Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Raw Denim, Raw Leather and Aging
A lot of questions pop into the head when trying to create the perfect leather jacket. In my observations around reproduced clothing I spend a lot of time thinking about Raw versus Worn versus Aged. I love worn out clothing. I sell vintage clothing, and what I am really selling is character. Character is what happens when someone possesses something, lives in it wears it out, imparts and imbues their experiences upon the existence of the thing and gives it new life! We can build outward from our face and bodies to our things. We live in the world and the farmer gets deep creases relaying his years in the field, the comic gets deep laugh lines and the proper lady remains pale and wrinkle free. Clothing is very similar. For years since the late seventies pre-aging was being sold and progressively scaled up. In the 1950s you would buy a pair of raw denim Levis, shrink them, not take them off and bam after a month or two, those cardboard like iron denim pants would start to soften, with faint lines appearing beneath the dark blue indigo ringspun denim. Stone washing, preshrinking, bleaching hacking, faking patching and destroying, volcano washing and all other forms of nonsense have created today's silly jean. Now you can buy a jean that will last one year with its prehacked wear before your package falls out of the blown out crotch and onto the stool. I believe in raw denim. I'm sitting in deadstock 646 1970s indigo bell bottoms that are just getting soft now after wearing them for 2 months. I sell vintage ones for the lazy and under worked who cant find the time to wear out their own jeans and leathers.
Why pictures of leather and the tannery? Well, the big question is how new should leather look before it is made into a jacket. How hard was the leather in a 1940s leather jacket when it was new. And how much character should a skin have before it is sewn into a jacket. Look at these skins they already tell such a great story from birth, life and sadly to death, just like me...