Highlighting both the stylistic as well as the hard-nosed business aspects of the savagely cut-throat designer denim business in beautiful California, Sundance Channel’s web-series Dirty Denim is quick, informative, and extremely interesting for those who have a passion for looking good and dressing even better.
Chip and Pepper, Hudson Jeans, J Brand, Henry Duarte, and Other Designers
Dirty Denim, although a fairly brief webseries, chronicles the rise and continued flow of the denim wave – a huge resurgent interest in designer denim since the turn of this century. Peter Kim of Hudson Jeans opens up the first episode of the webseries (“Birth of Jeans”) with a very insightful statement to the effect that denim has become high fashion, it has expanded beyond its utilitarian roots and stands shoulder to shoulder with haute couture.
Chip and Pepper, as the central designers that the web-series focuses on, bring a dynamic and irascible humour to the show – their ebullient and playful personalities providing the perfect counterbalance to the somewhat serious business tone offered in most industry documentaries. The episodes vary in length, normally between three and five minutes, and are the perfect length to establish a point and see it played through in various instances.
Down and Dirty Denim Details – How Jeans are Made, Washed, and Stylized
The second episode of Dirty Denim is particularly interesting from a sartorial and stylistic standpoint – Chip and Pepper discuss the denim wash and detailing process. Explaining that the wash and dye process can be fairly expensive, and that each grind, hole, tear, and stitch has to be laid down and designed by hand – one can immediately appreciate the workmanship necessary to produce a designer pair of denim jeans. Jeff Rudes of J Brand jeans is particularly illuminating on this subject.
Taking a trip to the wash house in downtown Los Angeles, the twins immediately describe the wash process and provide a humourous interaction with what they term the developer, who creatively puts various designs on each individual pair of jeans.
Henry Duarte showcases a particular pair of what is commonly termed destroyed denim jeans, articulating just how much work and computerized design is necessary to produce these glamourous, cosmopolitan fashion statements. Beyond what appears to be simply-worn blue jeans, a myriad of design elements and aesthetic choices are necessarily made, intentionally producing a highly individual and stylistic product.
Directed by Douglas Keeve, Dirty Denim is a surprising little gem that stylish men should consider required viewing – particulary if one wishes to understand a little bit more about an industry that continues to be extremely lucrative and extremely influential in terms of both smart casual style and designer fashion.