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The People Vs Joan Collins: Are jeans tragic?

New face of Valentino Joan Collins is clearly not one for dress down fridays. In defence of jeans, by four influential denim devotees.


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Joan Collins. Known for her acerbic wit as much as her inimitable style, right? So it makes sense that she appears as the star of her own Valentino Christmas campaign, resplendent in red, dripping in jewels, walking through a party, with a droll “I see it’s not just the champagne that’s flat.” Of course Joan then ‘brings the party’, along with Valentino gifts (aka how to ‘bring the party’ 101). But in a chat about reawakening our passion for party dressing, she has alluded that, oh god I can’t even say it. That... jeans are tragic.

Joan on Jeans: “I really hope that people will spend more money on clothes, because nobody dresses up anymore. If you do, then people stare at you, ... they’ll say something like, ‘Oh, look at you! You're all dressed up.’ I find that very sad, because it will be the end of women buying elegant clothes in stores. Everybody’s going to end up in jeans and T-shirts, which I think is tragic.”

There is something to be said for dressing up. We love a giant dress as much as the next person, we’ve even expunged the virtues of Dopamine Dressing, which, Joan, you’ll probably want to share on your instastories - but jeans also bring joy. I am a denim devotee. I have made new years resolutions about finding the perfect pair (true story), I can think of little more work-chic than a pair of perfectly cut Stella McCartneys with an oversized sweater french-tucked in the front, and some old Celine heels to finish it off. Or (cover your eyes Joan) sneakers if the feeling takes me.

"EVerybody’s going to end up in jeans and T-shirts, which I think is tragic."


I’m not alone. We asked three Denim lovers to speak up in defense of jeans and a T, and tell us their favourite pair.

Anna Hart,

Founder One Roof Social

If anything is a tragedy it’s that Joan Collins has clearly never been on Pinterest.

‘I’d like to think I’m speaking for the majority of women, not to mention the Parisian waif so many aspire to be, when I say I vehemently disagree with Collins’ suggestion that a world of just denim and t shirts would be a tragedy. Quite frankly I think it’d be brilliant.

Anywhere with a no denim policy I see as a clear sign I specifically am not supposed to be there. The Ritz for example is not for me, but then, with that kind of a clothing policy, I’m pretty certain I don’t want it to be. In this day and age when it’s so important to feel good in your skin and own your character it seems madness to me that anyone would suggest that anything other than what makes you feel like you, should be worn. And for my somewhat chaotic, ever- changing, diverse schedule denim is great.

Jeans aren’t for everyone, but if a girl can make denim work for her it’ll work hard for her.



As much as I love Joan, no one has really thought that way about jeans since somewhere around the 20's. Jeans and T shirts aren't what they used to be. Levis created them for the chain gangs, and how we wear them is obviously not like that anymore. So I don't think it's about the actual jeans and T shirts, I think it's about the way you dress and present yourself. You could wear a suit and tie or an amazing dress every day of the week and still look scruffy as hell. There are amazing premium brands like J Brand, Paige, Frame, Citizens of Humanity, Goldsign, the usual suspects, they're all doing really good denim, they all work with great fabric mills, and they have beautiful high end production.

sophie beresiner,

beauty + style director

I live in jeans. I wear them to work, I wear them to dinner, I even on (rare) occasions have (OK, once) worn them to a wedding. Still, it's my lifelong mission to find the perfect pair. I think I'm getting there, but understandably my denim collection has grown exponentially in this quest. So, no, Joan. I can't hear that jeans and a T might be tragic. My wardrobe would break down in protest. As would my legs in winter when my longer length skinny jeans act as a thermal barrier to the bitterly cold commute. Or all my over-the-top tops that are perfectly balanced by the more casual bottom half I pair them with. Boyfriend, skinny, wedgie, straight, I do draw the line at a cropped kick flair, but mum, mom, frayed, ripped, low rise, keep em coming. My shopping addiction may be tragic, but the jeans I end up living in, absolutely not.

Elizabeth Ilsley,

designer and DJ

Jeans were the first trouser option I wore as a child when I was given the responsibility to dress myself. It’s the start to dressing how I wanted to dress, out were the dolly dresses and frilly skirts with heavy woolen tights my mom dressed me in and in were my Tammy Girl, blue, ripped knees, grass stained attachment of me. And that’s exactly how it is today, you will most likely find at least one splat of acrylic paint on my jeans and due to my gift in shortness almost every pair will be cut and ripped to customised to my height. A cut off jean exposing my dr martens perfectly even if the cold is nipping at my ankles is uniform to me.

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