Archive for the ‘Denim’ Category

Denim, Trends

How The Strokes changed not just music, but men’s jeans too

By Stefano on January 10th, 2013

There’s a really interesting article over at The Guardian where Paula Cocozza looks into why Skinny Jeans have become so popular in the UK.

They might not be for everyone, but since the mid noughties and in spite of the best efforts to re-market the Boot Cut – Levi’s have recently gone with Boot Cut Skinny – the drainpipes as your dad used to call them remains the cut of choice, ooh for anyone under 40 (and a few aging rockers too)

The really interesting question though is what sparked this revival (they were worn by Punks in the late 70s and Teds in the 50s had pretty tight trousers too)? Was it some enterprising stylist who started to champion them? Or was it a celebrity looking to wear something different who brought them back into style?

The answer is probably a bit of both? According to The Guardian the fashion industry was embracing them over a decade ago.

Earl Jean offered slim straight-legs in 2001. In her autumn/winter 2002 collection, Stella McCartney showed trousers drawn taut by cuffs and zips and stirrups. There were stretchy legs at Versus and slim ones at MaxMara.

But it was a celebrity who played a significant role in popularising the style for men at least and not one that you are thinking of. Nope not Russell Brand or even Pete Doherty.

But the man who I think deserves the accolade for being at least partially responsible for the British style success story of the decade is Nick Valensi – the guitarist (who isn’t Albert Hammond) with The Strokes.

Given how quickly they fell from grace after their rather disappointing second album it is hard to remember what a huge impact The Strokes made on Britain and its media. They went from a well kept secret among power pop fans who raved about their debut EP The Modern Age, to playing gigs in sell out London venues where the celebrities outnumbered the indie pop punters.

After half a decade of championing all things British – think Brit pop, Brit art etc The Stokes were when the UK fell in love again with the idealised version of New York. The five undernourished looking dark haired fellas seemed to encapsulate all that we loved about the city from their urban style through to their edgy, but accessible driving punky pop that inevitably drew comparisons with Blondie, The Velvet Underground and and The Ramones.

But check out those early pics of the band (see above) and you’ll see that one member, Mr Valensi, wears his jeans that little bit tighter than the rest in way that conjures up images of a certain band some 20 years earlier.

At the time the press wrote endless stories about the band’s style and their tight trousers. A seed was planted and other rock icons, celebrities and fashion houses took note so that by the mid noughties skinny jeans were starting hitting the mainstream for men. Topshop’s Baxter range along side Kate Moss and others did the trick for women. Within a few years the reign of the Boot Cut would be over and if you didn’t have the legs to go skinny, you wanted your jeans at least straight.

Anyway hop over to The Guardian and read the article. I am off to play Is This It?

Accessories, Denim, features, Jeans & Trousers, News

Levi’s go green with WasteLess S/S13 jeans collection

By Gerald Lynch on October 18th, 2012

Green is the new black over at Levi’s, who’ve just revealed the WasteLess jeans range for Spring/Summer 2013. Revealed at a slick launch bash at London’s Farmiloe Building in Farringdon, Brandish went down for a sneak peak at the new eco-freindly denims.

Each pair of Levi’s WasteLess jeans is made from a minimum of 20% post-consumer recycled content, roughly 12 to 20 ounces per pair. The bulk of this will be made from recycled plastic bottles, be they clear, green or brown. Turn the jean’s inside out and the inner shade reveals what sort of bottles went into making your slacks.

“From the beginning, we have designed our products with purpose and intent. By adding value to waste, we hope to change the way people think about recycling, ultimately incentivizing them to do more of it,” said James Curleigh, global president of the Levi’s brand.

“This collection proves that you don’t have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning.”

Indeed, the jeans look to be as comfortable as any Levi’s pair before them, feeling as soft to the touch as any traditional denim weave we’ve laid our hands on before.

