FWA Number 8 – Denim !!!!

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I’m a pretty forthright guy, especially for a Brit. Where we have an international reputation for evasiveness and not having the stomach for confrontation I think I can buck the trend somewhat. I don’t shy away from saying what I think, sometimes before thinking about what I say, so what I’m going to do next is out of character for me, believe me. I refuse to pick one pair simply because I can’t, allow me to elaborate.

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Anyone who knows me will not be able to dispute the unassailable truth that I love jeans, particularly nice ones made from high quality denim and featuring interesting design details, dyes, hardware and weaves, this has been my passion for a long time and even my “none denim” friends are aware of my obsessive behaviour in this field of seemingly banal everyday clothing. I see denim as the great societal leveller, rich men and poor men all wear blue jeans and more than any other garment they define us as a species. Since beginning my love affair with quality denim around 9 years ago I have sampled a huge variety of what the market has to offer, my quality denim evolution went something like this….

Supreme (2 models)
Uniqlo Selvedge (Japanese Selvedge)
LVC (55’s and 66’s)
Sugar Cane (Hawaii and Okinawa)
Oni (Blue and Red)
Pure Blue Japan (005 and 007)
Full Count (Can’t remember, they didn’t fit me right)
Samurai (Jin, S710, S510, S5000VX)
Iron Heart (SExIH01, 634, 666, Beatle Buster and Mega Beatle Buster)
Trophy Clothing (Dirt Denim, Garage Denim and Blackie)
Jelado (55’s)
Elhaus (NKxEH01)

From a steady start I kind of went denim crazy for a while, culminating in owning 16 pairs of jeans at one time, these days I am far more sensible. My current rotation (as we denim heads call it) consists of a far more modest 4 pairs. The acquisition, experience and sale of all this denim has left me with a very clearly defined feeling of exactly what I do and do not like, this in turn makes me far more selective than I perhaps once was in what I actually buy so I can make very quick, almost sub conscious, decisions about whether a pair of jeans is for me or not. I did say that I would not single out one particular pair of jeans as being “the one”, but I will state for the records which jeans have impressed me most over the years.

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My favourite cut of jeans ever is the SExIH01 which was the first collaboration between Self Edge and Iron Heart, known as the “Dior cut” by a few on the forums is the cut which has suited me most, and remains my only regret on a pair of jeans that I have moved on. The Samurai Jin models had some of the most interesting and unique denim that I had ever seen, with incredible character and texture, I have heard that the newer Jin models no longer use this denim which is a great shame. For the HWDC2 I am wearing a pair of Iron Heart Mega Beatle Busters, and it is clearly a huge honour to be wearing jeans carrying part of my internet handle, the 25oz Iron Heart fabric is my favourite heavy denim as when it is broken in it becomes more like sweatpants than denim meaning it becomes fantastically soft and comfortable. In terms of denim which is a little different it doesn’t come much more interesting that Trophy Clothing’s Garage Denim, which is Kibata or loom state denim if you prefer, the fabric starts out hard and flat when new and very uniform in colour, after the first soak/ wash you could be forgiven for thinking that it was an entirely different pair of jeans as the colour becomes richly varied and huge mountain ranges of texture rise from what was once even and stable.

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Suffice to say that there is enough variation in the world of denim to placate every passion and palate and after almost 10 years of obsession I am still being educated every day whilst still seeing jeans that make me sit up and take notice. More than any other item of clothing if money were no object I would probably drown in a sea of jeans, not even to wear them just to handle them, look at the details and the construction, examine the denim and obsess over the weave, I have always been a comic book nerd, and now I am a bona fide denim nerd also. For me denim is a journey not a destination (apologies for the disgusting cliché), and I am happy to still be travelling.

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