Sunday, August 03, 2008

Levi's Vintage Collection A/W 2008

The LVC collection for Autumn & Winter 2008 is bound to confuse anyone looking at it the first time, because it has an 'Oldest Oldest' jean as well as a 'XX First Blue' jean.
Let's have a look at them so we'll be able to tell them apart from now on.

1873 XX First Blue Jean

The 'XX' is a reproduction of the oldest pair of Levi's jeans found. The original is from 1873 and pre-dates the '501' which is the name the XX would later be replaced with.
The reproduction is made in 9 oz natural indigo denim from the Japanese Kurabo mill.
The pair shown above has been washed once to bring forth the different shades in the slightly streaky denim.
This pair will cost about 350-400 Euro.

Here is Nils of Levi's wearing them the Levi's way - using one of the suspender buttons as the top button;

This is the Oldest Oldest. It is based on a pair, dated to 1875, that was recently found in a mining town in Nevada. It is not the famous 'Nevada jeans', though.
It comes in a raw, synthetic indigo, 9oz Kurabo denim(200 Euro) and distressed in a celebration package with a bag and a tee(500-600 Euro).

The raw version.

Levi's is big on packages this season. The 1927, 1966 and 1978(the card says otherwise but that's because it's from the SS08 collection) 501s can be bought together with a white tee of the same era. Just like the jeans, the tees have different cuts, fabrics and details.
Here's the 1933.

The 1927 501 premiers this fall. It's significance in Levi's history is not obvious, but it is a big part of Levi's marketing campaign. 1927 was the year when 'This is a pair of them' on the oil cloth tag was changed to 'This is a pair of LEVI'S'. Levi's pioneered brand building and managed to distinguished themselves from other workwear brands, some of which even had the now trademarked Levi's arcuate on the backpockets!
The 1927 is also the first replica that has belt loops, they were introduced in 1922, and the 501 was produced in 10oz denim instead of 9oz from this year.

1937, or 1936, was the year when the red tab was introduced. Again, it was a part of the marketing strategy.

The redline denim is all from Cone Mills while the plain white selvedge denim is from Kurabo.

Another newcomer is the 1978 501. It has a small 'e' on the red tab but still carries the selvedge on the outseam.
In 1978 the cut of the 501 was changed and made slimmer. The denim is now 14oz but still not sanforized.

The 1950's Shorthorn denim shirt is carried over from last season. Now without the red tab that shouldn't have been there in the first place.
7.5 ounce denim, mother of pearl buttons and a fairly slim fit.

Comes in a Shorthorn box.

More effort than usual is put on the tops for this collection.
Here's the 1910 Sunset wool shirt that was previously made in chambray(the Bunkhouse shirt) and a 1950's check wool shirt.
The collection is inspired by the lumberjack which is why there is a lot of heavy wool used here.
All the wool shirts come in Saddleman box, regardless of which era they're from.

The 1912 Sunset Sweater Coat is another example of the use of wool.

You probably heard of Levi's No.2, as in the 201, but did you know there was also a No.3?
The No.3 was the cheapest type that Levi's offered and it was made from leftovers and lower quality denim.
In order to replicate the denim of the originals, Levi's looked for a suitable loom on all continents and after some years of searching finally found one in Russia.

This is the 1911 340 Open Front Jumper. It was used as a shirt or a jacket when the weather was colder, perhaps with a wool shirt underneath.

Rusted buttons, only one color on the stitching, a very grainy denim and and almost quadratic shape.

This is also the first time there is a real focus on womenswear in LVC. Finally, they have made a 701, the women's version of the 501.

The 701 was considered leisure-wear even from the launch in 1934. Therefore it's made from lighter denim that is quite soft even in its raw state. The real workingwomen would wear the men's 501 instead.

Below is a comparison between the original and the reproduction of the 1950's 701.



Original on the left, reproduction on the right. 10oz pre-shrunk denim is used in the 1950's version.

There's also the 1937 701, in a washed state. The '37 is slightly slimmer than the 50s version.

And last, a few washed men's jeans.

1927, 1937, 1966.

Washed 1967 505s, 'Butterfly Flat' and 'Clay Dipped'.