Monday, February 9, 2009

Faded, torn and frayed.

The Zone system of denim.

This weekend brought warm weather to the southeast, and thus it was time for the semi-monthly washing of the denim. Observing all my favorite jeans hanging out in the early spring sun reminded me of the the tortuous time spent learning the zone system in undergrad, so I made up the above shot showing my pants, oldest to newest.

To say I'm obsessed with denim would probably be fair. I had a summer job working for Levi's once upon a time, and what I learned working with the manufacturing of their clothes that summer has stayed with me ever since. It was then I learned about selvage denim, and about the now legendary "big e" Levi's. I learned about arcane terms such as "twist" "whiskering" and "slubby." I still have a soft space in my heart for the classic shrink-to-fit 501s, but as Levi's cuts costs further to compete, I've been looking elsewhere for my raw denim fix.

The promised land for denim these days is Japan, with artisan level jeans being produced and classic designs being reproduced. Sadly, these jeans seem to only be available for Japanese sized folks, so this big, tall anglo is all out of luck.

The middle two jeans in the above shot are both from APC in France who seem to appreciate some people need inseams longer than 34 inches. So far, I'm smitten. This isn't to say I have quit seeking a pair of Sugarcanes or Nudies in my size, but I have a viable alternative to the current shrink-to-baggy 501s.