Tag Archives: denim

Denim master craft: Levi’s Lot No. 1

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

7 Levi's Lot No 1 made to order jeans

You’d think a couture gown or Savile Row suit was the ultimate luxury but I can think of something even better. Stationed at the back of Levi’s London flagship store is its recently introduced Lot No. 1 made–to-order jeans service. The answer to every denim connoisseur’s prayers, it’s a meticulously executed personal service that puts the customer at its heart. And I imagine it could become quite addictive.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that however vast the choice of jeans available to us, the search still continues for The Ones. That’s certainly true in my case – however close I think I’ve come to perfection, I’ve still not quite reached denim nirvana. So Lot No. 1 exists for denim nitpickers like me. Let’s be clear, this is for lovers of deep detail, choice and provenance. (As such, it’s also reserved for those with deep pockets – the service comes at a flat cost of £500.) You start by choosing your denim from beautifully presented swatch books. “The real denim heads tend to choose Cone Mills denims (a raw selvedge American denim), that’s the choice of the denim purists,” explains my host, master tailor Lizzie Radcliffe, a Savile Row transplant whose love of utilitarian clothing brought her to Levi’s. “Our Japanese customers go for the heaviest weights, they like breaking them in.”

For each swatch you can see what it will look like after a certain number of washes, a crucial detail in the first stage of choosing your denim. Next you select your rivets and buttons, again the choice is yours (from seven colours and two styles), followed by colour of threads. There are 20 thread colours to choose from, with navy thread on navy denim considered to be the smartest option. And yes, you can even choose your colour of leather patch from a choice of twelve, including one vegan. I absolutely loved geeking out over all the finer details (four different choices of cotton for the inner pockets – because hey, these things matter!). I think the one-to-one learning process and the unhurried method of choosing your components are as much part of the package as the finished ‘made for you’ jeans.

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Having chosen the denim, threads and buttons, it’s time to work on the actual cut and fit of jeans. For some, this is the crux of the service. There are samples available in all waist and rise sizes, which can be tried on and then adjusted. “Slim, straight jeans are the most requested cut, although carrot jeans are popular too,” says Lizzie, who also points out the importance of discussing how they’ll be washed and worn because that affects how the jeans will sit on your waist. (“Most people say they won’t wash them for the first two months.”) The higher the rise, the lower the size seems to be the rule of thumb, and although clients are encouraged to try on all the different sizes, Lizzie is more than adept at sizing them up with a precision glance.

Surprisingly, the ratio of men to women using the service is a massive 95% male majority aged 25-40. “It’s men with sporty thighs, short guys, wider men,” says Lizzie. Which is understandable; if you’re a non-standard size, why wouldn’t you want made-to-measure jeans that you know will fit you perfectly? Of course, as well as money, you need time; this is no overnight rush job. Working mostly on her own, Lizzie takes 4-6 weeks to turn around a pair of jeans depending on how in demand the service is.

One friend pointed out that Levi’s is supposed to be egalitarian. It’s the ultimate in utility workwear after all, so doesn’t it go against the brand ethos to make elite £500 jeans? It’s a valid point but I don’t see it as a frippery. From the fabrics sourced from the best mills globally, to the vintage machines – stitching machines, overlockers, rivet and button attachers – you’re looking at the best of everything to do the job. As such, these jeans are made to last so aren’t a ‘fashion’ buy so much as a shrewd investment. One that will earn its keep cost-per-wear, and improve with age for years to come.

Levi’s Lot No. 1 is available at Levi’s Regent Street, London. For an appointment or information, email mastertailorlondon@levi.com

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Acting basic

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Woah, why is everyone in fashion obsessed with Normcore and Acting Basic? These anti-fashion trends could be a reaction to the street-style/overdressing circus, or maybe we’re just tired of agonising over how we look. Plus, sometimes basic Gap tees and Fruit Of The Loom sweats can look as good as clean, serene Celine (well, almost). Continue reading

River Island’s blogger-led denim campaign

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Chiara-Ferragni-River-Island

River Island loves bloggers so it’s tapped some of its favourites to model its latest denim. Why this works? Because these super-bloggers will naturally share the shots on their own multi channel platforms, thus spreading the message far and wide. (It’s an international affair – amongst the bloggers are Italian Chiara Ferragni from The Blonde Salad, Australian Jessica Stein of Tuula Vintage and Spanish Gala Gonzalez from Amlul). Continue reading

Gap Styld.by: double denim

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Of all my Gap Styld.By outfits, this is the one I’ve been wearing the most. Double denim is still sniffed at in most mainstream circles but I think if you wear it in matching or obviously contrasting colours/shades, then it can work really well.

