There was something lurking at the couture shows last week in Paris, beneath the multitude of gilded gowns in technicolor hues, the hand-made laces and embroidery, the painstaking pleats and feathers galore. It was that all-American, much-maligned classic, double-denim look, otherwise known as the Canadian Tuxedo.
Generally consisting of a denim jacket and a matching pair of jeans, the look stopped being the exclusive uniform of the working class and crossed over into the realm of fashion in 1951, after Bing Crosby was reportedly denied entry at a Canadian hotel because of his full-denim look. As a response, Levi’s created for him a tuxedo actually made of denim (thus coining the term). Since then, it has gone in and out of fashion, reaching the epitome of so-called bad taste when Britney and Justin wore their now-iconic matching denim looks to the 2001 American Music Awards. Now that the new generation is taking the limits of good and bad taste and melting and bending them at their will, their sense of irony becoming so obfuscated as to make it meaningless, it’s not surprising that designers are taking a page out of their handbook and incorporating the aesthetic into their collections.