Going into Fall/Winter, the new collection from Levi’s Vintage Clothing looks to the early years of the company for inspiration.
In the last few collections, our beloved Levi’s Vintage Clothing has focused more on more recent times. Looking to either the New York art scene in the 50s or the Summer of Love in San Francisco in the 60s. This time, they are going back to their roots, right back…. back to when 501 was just the number after 500.
In the latter part of the 1800s, tens of thousands of prospectors flocked West in the United States hoping to strike it rich in the Gold Rush gripping California at that time. Some went for the gold, some, like Levi Straus saw an opportunity to do business.
Birth of a Legend
This is where the riveted “XX Waist Overall” was born and this is where Levis Vintage clothing looks to find inspiration in the Fall Winter collection.
Says Paul O’Neill, Head Designer, Levi’s Vintage Clothing;
“After recently acquiring some very early Levi Strauss & Co. pieces and researching what was happening around them when originally created, we felt it was a good time to go back to our roots and celebrate the early days of our brand and products,”
At the heart of the collection is the reproduction of the XX Waist Overalls. But this is not simply recreating the fit and detailing of the pant that would eventually become the 501. They went one step further.
The Extra Mile
Working with Cone Mills, Levis Vintage Clothing recreated one of the earliest denims from the archives.
“We took the original garment to North Carolina where the Cone Mills team studied the yarn count and slub patterns to reproduce the original cloth. The yarns are dyed using natural indigo grown by Stony Creek Colors of Nashville, Tennessee, and the fabric is loom state and has zero treatment after it comes from the loom”
Anything but “Run of the Mill”
The “run of the mill” denim is anything but. The name pokes fun at the term and simply refers to the fact that this denim to completely loom state. Meaning that nothing has been done to the fabric after it comes off the loom. No washing, no sanforization, little grading or inspection. This is how just how the denim would have been produced 140 years ago.
Alongside the faithful recreations of the Waist Overalls, there are a number of standout pieces.The Triple Pleat Blouson makes a welcome return once again. This time in both a raw version and a mid wash.
An interesting addition is the over-the-head dress shirt with detachable collar and the 1920s chambray workshirt featuring worn detailing faithfully recreated from the 100-year-old original.
Our favourite and it ain’t even denim!
Then there is the Rope Dye favourite. Levi’s partner up with another company born on the frontiers of the West, Stetson. Coined the Dakota, this limited edition hat is based on a model from the Stetson archive dating back to the turn of the century made from the finest 6X “silver belly” fur felt and produced at the Stetson factory in Garland, Texas.
As always, Levi’s have gone all out with their lookbook, couching the collection in scenes from the west, exuding that frontier feel.