Denim Blvd and Fashion Week Ave
Milan never sleeps.
Victor took me out the whole fashion week and I couldn’t take it anymore.
Shows, “aperitivos”, late nights… and then, finally, Denim Boulevard.
More my cup of tea, indeed.
Denim Boulevard, a tiny Denim exhibition in a pretty location which totally fits the Denim world, the Fonderie Napoleoniche.
It feels like being in a old farm house, or even better, a small factory, where things were crafted, not commissioned.
Interesting match, the one between Denim Boulevard and Milano’s Fashion Week.
Kind of a clash, really, but we all know these two Worlds can collide, easily.
And perhaps something good can happen.
In the end Milan is the only city in Europe which carries both spirits, the “high-hand” catwalks and the “low-end” craftsmanship.
Let’s stick to this last one, the craftsmanship, especially after having seen the “extremely classy” Philip Plein circus which has killed all the catwalks.
Denim Boulevard showcased some very interesting acts, first of all Candiani Loom State, which, like in Amsterdam, has stolen most of the show.
These guys are nuts.
The historical homey Denim Mill (established in 1938, no more than 40 km outside Milan) carried an original Picanol shuttle loom to the city center.
Some Denim Dudes were operating the machine every hour so everyone could finally see a loom functioning.
Yes, live! Because most of the industry has never seen a loom before, I realized that by watching at all these Denimistas taking pictures and videos.
Like the aliens has landed on Earth.
Meanwhile, the real aliens, Candiani’s tailor team, were manufacturing customized loom state jeans for some local VIPs.
Literally, a pair of Jeans, from the manual cut of the fabric rolls to the finished raw dungarees.
Antonio Di Battista’s My Archive got some attentions too and it still represents one of the best opportunities to purchase original vintage Levi’s, well selected and nicely kept.
Le Group treatments were also fun. It is always great to see laundry techs at work, sweating Indigo under the sun.
As always, when it comes down to Denim and Milan, we found a touch of Japan, well represented by two very fun brands, Samurai Jeans and Studio D’Artisan.
The main impression though was that Italian Denim makers and brands are challenging the Japanese and American schools, big time, once again.
Tela Genova was a little project going in this direction and it might be a good one.
We are not talking about the 90’s Italo-Washed-Denim style, not Diesel, not Replay, not Sixty.
We are finally talking about new stuff, about Made In Italy Denim redefining its heritage and rediscovering its origins to become cool once again.
If we take a quick look at the history of this fabric, Denim is probably more Italian than American or Japanese, people need to know that and possibly find out more.
The whole industry has to give much more credit to one of the most experienced manufacturing and textile Countries in the World.
And believe me Milan is not all about luxury, it is about Denim too.
Milano, where style needs to meet the heritage, where those guys with the fuzzy face will finally shave, sooner or later, but certainly before the others…
Right there, at the corner between Denim Blvd and Fashion Week Ave.
“You can stop here”, I told to my Taxi driver, “here’s my new barber shop”.
Axel & Victor
Pictures by: Victor