RESEARCH: DENIM

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FISHMONGERS HALL

Luckily one of my events was hold at the Fishmongers Hall and I could see this beautiful building.  I would describe this venue as a naval theme park in the form of a historical palace. Absolutely everything  (floor, wall, lamps, furniture, paintings...) is naval related. 

Fishmongers Hall 1

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Fishmongers Hall 2

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Fishmongers Hall 3

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Fishmongers Hall 4

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Fishmongers Hall 5

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Fishmongers Hall 6

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Fishmongers Hall 7

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Fishmongers Hall 8

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Fishmongers Hal 9

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Fishmongers Hall 10

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Fishmongers Hal 11

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Fishmongers Hall 12

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Fishmongers Hall 14

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Fishmongers Hall 15

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Fishmongers Hall 16

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Fishmongers Hall 17

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Fishmongers Hall 18

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Fishmongers Hall 19

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Fishmongers Hall 20

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DENIM ANALYSIS

PRODUCTION

First produced in the Italian city of Genoa.

COMPOSITION

  • Cotton warp-faced textile 
  • Twill weaving:  
    • the weft passes under two or more warp threads. 

INDIGO DENIM (blue outside, white inside).

  • Warp thread is dyed
  • Weft thread is left white.

BLUE JEANS

  • In the 1800s, in the time of the Gold Rush, American gold miners needed clothes that were strong, lasted longer and did not tear easily. Levi Strauss, a businessman, and Jacob Davis, a tailor, supplied miners with denim pants that were made from durable material and reinforced with rivets at the places where pants tended to tear which prolonged life of pants.
  • Jeans come from "Genes" - a name given by French to Genoa and the people from Genoa where the cotton trousers were made.

FASHIONABLE BLUE JEANS

  • Denim became widely popular in the 1930s when Hollywood started making cowboy movies in which actors wore jeans.
  • Original denim was dyed with dye from plant Indigofera tinctoria.

 

 

Denim: Warp and Weft

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Warp and weft

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DENIM FASHION ASPECTS

1)DENIM IS ICONIC

Denim has had its moment for every generation. I'm thinking about Kate Moss just wearing jeans for the Calvin Klein Campaign. 

 2) DENIM IS ALWAYS TRENDY

 Denim is a classic and a timeless piece. 

3) DENIM IS DYNAMIC 

Denim can be casual if you wear a pair of trainers or you can dress up if you add a pair of stilettos. 

4) DENIM LOOKS GOOD RIPPED

1) Denim is iconic: Kate Moss for Calvin Klein in 1993

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2) Denim is always trendy: Kendall an Kylie Jenner for Calvin Klein in 2018

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3) Denim is dynamic: dress down vs dress up

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4) Denim looks good ripped: Faustine Steinmetz

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FROM GENOA TO NIMES AND TO LEVI STRAUSS IN USA 

GENOA (ITALY)

  • Back in the 15th century, Italian shipbuilders and merchants in Genoa used a cheap, coarse and strong, cross weaved type of cotton to make sails and protect their goods. In Genoa, this textiles were dyed blue by indigo traded with India.
      • IIndigo in India was made from plant Indigofera tinctoria. It was used on cotton because it was the easiest method of coloring. Organic Indigo is used until the discovery of the synthetic indigo in the late 19th century.

NIMES (FRANCE)

  • French weavers of Nîmes tried to reproduce the cotton corduroy that was famously made in the city of Genoa,  but with no luck. With trial and error, they developed another twill fabric "serge de Nimes"  (from NImes)  that became known as denim.

LEVI STRAUSS (USA)

  • Levi Strauss came from Germany to New York in 1851 to join his older brother who had a dry goods store  (textile shop).
  • Levi Strauss came to San Francisco in 1853 at the age of 24 to open a West Coast branch of his brothers’ New York wholesale dry goods business. ‘Levi Strauss & Co. Wholesale House’ had been born. 
  • During this era in San Francisco, most men were miners due to the lucrative promise of gold in the area. This resulted in a surge in demand for workwear that could withstand daily damage to the cloth.
    • Over the next 20 years, he built his business into a very successful operation, making a name for himself not only as a well-respected businessman, but also as a local philanthropist.  
    • One of Levi’s customers was a tailor named Jacob Davis.
    • Jabob purchased denim fabric to make what the wife of a local labourer asked:  a pair of pants for her husband that wouldn’t fall apart. Jacob tried to think of a way to strengthen his trousers and came up with the idea to put metal rivets at points of strain, like pocket corners and the base of the button fly. These riveted pants were an instant hit. Jacob quickly decided to take out a patent on the process, but needed a business partner to help get the project rolling. He immediately thought of Levi Strauss, from whom he had purchased the cloth to make his riveted pants.
    • purchased some denim strips from Levi Strauss to craft
    • May 20, 1873: the birth of the blue jean: 
        • Jeans were first called “waist overalls” or “overalls” until 1960, when baby boomers adopted the name “jeans.”

