This year, 2018, marks the demi-decade anniversary for Pickings & Parry, with a
brand spanking new shop and new territory next door with our Sister shop Heffernan & Haire. To add to that, we’ve recently added a new brand to the stable that has over 150 years of history and is the only reason you might be wearing a pair of jeans as you read this.
That brand is Levi's. It needs no introduction. They created the blueprint for denim and everyone since has referenced them when creating a new pair, even if they don’t swerve too much from the original when doing so. But Levi's Vintage Clothing (LVC) you might not be completely familiar with. Levi's Vintage Clothing serves as an offshoot of the brand that replicates pieces from its 20,000 piece archive and gives it a narrative, a new context in the present, from the past.
Paul O’ Neill the head designer wants the pieces recreated so they look and feel exactly how they used to, to give the brand more context than the image of the Marlboro man. He also wants the details to remain the same and, as much as possible, the processes of producing the garments to be the same too. Paul is an avid record collector, and most of the collections have music as their source. This one is no exception.
2018 also marks the 40th anniversary for the Jamaican film Rockers, which the LVC collection’ Strictly Rockers’ is more than a nod to. The film, released in 1978, was a huge Jamaican film set in Kingston, loosely based on the famous film ‘Bicycle Thieves’ and features some of the biggest reggae stars of then and all time; Dirty Harry and Burning Spear being my personal favourites.
This Levis Vintage Collection goes back even further though, when Jamaicans were buying R&B records from the States to play back home, thus shaping Ska, Rocksteady and then Reggae for the future. At the same time they were also bringing back clothes; Americana, military, workwear and tailoring. Heavily influenced by Spaghetti Westerns and later sportswear from Bruce Lee and Kung Fu, this was all thrown into the mix, amalgamating them all and making it their own, with the result possessing a finesse and élan that only West Indians could pull off.
The colour pops in this collection are naturally awesome and provide a rich palette to match with denim, corduroy, leather, sneakers and boots alike. We hope this is the start of a long and lovely relationship with Levi's Vintage Clothing, the jeans and denim jacket we have form part of the last fabric from the Cone Mills Denim factory which sadly recently closed its doors…but that is another story. Let’s hope someone buys up those machines!
In the mean time, come and purchase a piece of history.