Levi’s expect to put some 3.5 million recycled bottles into the WasteLess range next year, which will include 511 Skinny jeans, a new modern-looking  504 Straight Fit jean, and the Trucker jackets.

“With this collection, we’re doing our own small part by taking waste and making something new from it,” added Curleigh.

“We don’t just want to reduce our impact on the environment, we want to leave it better than we found it. We are committed to making products in ways that are good for people and better for our planet.”

The event also showcased other elements of Levi’s Spring/Summer 2013 range. Coloured denims continue to be on trend, with both bold and soft pastel washes (inspired by India’s spice markets) set to feature heavily.

In terms of the mens range beyond jeans, canvas boots and rucksacks in muted earth tones look set to feature heavily:

While a range of bright primary coloured parka jackets also looked particularly good:

A forthcoming partnership with Liberty’s of London was also revealed, with Levi creating a short range using one of the top British store’s iconic prints as we speak.

Scroll down for some more shots from the Levi’s launch event.

Levi's SS13 Collection

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Picture 1 of 52

Denim, News, Underwear & Swimwear

Diesel Underdenim underwear is for low slacks, not “Never Nude” dudes

By Gerald Lynch on October 3rd, 2012

Diesel Underdenim

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Picture 1 of 7

Under…denims? That’s the new underwear push from Diesel, who’ve put together a new range of “Underdenim” trunks for men who like to wear their slacks low with a bit of cheek on show, otherwise known as the “Most Dumbest Fashion Fad Eva”.

Misleading marketing be-damned, they’re made of cotton rather than denim (which we’re certain your knackers will be thankful for), and are designed to blend in with your jeans if you’re “riding low batty”.

The argument then surely is to just invest in a belt instead and keep your trousers pulled up, but then we’d all look like Tories or something is what I assume is being inferred here.

Yours for £20 a pop from Diesel, we’re just a little bit disappointed that they don’t have a touch more influence from  Tobias “Never Nude” Funke of Arrested Development fame:

Clothing, Denim

The case for red trousers – not just for toffs and hipsters

By Stefano on October 3rd, 2012

As a feckless youth in the mid 80s I once bought a pair of red trousers. I chose them because all my favourite 60s bands seemed to favour brightly coloured trews in their key end of the decade psychedelic phase. I figured that if they were good enough for Jagger and Davies then surely they were good enough for me.

So I teamed them up with a white shirt and left the house to parade my new wares in the streets of the market town in which I lived. Rather than attracting admiring glances for my fashion rule breaking I received volley after volley of laughter and occasionally serious abuse. Suitably chastised I am ashamed to admit I stuck the red trousers back in the wardrobe and swore that from here on in I would only wear blue denim.

A few decades on and red trousers are making a bit of a comeback. Hipsters in the usual north east London haunts have been seen wearing them bought box fresh from brands like Uniqlo. In some ways their return isn’t that surprising given fashion’s current predilection for the mid 80s, but their revival has sparked a very lively debate.

For starters there is the acclaimed blog Look At My Fucking Red Trousers which catalogues people wearing red trousers in a, how shall we put this, less than celebratory way. Then recently The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman weighed in with her take on why we get all queasy when it comes to red trews.

She said…

Mainstream menswear is not – let’s be honest here – much fun. Men’s fashion can be brilliant, but basic menswear? Not so much. Beyond deciding whether you’re a T-shirt man or a button-down shirt man there isn’t much going on, and what is going on is generally pretty tedious. Because of this, style-averse men (read: fashion-fearful men), often heterosexual in their tendencies, will hear a fashion rule once and they will carve it on to their very brains, still following it and parroting it whole decades later, whether it be always wearing a belt with their trousers, never showing a naked ankle or red trousers are evil.

After the traumatising experience of my youth I really ought to be on the side of the bloggers and the parochial idiots of my home town sniggering at the fools in their comedy pants. But you know what, I think is time we learnt to embrace red trousers. Here’s why.

1 As Hadley so succinctly pointed out until recently trousers for man were pretty boring, The recent trend for coloured twisty chinos has been a breath of fresh air.

