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Jeans

the wardrobe staple of contemporary dress

has a long history which can be traced back to the mid 17th century and

the works of an anonymous Italian artist, referred to by art historians as

‘The Master of the Blue Jeans’

His paintings depict people wearing clothing

of a dark blue coarse material reminiscent of modern denim.

By the Master of the Blue Jeans;

‘Young boy in denim jacket’

(image from dailymail.co.uk)

‘Women in denim over-skirt

sewing with two children’

denim in art, women sewing with two children, master of the blue jeans, dailymail article

(image from dailymail.co.uk)

‘Women in denim skirt’

(image from msn.com)

So, did denim material originate in Italy as wear for the working/poorer people?

Or, as some hypothesise in Nimes, France

from which the word denim probably stems?

Or, with continued research might evidence be discovered to reveal that

denim-wear predates the 17th century?

Time travel forward to the mid-20th century

and to various regions of the U.S.A

the midwest:  where jeans were the costume de rigueur

of the American cowboy.

(image from nationmaster.com)

 Parts of California:  where jeans were the apparel for miners

(image from legendsofamerica.com)

Rural Mississippi:  where jeans were worn by sharecroppers

(image from sunflowerplantation.blogspot.com)

As rendered in the paintings of  The Master of the Blue Jeans

jeans were originally work garb.

Then along came Hollywood costumiers who robed the stars in denim

bestowing upon the meagre jeans … celebrity status:

rugged, bad boy biker  Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953)

 Bad boy on and off-screen

Marlon Brando

Screen siren Marilyn Monroe

(image from guardian.co.uk )

 Squared-jawed actor

the handsome Montgomery Clift

montgomery cliftin denim the misfitsMV5BMTY3ODk0MTQ1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTEzODI1NA_V1_SX640_SY781__zps3a043069


European beauty, the actress Bridgitte Bardot

(image from instyle.com)

From where ever stems its origins

denim the hard-working material

has certainly weathered the fashion storm

and jeans the ubiquitous trouser made from its cut

has emerged a wardrobe basic of cow-hands to glam stars.