I’m wearing Gap’s ‘Sexy Boyfriend’ jeans with a classic Gap denim jacket. Continue reading

Gap Styld.by: Laid Back Layers

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Part two of my Gap outfit posts are up on the Styld.by micro site. This look is mostly about the denim biker but I think it’s the red Sexy Boyfriend cords that gives it a kick up the butt. Continue reading

Personalised fashion: the update

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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So have you been wondering how my 3X1 custom jeans turned out? Well I hope you like details because there’s a lot to take in. After my appointment at Selfridges with the 3X1 team at the beginning of August in which they let me modify their W2 Boyfriend jean with my choice of denim, thread, pocket details, buttons and zips, I took delivery of the finished article four weeks later. Like my Smythson experience, the choice was quite overwhelming at the time but the results are nothing short of superb. Continue reading

Gap Styld.by Disneyrollergirl

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Gap’s Styld.By site has evolved since the last time I wrote about it and even better, this time I’m on it! The site’s premise is non-models wearing Gap their way, styling it with their own clothes to showcases their signature style. I was asked to take part in the Back To Blue denim campaign, choosing a few Gap denim pieces and styling them in my lazy casual, tomboy way. The first installment is below and here. I’m wearing Gap’s indigo ‘sexy boyfriend’ jeans (I went up a size to make them extra loose) with my own ancient Helmut Lang sweatshirt, Agnes B tee, battered Church’s shoes and a Prada manbag. Continue reading

Introducing Faustine Steinmetz

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Faustine Steinmtz

It makes up the bulk of my wardrobe, so I’m happy to see so much excitement going on around denim at the moment. From Selfridges’ impressive new denim studio and summer takeover, to the bespoke offer from 3X1, to MIH monogrammed jeans, to Marques’Almeida’s scissored deconstruction, there’s no end of clever things to do with denim.

And then there’s the Faustine Steinmetz approach. Taking the standard trucker jacket shape and 501 jean, this newbie designer has done something that looks like it could be denim but definitely isn’t.

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Continue reading

Welcome back, Gap!

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Oh happy days! Gap’s fortunes are on the upswing and to celebrate, the new collections are getting ready to drop. The latest in-store and marketing campaign Back To Blue has already arrived, celebrating true blue denim in all its forms. (I have another post cooking about that but for now all you need to know is the sexy boyfriend jeans are an out and out winner if you’re truly over skinnies.) Continue reading

Personalised jeans? this way please…

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

MIH-monogrammed-jeans

More on the denim personalisation front. Last weekend I spent a happy hour at Selfridges playing with denim swatches, buttons, rivets and zips to build my own version of 3×1 boyfriend jeans. The New York-based denim brand owned by Scott Morrison (founder of Paper, Denim Cloth and Earnest Sewn) sells its RTW jeans at Selfridges’ Denim Studio (which you can read all about here), but for three days only was also offering its custom service to London denim heads.

I chose my favourite cut of jeans, then configured the best denim, thread colour, pocket style, rivets, buttons and zips to make them up in. It was a truly indulgent experience. (My jeans should arrive in three weeks from the 3×1 denim factory in New York).

Not quite as intensive but still a fun self-branding service is the monogramming that’s being offered by MIH jeans and Mother Jeans. Both use traditional hand monogramming to stitch initials onto a new pair of jeans.

For your monogrammed Mother denim, head to Selfridges Oxford Street’s Denim Studio this weekend only, where you chosen Mother jeans will be embroidered free of charge while you wait (roughly 30-40 minutes depending what you have done). For your MIH Hawthorne & Heaney embroidered jeans, order the ones you want online and follow the instructions. Your monogrammed jeans should be delivered in two weeks. Watch the film below to see how it’s done…

MIH monogrammed jeans

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