2 Why should men continue to agonise over whether the colours of the items they wear match? Women got over this years ago. if you want to wear yellow trousers and a lime green jumper why shouldn’t you? Of course it might look ridiculous on you if you are pushing 40, but hey it is your choice.

3 Red trousers need to be reclaimed. There is undoubtedly a touch of class war in some of our hatred for red trousers. Toffs have been wearing them for years You can bet that Cameron has a pair somewhere which he dons during his weekends with the Chipping Norton set. They also tend to be favoured by older gentlemen teamed with Wellington Boots and Barbours. Well both wellies and barbours have been reclaimed so why not red trousers.

4 Finally red trousers are not created equal. There are many shades of red and the the darker less lurid shades (check out the Uniqlo cords) actually look quite conservative. There are also red jeans, red chinos and red cords. Personally I think the chinos look best and at least mean you manage to avoid looking like the bassist out of some 80s hair metal band.

So hating red trousers because toffs and hipsters wear them simply isn’t good enough any more. Besides if we claims back red trousers it means we can continue to plunder toff fashion in the future. Plus Fours anyone?

Four to choose from below

Fuzzdandy red chinos £33.99

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Retro label Fuzzdandy are big on red trousers. These are skinny chinos in a slightly faded red. Fuzzdandy

Collaborations, Denim, features

Supreme x Levi’s 2011 Fall/Winter Collection

By Laura on September 12th, 2011

Supreme is at it again this time partnering up with Levi’s on their new capsule collection for Fall/Winter 2011.

The collection features a number of standard staples from the American denim giant, including Levi’s 505 Zip-Fly Jean, a Chambray Work Shirt, a Trucker Jacket in leather and suede, a Denim Down Vest and Denim Bell Hat. Although I love the collection, I can’t help but feel that most of it does not look that different from the regular Levi’s collection. Hopefully prices will not be over inflated just because the pieces have a Supreme label slapped in them.

The collection is being assembled in the US and expected to hit stores Sept 15th, Japan on the 17th and the new London store on the 22nd.

Brand Spotlight, Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Denim, Gallery, knitwear

Edun Autumn/Winter 2011 Menswear Collection

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on August 17th, 2011

Summer seems to have escaped this year with a chilling 14 degrees this morning when I left the house. But as much as I love sun and park life, I can’t help but to love the colder months when you get to wrap up warm in wonderful clothes – my growing up in the Arctic could also be a reason for this… and my love for ‘look-at-me’ knitwear.

If you’re looking to invest in your winter wardrobe but want to do it in a green way, Edun is the place to look. The brand of Ali Hewson and Bono – yes that Bono – has an amazing collection out for this autumn/winter that will make you look dashing.

Using layers and dimension to create a well-travelled feel that is juxtaposed with modern silhouettes, Edun offers unique styles with added pockets, stitching and darting details, and the sweaters and knits span the spectrum, from lightweight layering to a fresh twist on vintage Fair Isles patterns.

Trousers range from clean, slim and straight tailored to tapered leg and drop crotch. Something for everyone! The denim is work wear influenced and most of it is made from recycled fabrics in Africa, with an organic wash to finish.

The seasons’ colour choices are inspired by natural elements such as stone and ash accented with petrol and ice, whereas red brick and cranberry wine play off sediment black and dark neutrals, like storm and tar, are accented with raisin, mulberry and peacock.

This is definitely style with substance!

Edun Autumn Winter 2011 Collection

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Photo courtesy of Edun

Clothing, Denim, features

The Commuter by Levi’s

By Laura on July 25th, 2011

In May, Levis introduced the Commuter line. The latest collection aimed specifically at cyclists. In order to highlight the features of this groundbreaking product they have created a short video dubbed The Commuter. The moving background sets the tone, as we see the different features of the jeans in action. These technical jeans are surprisingly affordable and a great purchase for an urban cyclist. To find out more about the jeans check out original post.

