Denim by PV held its last show at Les Docks, Paris-St. Denis from Dec. 2-3. As of June 2010 the denim salon will take place instead at the more central locale of Halle Freyssenet, the former railway engine repair shop situated in the Paris’ 13eme arrondisement. Built facing the Bercy Village and Paris’ famed Bibliotheque Nationale, the Halle Freyssinet is an early 20th-century masterpiece of industrial architecture; organizers subsequently expect to occupy over 7,000 sq. meters of space with their sixth edition.

This season the show confirmed itself again as the meeting place for international jeanswear insiders. Top consultants, designers and international brand representatives visited its three halls to share ideas and review new fabric collections for S/S 11. While the market continued to recover from the economic downturn, the event showed more optimistic tradesmen at work in seemingly greater numbers.

For S/S 11, there is a return to bleached denims, as a countertrend of the past seasons that concentrated mostly on smart, clean denims. Also new is a return to colored denims, obtained via alternative techniques and fiber blends. Tejodos Royo, for example, presented blue denims treated with special foams that provide colored wefts with softer and more interesting shades of blue. It also used a special treatment that is applied to fabrics and fades while washing just like indigo. Tavex produced pastel denims by using a white thread for its fabric’s wefts. Vicunha and Bossa also focused on colored denims. The latter tested out some new waxing effects that when washed provided interesting visual effects.

Super stretch continued as a highlight. Invista carried out a new study that compared the results of product tests on about 300 stretch and bi-stretch denims made from various elastane fibers. The best performers were fabrics made with Invista T-400 fiber and Lycra lasting fit fabrics. Leggings and skinny jeans remain bestsellers of the moment. For this reason, Hellenic Fabrics focused on new stretch denims with a higher stretch capacity and increased their fabrics’ performance when it came to reducing sagging.

Also debuting at the show was Tejodos Royo’s new Denim Village division, which offers innovative denims and an eco-minded Hybridenim family of fabrics made with cotton-Tencel and treated with natural dyes and substances. It also presented an ozone finish, a special treatment aimed at preserving water. Tavex meanwhile launched a new family of denims aimed at a wider consumer group called Denim Therapy. Those denims carried a printed pattern on the inner leg and specifically a special ceramic layer designed to lightly massage the skin to enhance blood circulation and better body stability. The new material was developed with HT Concept, the specialist in supporting technical and activewear apparel manufacturers.

On the opposite side of bleached denims was Onvis, an upcoming Italian jeans line focused on unwashed jeans and natural wear. The company is now launching a new jeans style that is the exact copy of the aging produced by a Swedish client of the brand who will receive royalties of €1 per each pair of jeans sold. This marketing idea is yet another trend that denim freaks can appreciate — the idea that everyone can build a unique jeans model modeled upon his or her own lifestyle.

—Maria Cristina Pavarini