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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blue Jeans Exhibit at Centraal

Gluejeans Revolution Jeans ┬ęBill Tanaka
How much do you love your jeans?  The fashion staple started as work wear in the 17th century and evolved into a high-fashion must-have in the 20th century.  Centraal Museum in the Netherlands pays tribute to history of denim and the designers that have made jeans a fashion icon.

The exhibit includes some of the first jeans from Levi's as well as designs from Chanel, Martin Margiela and scores of other fashion heavyweights.  You can explore how traditional methods of processing jeans has been destroying the environment and the sustainable materials or eco-friendly techniques that are available today.

I worked in denim for Nautica Jeans for several years, from development to when it landed in the stores.  What many people don't realize, is that the more expensive the jeans, the less they will last.  Why?  The costs of the jeans is related to how many processes have been done to the once pristine garment.  Those soft, artfully dyed, or abrasions are all individual steps.  Jeans can be dyed multiple times with different washes to achieve a certain texture.  Holes, shredding, imprints are hand done.  The cost of a $500 pair of jeans is a result of a long process of destruction.  Ironic isn't it?

I don't know of any singular item, especially a casual clothing item that elicits more love and loyalty from its owner.  Finally, a museum in the Netherlands is giving proper tribute to it!  

Blue Jeans Exhibit at the Centraal Museum runs until March 10, 2013.
image from Centraal Museum

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