Brand Spotlight, Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Denim, features, Sportswear

Levi’s Commuter Cycling Series

By Laura on May 5th, 2011

Levi’s latest collection aimed at cyclists has been creating a lot of buzz this week and it is not hard to see why.

Their debut cycling line draws on their workwear heritage, while incorporating technical functionality. One of my favourite pieces from the collection is the Trucker Jacket, based on a 1967 design. It’s long cut with a slight drop tail flatters most body types and is perfect for cycling in. The jacket is well thought out and designed with the wearer in mind, from the angled front pockets for easy access, the extra fabric in the underarm for added mobility, to the lip on the cuff to partially cover hands while riding. Like all the pieces in the line, the jacket also features antimicrobial odor-protection and reflective accents for visibility.

Another key detail to point out is the Nanosphere Technology, which is used across the line. This application was developed in partnership with Swiss fabric brand Schoeller Technologies and makes materials water and dirt resistant, increasing the lifespan of the material.

In addition to the Trucker Jacket, Levi’s have also created the 511 Skinny Commuter pants (available in elasticized denim or khaki). What makes these pants unique is the loop built into the waistband for or carrying around your u-lock, and the reflective tape on the inner seam to provide increased safety at night. The reinforced crotch is also a nice touch that should save you from regular trips to the tailor.

If you are a cyclist in need of a new jacket or jeans definitely check out this collection.

Clothing, Denim, T-shirts, Polos & Shirts

CAT S/S 2011

By Laura on April 1st, 2011

The CAT spring summer collection is out pulling inspiration from urban/street wear looks.

This seasons collections included 1904, Urban Utility and Steel Blue. The1904 collection focuses on vintage inspired distressed graphics and fabric appliquéing, which is worked through trucker caps, soft jersey t-shirts and a checked cotton poplin shirt. The colour palette is primarally made up of navy, khaki and creams. On the other hand the Urban Utility collection features bold graphics in block texts in bright reds, gold and violet. Finally there is the Steel Blue collection which focuses solely on denim. Made with 100% cotton, the classic 5 pocket western style is available in slim, original, straight and bootcut.

What do you think of the collection?


Levi’s Launch Waterless Line

By Laura on January 24th, 2011

I have a bit of a confession to make. I pretty much never wash my jeans…Once in a while I throw them in the freezer, but that’s about it. But what if you could save millions of liters of water just by washing your jeans less? It seems this is the very idea behind Levi’s new Waterless line.

Apparently the average pair of Levi’s jeans uses 42 liters of water per washing process. The Levi’s Waterless line aims to reduces this usage by up to 96% in the finishing process. In other words these rigid jeans use virtually no water in production. Check out the fun video above announcing the campaign.


The Death Of Organic Denim

By Laura on January 13th, 2011

At one point the majority of denim brands Levi’s, 7 For All Mankind, Earnest Sewn, and J Brand offered at least one pair of organic cotton jeans and while it may have seemed like a gimmicky sales tactic, cotton is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In fact the Sustainable Cotton Project, has released data showing that the cotton industry is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s chemical pesticides and fertilizers. So if cotton is so damaging to the environment, why have we lost interest in organic environmentally friendly denim? In fact nearly all of the denim brands that once carried organic denim have stopped.

Denim companies argue that they are now taking into consideration water use, dye impact, soil health, labor issues and fair trade. H & M, Adidas, Nike, and Levi’s have all recently joined the Better Cotton Initiative, a nonprofit, which focuses on sustainable-agriculture techniques, water use and economic and labor issues. The initiative which is focused on cotton farms in India and Pakistan will aim to reduced chemical use and water consumption by a third. However, this cotton will not likely be ready to used in clothing until spring 2012, and will be blended with conventional cotton at first. It can take a while for industries to shift practices, but it seem a shame to see them move away from organic practices.

All of this begs the question was organic denim popular or do we not really care. Either way the future of eco-fashion is certainly up for debate.

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