Denim to rave about
When I was about 12 or 13, before stretch denim was invented and most people in Ireland were still wearing hideous billowing flares and brown leather platform-shoe horrors, I was lying down on a busy Stephen's Green denim shop floor, nearly expiring from holding my breath in, in order to zip up a pair of high-waisted Lois dark-blue skinny denims (to wear with my adidas Rom trainers) to get the snuggest, most bottom-curving fit I could.
Several decades on, nothing much has changed. I am still obsessive about jeans and trainers. Only now, there is stretch, so I don't need to lie down on shop floors any more.
Today, I am sharing with you one of my absolute favourite denim brands. A lesser-known label - known only to people who live outside of Dublin, because for some inexplicable reason, only boutiques around Ireland are clever enough to stock them - Rant & Rave is a truly flattering jeans brand.
Unusual for a successful denim brand, Rant & Rave is an Irish firm. It does its design and fit work in Monaghan - where it manufactured for years, supplying the UK's biggest fashion firms until the Asian markets undercut prices too much to match.
But Rant & Rave and its great design ethos live on, steered by brilliant head designer Louise Monaghan, and Mary Lennon, together with owners Mel McMorrow and Patsy McKenna. Rant & Rave makes the most flattering and leg-lengthening, best tummy-tucking and bottom-lifting, most gorgeous wash and best constructed jeans any of us could desire.
Though I mention billowing flares from my 1970s childhood as the stuff of nightmares, they are (natch) on the way back. The catwalks for this summer were full of them and 1970s-inspired fashion. In line with the trends, Rant & Rave has also been inspired by the confidence of the 1970s, creating slimming, mannish-style shirts, striped wide-leg trousers, jackets and a sexy body-top, while also ensuring the look is that bit more wearable. Take their high-waisted, mid-wash Saffron Flare Jean with a patch-pocket front, seen on this page and left. It's a sophisticated and cool jean, and very much in keeping with the style of Chloe or Isabel Marant.
Rant & Rave (for its online store, see rantandrave.eu) jeans come in sizes eight to 16 and three leg lengths. There are boot-cut, skinny and crop styles, including its sexy Ada Super-High Rise Jean, and its cool frayed-hem bleached Bella jeans. There are white denims for summer days and sexy Joni Leather-Look style for nights out.
Rant & Rave is your complete jeans solution.
Photography by Kieran McAlinden
Fashion edited by Constance Harris
Sunday Indo Life Magazine