 

  

 

INDIGO

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Blue Jeans: From Genes to Nimes (Indigo, The Colour that Changed the World)

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Denim: a polluting myth (Indigo, The Colour that Changed the World)

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Indigo hands (Indigo, The Colour that Changed the World)

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Indigo pots (Indigo, The Colour that Changed the World)

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Dyed threads (Indigo, The Colour that Changed the World)

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Fisherman (Indigo, The Colour that Changed the World)

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Indigo DYING(Indigo, The Colour that Changed the World)

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Outfit from Pont-L'Abbé (19th century) (Indigo, The Colour that Changed the World)

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KNOTS & ROPEWORK

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Ring hitching

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Hangman's Noose

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Grief knot

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INDIGO DYING

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Indigo dyeing (A handbook of indigo dyeing, Vivien Prideaux)

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One Savile Row

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Marines, One Savile Row

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Marine uniforms, One Savile Row

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BLUE PLANET II

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Waves (Blue Planet II)

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THE MARINE WORLD

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Fish Eyes (The Marine World)

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Corals (The Marine World)

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Starfish (Blue Planet II)

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MARINE UNIFORMS (NAVAL RIG)

I can different two types of maritime uniforms: Sailor and Marine.

SAILOR SUIT

  • Its identity is the neck with white cord. It's quite simple and the neck is key for its distinction. 
  • Two versions of the uniform:
    • Blue base and white neck or vice versa.

MARINE UNIFORM

  • Its look is more military. 
  • It is primarily ceremonial, and it carries insignias gained by marines. 
  • Goldwork embellishment is found. 
  • While the sailor suit is more simple, marine uniforms are more elaborated. 

Italian Navy: uniforms and insignia

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Italian Navy Army

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Italian Navy Army

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Italian Navy Army

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Blue de Genes. Genoa, Italy

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Fisher net Indigo

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WADERS

Searching for fishermen's outfits I found waders and I'm just fascinated by its look. I find them extremely cool and I would wear them everyday. I think I am going to use them for the fashion design development

Waders are a waterproof boot extending from the foot to the chest, traditionally made from vulcanised rubber, but available in more modern PVC, neoprene and Gore-Tex variants. ... Waders are available with boots attached or can have attached stocking feet (usually made of the wadermaterial), to wear inside boots.

 

Fisher net

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Fishermen nets

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Sailor Ropes

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Sailor knot with ropes

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Ropes and fisher nets

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Genoa, Italy

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Boats in Genoa

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Fisherman, Genoa

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Genoa Harbour, Italy

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Bagnun

On the penultimate weekend of July, every year is celebrated the Festival of Bagnun, where the Ligurian fish soup mainly based on fresh anchovies is prepared.

Originally, the Bagnun was cooked on board the Leudi, classic sailboats from the Genoese navy, with a simple charcoal stove. This dish is prepared with fresh anchovies, browned onions, peeled tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and sailor's cakes.
Source: Festivals in the Villages

Sagra del Bagnun, Festival of Genoa

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Sagra del Bagnun, Festival of Genoa

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Sagra del Bagnun, Festival of Genoa

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Boat with round windows

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Boat windows

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MIDDY BLOUSE

For me it is hair raising when I see women in history dressing with menswear elements. Gender fluidity is something that fascinates me and the women inclusion and sex equality is something that I always have in mind. The 20s is my favourite decade from the 20th Century as women went free from corsets and the masculine look was incorporated. 

The middy blouse is a women's dress that follows the styling of the sailor suit, particularly the bodice and collar treatment.  A sailor-collared blouse is called a middy blouse (middy derives from midshipman).  In early 20th century America, sailor dresses were very popularly known as Peter Thomson dresses after the former naval tailor credited with creating the style.

Middy blouses were a comfortable and fashionable option for daywear in the 20s. Adults tended to favor the middy for sportswear, wearing it with summer skirts or knickers. 

The fabric was typically heavy twill cloth or wool flannel with the standard 1920s hip band and a single shirt pocket. Blue cuffs matched the sailor flap and neck tie. Navy and Red middy tops were equally common as their white sisters. The necktie scarf was usually black, navy or red too.

Middy blouse (1924)

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Bibliography

PRIMARY RESEARCH:

  • Fishmonger's Hall 

 SECONDARY RESEARCH:

DESIGNERS:

  • Calvin Klein
  • Faustine Steinmetz 

BOOKS

  • INDIGO The Colour that Changed the World (Catherine Legrand)
  • The Ultimate Encyclopaedia of KNOTS & ROPEWORK (Geoffrey Budworth)
  • THE MARINE WORLD, A Natural History of Ocean Life (Frances Dipper)
  • INDIGO DYEING, A Handbook of Indigo Dyeing (Vivien Prideaux)
  • BLUE PLANET II, A New World of Hidden Depths (James Honeyborne and Mark Brrownlow)
  • THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS (Clifford W.Ashley)
  • ONE SAVILE ROW, The Invention of The English Gentlement (Gieves & Hawkes)

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