Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Balloon's gone up

Denim insiders will know that Levi's in Europe is going going through another restructure: the principal change is that Maurizio Donadi, who created the XX division, but moved to the SF HQ back in the summer, is leaving the company in March. The Sportswearnet story linked here implies that XX is being folded within the current range, run out of San Francisco, but I'm hearing reports that the XX Division in Amsterdam will remain, but that Made and Crafted will be more integrated into the Red Tab line. If that's true it's good news, as otherwise both LVC & M&C might have ended up orphan brands.

Time will tell how this plays out. Any fan of LVC will know that it's a terrific range, plagued by inconsistencies, primarily with sizing. Let's hope these diminish, rather than increase, with another reorganisation. But, while we wait to see what happens, it's worth pointing out that the last few years saw some beautiful products from LVC; unusual, quirky items like the 333 range budget jeans, the Duck jumper and the 1915 501 using an especially nice Cone fabric. But today, I thought I'd bid farewell to XX with one beautiful item that never made it to the shops: the 1920s Balloon Pants.

This was a product that appeared in the LVC Look Book - but which was not ordered in sufficient quantities by retailers to make it to production. Fortuitously, I found a sample  pair, which I sent to my handsome friend Roy6 in San Francisco. Here he models them for our gratification:


They are beautifully-detailed pants - it's a real shame they never made it to production.

Intriguingly, it seems LVC also considered releasing these in a distressed version. This is another sample pair I spotted recently. Everything that I like about the dry pair, I dislike about these - LVC have shown some terrific distressing, but both the finishing and the choice of subject on these seems off.

In the meantime, those beautifully-detailed originals stand as a great example of LVC - great work, arguably too esoteric, definitely under-appreciated.