Exemplifying an Era
Twice a year, the guys over at Levi’s Vintage Clothing design office start rummaging around in their archive for those one-off pieces – those items of clothing that exemplify an era. They then collect these together creating a collection that mirrors a time and a place in the history of this iconic brand.
For Autumn/Winter 2016, Levi’s Vintage Clothing have chosen the revolution in American art during the mid-1940s, a movement known as Abstract Expressionism. Out of this movement came Jackson Pollock, Clifford Still, Joan Mitchell and Barnett Newman with their take on surrealism and a modern, year zero mentality.
Channelling 50s New York
The collection revolves around the 9th Street exhibition of 1951. This exhibition held in New York City marked a ground-breaking turn in the art world with artists and poets coming together, drawing inspiration from the burgeoning contemporary avant-garde.
Don’t Stress Over Distress
As you can imagine, with a collection inspired by the studios and ateliers from Pollock or Newman, distressing and paint splatter are quite prominent. Levi’s expertise in this field are pretty legendary and they have poured all their know-how into this collection. Ageing, paint splatter and faux repair always run the risk of looking tacky, but Levi’s have pulled it off with ease and it adds another dimension to the collection.
The Finest Examples of Levi’s Wash House.
Tab Twills Customized Shirt (Left)
This looks like you could have pulled it out of the bargain bin in your local thrift store. One of Levi’s earliest work shirt styles is used as the base and the guys have added “Springs General Store” hand embroidered in chain stitching, chopped off the sleeves at ¾ length, added a little subtle damage here and there and given it an equally subtle stone-wash finish.
Lot 67 Sack Coat (Right)
Taken from a few decades earlier in the Levi’s archive, the Lot 67 Sack Coat would looks equally at home down a mine or hanging from an easel in a downtown atelier. This is where the guys at the wash house have taken the paint splatter technique to an art form. Combine this with the ripped and hand repaired finish and the underlying wash, it is truly a fantastic piece.
Raw to their roots.
One thing we are of course delighted by is that the Raw Denim staples of the Levi’s Vintage Collection still feature so prominently. Levi’s still have the full range of 501’s in their raw state as well as a Type II and Type III. The favourite over here at the RD office, however must be the 1950 Sawtooth Shirt. There is just something grail-like with a worn from raw denim shirt.
Imagine this as your next fade project!