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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 41 | October 28, 2007|


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Nazia Ahmed and Shayera Moula

Here's why so many students love to wardrobe their lives with jeans! It's easy to slip on and doesn't require any crisp ironing. You are attending classes with friends, not seminars with the Lords! So, many people adore jeans because it says "I am casual and confident" without looking too sloppy in both classrooms and in restaurants where they can just settle down with effortlessness.

Rip them, sew on patches or cut off the waistband, pair them with your Fotua/ kameez or that old ordinary t-shirt, It would never fail to amaze you with it's rugged flair; a mixture of urban and jagged look that is 100% cotton and 100% comfort! And it's something about them that tastefully turns the wearers on in a way no other attire can. Nonetheless the ardent denim lovers compare the sensation of pulling the jeans up the leg with the gradual melting of a chocolate in the mouth!

Although they are the quintessential American item, denim probably originated from a fabric from Nimmes, France (serge de Nimmes means "of Nimmes" -- which became denim).

The simple history behind this global-famed fashion:
Levi-Strauss came to San Francisco in 1853 to open a west coast branch of his brother's dry good business. And after building his trade into a successful operation over the next twenty years he, in turn, made a name for himself.

One of Levi's many customers was a tailor Jacob Davis who used to buy bolts of cloths from the wholesale house of Levi-Strauss & Co. Among Jacobs's customers was a difficult man who kept ripping the pockets of the pants that Jacob made for him. He kept on trying to find new ways to fix up his trousers, until one day he hit upon the idea to attach metal rivets at the points of the strain such as at the pocket corners and the base of the button fly. And within no time they became an instant hit. Then came the worry of losing this great idea to someone else. Thus he decided to apply for a patent on the process. But he didn't have the $68 required to file the paper. He needed a business partner and immediately thought of Levi Strauss. Levi, who was an astute businessman, saw the potential for this new product and agreed to Jacob's proposal. So on May 20th 1873, the two men received patent $139,121 from the U.S patent and trademark office and that very day is considered to be the official birthday of Blue Jeans.

Denim is unique in its singular connection with one colour. The warp yarn is traditionally dyed with the blue pigment obtained from indigo dye, until the introduction of synthetic dyes. Different styles of jeans were made, to match the 60's fashions: embroidered jeans, painted jeans, and psychedelic jeans. In many non-western countries, jeans became a symbol of 'western decadence' and were very hard to get. In the eighteenth century as trade, slave labour, and cotton plantations increased, workers wore jeans cloth because the material was very strong and it did not wear out easily. In the 1980's jeans became high fashion clothing, when famous designers started making their own styles of jeans, with their own labels on them. Sales of jeans accelerated towards a perfect peak. But then in the 1990s the recession kicked in.

Although denim is never completely out of style, it certainly goes out of 'fashion' from time to time. In these years the youth market wasn't particularly interested in 50s and other traditional jeans styles, mainly because their parents: the' generation born in blue' were still busy squeezing their aging bodies into them. Since no teenager would be caught dead in anything their parents are wearing, the latest generation of rebellious youth turned to other fabrics and other styles of casual pants, such as khakis, chinos, combat and carpenters and branded sportswear pants. They still wore denim, but it had to be in different finishes, new cuts, shapes, styles, or in the form of aged, authentic, vintage jeans, discovered in markets, second-hand and thrift shops, not conventional jeans stores.

The Hollywood Cowboy movies in the roaring 30s are where the jeans trends began. However it is believed that James Dean and his role in the movie “Rebel without a cause” made Jeans timeless.

Passing jeans down generations
By here, we are talking about the young crowds in jamming concerts, in formal night outs, in demanding workplaces and especially in the showering campuses all over Bangladesh. Really, if you could take snapshots of just the legs of the people around these places, you would probably just get gleaming tinges of blue hues!

What started around the 60s as a clothe item only accessible to those who managed to go abroad and bring back a pair has now crawled down to the most remotest places in Bangladesh. There you would be walking along, minding your own business, and suddenly spot a pair of blue denim cylinders walking next to the gramer pukur!

Men have worn jeans in Bangladesh for a while now but even around 2002, you wouldn't really find a lot of girls daring this blue attire. It just drew too much attention from the crowd and made them feel uneasy on the streets. These days, even those who are comfy in kameez and travel in packed buses tend to slip on a pair with a fotua and dupatta! This makes the blue vibe visible wherever you go.

Media naturally plays a part in all of this (as it always does). Neighboring and fashion craze India has always influenced the culture over here for generations now, but what's really crazy is how the transition is taking place so fast and with such ease. Suddenly parents are okay with it, friends are okay with it, the elders of the society are okay with it and for the love of joy, the rickshaw puller who couldn't stop singing a song everytime he saw a girl in jeans, has now calmed down too! The magic of social acceptance is blissful indeed.

Classy jeans with whatever
Here's why so many students love to wardrobe their lives with jeans! It's easy to slip on and doesn't require any crisp ironing. You are attending classes with friends, not seminars with the Lords! So, many people adore jeans because it says "I am casual and confident" without looking too sloppy in both classrooms and in restaurants where they can just settle down with effortlessness.

Jeans go with anything! Tops, shirts, t-shirts, Fotua, Panjabi and even the top part of a suit! So you can be doing your classes all day, work all evening, partying all night and may be even fall asleep in them and somehow you can just pull it off! And this is one clothing you can effortlessly pass on to your next generations.

“I pulled out a pair last month from the dirt lodged suitcase in the attic; to my utter disbelief, it actually fit!! after a good 10 years! And the other faded one that I couldn't give up right away was then put back in the suitcase for my son to claim later on.” Says Anika Chowdhury (a new mother).

Where next?
You can already find the youth around you wearing the jeans cap, jeans skirt, jeans shirt, carry jeans bags and lot more! Some get innovative and carry around jeans pencil-cases and make jeans wallets cut out of their old pair. It doesn't really matter how faded it gets, it still works wonders in recycling.

And so this coming back to jeans hasn't stopped for generations and it probably wont for another couple! You might think it's crazy, but may be you could always stick to your favorite pair of jeans and pass it on to your siblings, nephews or maybe your own children! You know, a reminder to them of how cool you were back in your campus days! You know, the jeans craving craze has crossed the millennium so just keep your jeans on and walk through education to career feeling and looking good always!

Spotlight Photo: Zahid I Khan
Dress courtesy: Ecstasy

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