Today I want to highlight one of the oldest indigo clothing items from my private collection. It’s a kids kimono (for 3 – 4 years old kids) from circa 1930 (maybe older). Before I go further with this specific kimono, first some history about the kimono.
The kimono is a Japanese traditional garment. The word ‘kimono’ means a ‘thing to wear’ (ki “wear” and mono “thing”). The standard word kimono in English is kimonos. The kimono is always used in important festival or formal moments, it is the representative of polite and a very formal clothing. Kimonos has T-shaped, straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. Kimonos are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right side (except when dressing the dead for burial) and secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. Kimonos are generally worn with traditional footwear.
My kimono comes from the Miyagi Prefecture area, the North Pacific Ocean side from Japan. The kimono is from the early Showa period. The Showa period is known from the potentially period of peace and harmony or ‘period of radiant’ Japan. The Showa era refers to the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Showa Emperor, Hirohito, from December 25, 1926, through January 7, 1989.
Back to my kimono. The kimono is made by hand and coloured with natural indigo. It has beautiful different blue colors, aged by wear. On the back you see a small repair which is very common by old traditional clothing. People repaired over and over again their clothes as they didn’t had the money to buy new stuff (totally different than nowadays). If you flip the kimono inside out you will see the strong blue colors. This kimono is a true piece of art with a rich history and link to the denim industry.
This little vintage Sanforized blue overall is from my private archive. It’s a boys overall from Sanforized made in the 1940′s. These kind of overalls were worn by farmers in the U.S. This overall is a small one, waist size 20. Typical about these 1940′s workwear is the orange thread. It has only one fly button, donut button, and one top button with the brand name Sanforized on it. The pockets are fastened with flat rivets. Like the most overalls you could wear this with suspenders. The suspenders on this overall is fastened by hand and is an original Sanforized one but without the original buttons. The backpockets are simple, plain, without any arcuates. The overall is made of right hand non-selvage fabric. The overall is a true American workwear style.
Textilia Magazine is organising a new edition of their Trend Safari workshop. As usual they organise it at a very inspiring surrounding in Rotterdam called Innovation Dock. The workshop gives you insight and inspiration for the new upcoming trends for Spring Summer 2018. The theme of the workshop is ID Industry, an industry of Influence & Desire. Trendwatcher Jan Agelink will be your host to get you in the right SS18 mood. The workshop will be held on Januari the 10th, check all the details here.
Yesterday I hooked-up with Wim Ravestein which is a true denimhead from Boskoop, a small village in Holland. Wim is very dedicated to jeans, has some nice worn-out projects and knows where he’s talking about. Next to that he has a extremely cool rooftop project going on. On his rooftop he has a very experimental denim project for already more than 5 years. Some of his rigid jeans are catching some sun, rain and snow 24/7 and 365 days a year, non-stop. All to check out the development of the unwashed denim fabrics. One of his projects was even the base of a birdhouse this Spring! For his rooftop project he’s using some old Blue Blood and new G-Star jeans.
Wim was also one of the few who had an original G-Star US Lumber from 1997 in his denim collection, which he donated to me for my private denim collection. I’m very happy with this jeans as this item was missing in my collection and a perfect addition next to my Gapstar US Second and G-Star US First jacket. Both denim classics nowadays. I gave him a classic jeans as a thank you, Edwin Nashville, for his rooftop project. I’m really looking forward how this jeans will age with a natural treatment of some years.
Thanks again Wim for sharing our same passion and your great worn-out G-Star US Lumber. Will post more about this later. Keep up the good work with your amazing rooftop project! To be continued…
Denim is one of the world’s favorite fabrics, and also one of the largest segment of the clothing industry. To celebrate the iconic blue clothing item Emma McClendon, assistant curator at The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York, organised a great expo which was displayed untill the 7th of May. The expo was called: “Denim: Fashion Frontier“. Emma publised also a book with all the highlights from this expo.
Cover book: Denim: Fashion Frontier
The most interesting item from this ”Denim: Fashion Frontier” expo was a pants dated from the 1840′s. This is a true treasure and pre-miners jeans. It’s the oldest pair from the FIT museum archive. This pants is extremely cool and loaded with great details;
Fall front instead of a center fly.
- Fall front is attached with 3 bone buttons (Metal buttons were introduced later and most of the time on workwear clothes).
- The bone buttons absorbed the indigo, see center of the buttons, as the pants was dyed in indigo afterwards.
- The pants is dyed in indigo after they were made, instead of dyeing the threads first before weaving.
- The entire pants is hand stitched including the repairs.
- The waistband is reinforced with denim fabric.
- Triangle in the waist to help the wearer tighten the waist.
The shots here below are stills from the video, attached at the end, which they made to highlight all the magnificent details from this 1840′s blue indigo pants.
