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DRx FARMAxY FOR LN-CC provides a monthly reminder of just how powerful a collaboration can be. From its inception earlier this year, our co-branded conscious label has been an extension of Paris-based interdisciplinary artist Deborah Meirelles Azevedo’s on-going relationship with Los Angeles-based upcycling pioneer of reinterpretation, deconstruction and resurrection DRx.
At a time when luxury houses are increasingly co-creating collections but opt to do so using words like “hack”, “swap”, and “interpretation”, metamodernist creative partnerships are distancing themselves from using the c-word, collaboration. DRx FARMAxY FOR LN-CC is a reminder of just how powerful a collaboration can be. From its inception earlier this year, this co-branded conscious label has been an extension of Paris-based interdisciplinary artist Deborah Meirelles Azevedo’s on-going relationship with Los Angeles-based upcycling pioneer of reinterpretation, deconstruction and resurrection DRx.
Launched against the backdrop of the climate crisis and global pandemic, DRx FARMAxY FOR LN-CC has been, and continues to be, both a reaction to this uncertain world and an outlet to a more positive future. Each capsule collection breathes new life into deadstock and archive textiles through upcycling craftsmanship. Its latest drop is arguably its most personal to date with a capsule of cut, collaged and crocheted reimaginings of DRx’s own Levi’s collection, reworked deadstock Levi’s and vintage 501s. The resulting upcycled workwear pieces are crafted from Levi’s denim that has been in his collection from the mid-90s to, thrifting discoveries and even denim used in his 2017 MOCA-installation, Finish By Nature.
To celebrate the launch, LN-CC enlisted London-based set designer Louis Gibson to upcycle vintage Levi’s into a fountain of denim and invited denim trend consultant and Instagram archivist Sam Trotman to model his pick of the capsule.
Firstly, to avoid any cringe intros, could you introduce yourself? Who is Sam Trotman, what do you do and why do you do it?
I'm in kind of two states at the moment. My main focus and expertise is denims, where I've been working with WGSN for the past 10 years or so. Denim is such a niche topic and we go deep into it as we work with fabric mills, go to the trade fairs, while looking at retail, catwalk, street style and the wider culture around it. For me, it's such an interesting topic to focus on.
In that 10 years as well, there's been quite a lot of discourse change in terms of sustainability, responsible design and consumption.
For sure, particularly in the last five years we're seeing the industry begin to transform and brands trying to adapt because the denim industry has one of the baddest reps in fashion.
One of the most interesting bits for me is visiting the mills and dye houses to see the new innovations of what they're doing to better the industry. Today, I freelance for them and then I do consultancy for the likes of Levi's, Gap and Wrangler. I actually started the Instagram page when I went freelance and that's built up now, looking at culture, arts and fashion and stuff like that.
For us, @samutarowas one of the first of that ilk that I came across. An Instagram archive that went deep into subjects.
I've always loved the stories around fashion and the insight behind images. At first, I was struggling to work with the short captions that everyone else was doing so I started to write a bit more and it was great to see people read it. As the account has built up, it has become a job in itself. So I'm doing a bit of both. I don't want to move away from denim because I've worked for so long now and the passion remains.
What first ignited this passion? Are we right in saying that your first denim memory is aptly about rummaging at car boot sales for vintage Levi’s that you’d wear skating?
Yes, my mum instilled that in me when I was younger. She used to take me every Sunday to these huge sales and I was quickly hooked by these ideas of exploring and rummaging through. I was into skateboarding and seeing the kids in baggy fits in all the magazines inspired me. This was the mid-90s and early 00s, so it was the Evisu moment. There were definitely some people selling stolen goods from the backs of vans and it was my first experience with raw and selvedge denim. It was an education.
What is it about denim that fascinates you?
Denim is so universal, so ubiquitous as everyone has a pair of jeans in their closet and so democratic. It reaches so many different corners of culture. It has such a strong history, is continually reinterpreted and has links to so many subculture movements. There are few items that have lived through so many different eras. Kids wearing them at the fall of Berlin wall, punk and the counterculture movements happening in San Francisco. For me, that moment of customisation leads on to stuff like what DRx is doing.
Do you have a particular favourite era or moment of denim?
The 70s are an interesting period for me, with denim in particular. After the rebel kids of the 50s and 60s adopted it, denim became part of mass culture in the late 60s and 70s. The ‘Summer of Love’, flares and alternative silhouettes to the classic 501s, customisation.
Levi's held competitions where they'd get people to submit their own customisation ideas. and they made an amazing book, which I have at home. One of my favourite cuts is the 505s, which Debbie Harry and The Ramones wore, that kind of high waist and slimmer fit. That's when the zip came in as well. For me, it's about the music too and it's interesting to see how denim filtered through popular culture.
What are your thoughts on this DRx FARMAxY FOR LN-CC capsule?
DRx was one of the first in fashion to upcycle denim, pushing it in more of an artisanal and artistic direction with conceptual cuts. This capsule shows how meticulous DRx and Murmaid are in the construction and then reconstruction. There's obviously a lot of patchwork, but then there's beautiful embroidery too. There's one pair almost looks like a spiderweb, which is one of my favourite pairs.
Beyond product, what do you hope people take away from this collaboration?
I hope it helps people appreciate vintage denim for what it can become. People should be willing to live with their jeans longer. There's so much focus on waste and denim isn’t exclusive from that because brands are still overproducing but if people want to make an impact buy vintage, buy existing and support the craft movement. Denim improves with age so people should be living with their denim longer, take care of it and appreciate its wear. Rips and repairs are just other parts of an item’s story.
Sculpture Louis Gibson, @louis.gibson
Model Samuel Trotman, @samutaro