Want that jacket!
Behold, Boy in a Bitching Distressed Jean Jacket Eating a Fruit Pie by the Master of Blue Jeans.
Not kidding. Okay, maybe I made up the name of the pitcher.
The Canesso Gallery thinks they have identified a previously unknown Seventeenth Century painter they’re calling the Master of Blue Jeans. It’s not that these paintings have just turned up after 400 years, of course. It’s just that somebody stared into the huge reservoir of anonymous paintings of the era noticed a similarity in style and subject matter in these few.
Namely, they’re pictures of poor people wearing denim.
The word “denim” comes from “serge de Nîmes” — which I assume you knew — and “blue jeans” comes from “Bleu de Genes” (aka Genoa) — which you may have known, Meester Smarty Britches, but I didn’t. Both cities claim to have made denim clothes for hundreds of years, but there hasn’t been much evidence of the early years. Until these pictures.
I was a bit dubious at first, but I had a squint at the catalogue and…yeah, the way the fabric is dark blue but the worn bits are white, that’s pretty much denim behavior right there. (That online catalogue is neat, by the way. I mean, you can turn pages and shit, just like a real exhibition catalogue).
The show is sponsored by fashion house Marithe + Francois Girbaud, who pioneered stonewashed jeans 40 years ago and are marketing their new thang, Wattwash jeans. Those are jeans aged with lasers rather than bleaching and washing. The hippies are raving and drooling about it because the process only takes 5 liters of water, as opposed to the 170 liters used by the acid process. Thereby saving the planet or some shit.
HEY HIPPIES! If you care that much, why not do what we used to do: buy them blue and wear them until they look like that.
Via Kottke by way of the History Blog.