For many Brits, including our friend Mr Lush, the invasion of blue jeans was worse than The Blitz. The fashion-conscious and their tailors are still deeply wounded, despite the years that have passed. Houses were quickly rebuilt, but with the jeans it was a different story.
Nevertheless, time is a healer – as they say. And 70 years later, it is time to come to terms with reality: Mr Lush is on the hunt for a pair of blue jeans. As a precaution, he has consulted his lawyer and feels ready to reach a settlement with his beloved corduroy and flannel trousers. He has slowly come to the realisation that an affair with the cloth de Nîmes doesn’t just suit him; it would also work well with his beloved maroon-coloured puppytooth cashmere jacket.
Hence, Lush seeks out his old hunchback tailor and cautiously whispers to him: “Would you mind making me a pair of jeans?” The old man doesn’t say a word and disappears in the back room for a good laugh with his colleagues. As the jibes turn into wheezing, Lush fears that he has seen the last of him. Disgruntled, Lush makes his way towards the door. The last time Lush felt so betrayed was when he was at Eton. His history teacher had asked the class whether Sir Anthony Eden had any qualities to offer. Lush replied, “Yes! He is…” and the classroom erupted in raucous laughter.
Just when Lush was about to deliberately slam the shop’s door, his tailor stopped him: “Of course, sir! What will it be: Italian or Japanese denim?” Lush quickly collected himself, for the answer was clear to him. In preparation for his jeans endeavour, he had gained access to the forbidden wing of the London Library – with the help of the ocelot, Olivier – and had done his homework. “Italian denim, please!” it shot out of Lush. In addition, he had never gotten over Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbour and Alfred – his pet pug – said it was easier to put a proper crease into Italian denim.
We are getting to the heart of the matter: After his reading, Lush had come to the conclusion that the softer Italian denim would work better with tailoring than Japanese denim. This is certainly not an issue of quality, but rather of style. Japanese denim is often heavier, stiffer and more rugged. It may develop more patina over time but Lush is more focussed on his own patina these days. Plus, he doesn’t own heavy boots and sees himself more as Alain Delon than James Dean or Marlon Brando.
When Lush finally finishes his monologue on the merits of Italian denim, his tailor takes a deep breath, sighs and simply says: “Very well, sir! Anything else?” While the tailor shakes his head and quietly curses as he shuffles towards to the back room, Lush is overcome by the feeling that he will probably never be his favourite customer. YS/MM