August 21 2014

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Emily Current and Meritt Elliott Set Out to Tell Their Denim Story


current elliott “We fancy ourselves storytellers in everything we do—that’s how we approach styling and designing,” Meritt Elliott says of what informs her and partner Emily Current’s work. The L.A.-based duo, formerly of Current/Elliott and now stylists to Mandy Moore, Emma Roberts, and Jessica Alba, among others, have put their fashion tales into print with their latest venture, A Denim Story: Inspirations From Bellbottoms to Boyfriends.

With a curated collection of images, A Denim Story categorizes and classifies denim, from overalls to American Summer styles, workwear shapes to the most loved, lived-in pairs. And since the team first bonded in college over their love of vintage Levi’s 646s, the book shies away from expected imagery of sexed-up models in tight jeans. Instead, it pays careful attention to pairs that feel timeless and slightly androgynous. “We definitely always gravitate toward the idea of a boy’s jean on a girl, something that’s a bit awkward—something from your dad’s closet or your boyfriend’s jeans,” said Current, whose original boyfriend jean helped to launch the still-strong trend. Along with photographer Hilary Walsh, Current and Elliott focus on imagery that highlights this sentiment, drawing aesthetic inspiration from masculine silhouettes, the Dust Bowl era, and the children’s series The Boxcar Children.

Inevitably informed by their successful design past, not to mention their close proximity to denim manufacturing in downtown L.A., Current and Elliott assert that their take on denim is unique. “In many ways, since we come from a design background, the book is our inspiration board—it’s the things that have inspired us in different chapters,” Current explained. “We love our sensibility to be dressed up sometimes, too,” Elliott says of their now signature look that’s equal parts fantasy and quintessential Americana. It’s that effortlessness that defines them, and their never-ending love affair with denim.

A Denim Story: Inspirations From Bellbottoms to Boyfriends will be available from Rizzoli starting March 18.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Dept. of Culture