…my twisted seam Levi denim dress
I don’t know much about your backstory before you came to me in 2003. You tell me you were made in Tunisia for the daddy of all jeans brands. I’m guessing it was the late 90s when they were making a big noise about engineered jeans.
You are made from natural fibres, which makes you biodegradable but doesn’t necessarily make you good. We met long before Lucy Siegle taught me how fashion wears out the world and the part cotton plays in that. But it was love at first sight.
You are bold, wearing your utility on the sleeves you don’t have. You are a little larger than me but that never put me off. Your genius is in your cut, which I suspect made you low waste. Your twisted seams make you me shaped without the need for elastane. You are made from proper denim, famed since the 1870s precisely for its durability. Your armholes are just the right size so I can wear you as a summer dress or over other clothes as a pinafore. Because of your generous size I can even squeeze a jumper under to keep me warm on cold winter days in the studio. And because of these armholes and the fact you don’t stretch you hardly ever need washing, so less detergent, water and fibre waste results from your use.
When I bought you second hand from a shop on Goodge Street for what seemed like the premium sum of £18 I had no idea how much you would come to mean to me. You are everything an item of clothing should be. You even have a neatly slanted breast pocket that pre-empted smart phone’s ubiquity. I love you and I am enjoying the room you have given me to grow and the things you are helping me to say. So I am forgiving you your questionable beginnings and planning to carry on wearing you until one of us falls apart. The smart money, I think, is on that being me.
PS. I wrote this letter on Black Friday 2018 and am sharing it today at the start of Fashion Revolution Week 2019. Check out www.fashionrevolution.org to find out more and get involved.