Denim pants from 1840
Emma McClendon, assistant curator, and Nicole Bloomfield, conservation technologist, both working at The Museum at FIT, explain all the details about this 1840’s pants in the video here below;
Sundays are perfect to stroll around Ebay to find some nice vintage denim items. Today I came across a really special item from Levi’s Jeans. A rare vintage and hard to find Levi’s Jeans from 1920′s. The jeans were discovered long time ago by an explorer in a mine shaft in the great basin of the US. The jeans have all the features of that time. It’s a true vintage treasure. You can buy it for $6.500,- Check the beauty here below.
Check the item here on Ebay:
One of the coolest places for vintage clothing is ‘The Vintage Showroom’ in London – UK. Founders Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett from ‘The Vintage Showroom’ became one of the leading resources for vintage menswear. Their collection is huge, rare and unique. I am a big fan of their denim, workwear and military collection. A couple of years ago they give us an insight into their collection with their first successful book ‘Vintage Menswear’. The follow-up on the first edition ‘An archive of vintage menswear’ which came out last November is also loaded with the most beautiful items. It’s like walking in a clothing museum, just like their showroom in London. Get impressed by the pics here below. See you guys in Amsterdam this April.
(photo credits: Hypebeast)
Sukomo Leather from Japan makes the most beautiful indigo dyed leather. Sukumo leather receives it’s color in a natural dyeing process that is performed completely in Japan. Following a 600 year old tradition, the dye used in the process is made by fermenting indigo leaves in Tokushima prefecture, Japan. With the dye the leather is dyed in the historical city of Kyoto. Watch in the film every step from the magical indigo process, very nice shots of this authentic craftsmanship!
Denim expert Amy Leverton, known of her street-style denim inspiration book ‘Denim Dudes’ with 80 blue influencers in the denim industry, launched again new video’s from some cool Denim Dudes. Check them out here below. Keep it up Amy!
David Himel of Himel Brothers Leather, shot at Pier 94, New York.
Alex Verier of Haeckels, shot at Pier 94, New York.
Tanden Launder, founder of Thrux Lawrence, shot at Pier 94, New York.
Shogo Koike of Clutch magazine, Japan. Shot at Pier 94, New York.
Chelito Villaflor of David Pirrotta Brands, shot at Pier 94, New York.
David Shuck, Managing Editor, Heddels, shot at Pier 94, New York.
Bahzad Trinos Sales Director, Naked & Famous shot at Pier 94., New York.
Nick Williams is designing graphics for over 25 years. His studio is based in West Sussex, UK. Nick started his career in New York where he worked for 7 years at print studios and then with Nautica. He moved back to the UK to commence working for Levi’s Jeans in Brussels, he eventually headed up the graphics division for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. After 6 years at Levi’s he moved onto Puma, heading up their worldwide graphics division. After those successful years he’s now running his own studio, 4th Avenue Graphics. With 4th Avenue Graphics he works with 8 carefully selected designers and illustrators, all with varying and unique handwritings. They have a full team at their disposal to work on packaging and branding. The team is fortunate to work with some great brands such as Levi’s, Gap, True Religion, Banana Republic, Lucky Brand, Patagonia and many more. As far as branding for denim (hang tags and trims) they are working (and have worked) with Gap, Jack Wills, Farah, Levi’s & Puma / Evisu for example and for t-shirt graphics they have worked on Lucky Brand, True Religion & Lee to name of few.
While Nick was working at Levi’s Jeans his passion for denim and branding started. You can see his passion and very talented skills in his work. Check some of my favo highlights here below. Keep up the good work Nick & 4th Avenue Graphics-crew!
Sustainability is a growing topic nowadays in the clothing industry, also in the denim industry. It’s all about making denim less damaging to the environment and better for the people who work in the farms, factories and laundries. What are the options and how to do this? Below some options by Andrew Olah (Founder, Kingpins fabric show), Miles Johnson (Creative Director, Patagonia), Mattia Donadi (VP of Production, R13 Studio), Alberto Candiani (Global Manager, Candiani Denim).
Last year denim expert Amy Leverton launched her street-style book ‘Denim Dudes’ with 80 blue influencers in the denim industry. From the U.S. to Europe, Japan and Australia. All the important names captured in one book full of great pics. This time Amy made a range of video portraits to highlight some denim professionals. Check them out here below. Well done Amy!
Daniel McKinley, Denim Designer, shot at Tower Bridge, London
Jessica Gebhart, Trend Forecaster and Owner, i-and-me, shot at Tower Bridge, London
Mohsin Sajid, Denim Designer, Owner, Endrime, shot at London Bridge, London
Kelly Harrington, Designer and trend forecaster, H+M, shot at Tower Bridge London
Scott Boyd-Errol, Master Tailor at Atelier & Repairs, London. shot at Tower Bridge, London