueen and Drew Barrymore — in the way she wore denim so effortlessly.
Q. What’s the trick to styling denim?
A. Patience and dedication to the material, but that's usually the case with everything.
Q. What trends are you looking forward?
A. I’m always discovering new favorite obsessions! Most recently, I've really been set on the idea of formality, and not just in wardrobe but in everyday gestures as well. For example, on a studio day, I do love wearing those workout clothes, but at a creative meeting, I'm going to dress professionally. And, on that same studio day, if my photographer did an amazing job, I'm going to give them a call rather than sending a text. We need more of that. It's being respectful; adding a personal touch. Trends are set by people who respect themselves.