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PhFW’14: Lee Jeans’ 125th Anniversary Special

In lieu of the Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2014 last week of May, Lee Jeans was also part of the program as they celebrated their 125th Anniversary Special, a fashion show was held at The Atrium, SM Mall of Asia dubbed as “Lee Archive Tour” and hosted by Bianca Gonzales. I’ve known Lee since I’ve known how to wear jeans and I am a living witness, like many others out there who patronage the brand, that their denim jeans lasted for so long. It is really worth every penny and the longer you’re using it, it becomes even more beautiful. Well like for example when it comes faded, it looks cool and seems like new because of its new look. Cool, ayt?

Going back to the fashion show, the show started with an upbeat dance number, that awakens and got the attention of the crowd, from Philippine All-Stars wherein dancers and even ramp models were wearing Lee Jeans, yah, denim jeans on the dance floor. It only shows how flexible Lee’s are. You can move freely and at the same remain being stylish. Inherited in the brands DNA is 125 years of craftsmanship, innovation and purposeful design. Lee Jeans has created history in ways that we see, wear and experience denim now. Am sure, whatever you’re passion is, there’s a perfect fit of Lee Jeans for you!

Meanwhile, let me share with you the story behind the “Lee Archive Tour.”

The “Lee Archive Tour
Building the exhibit from the ground up, the two-storey contemporary metal-and-wood structure will first be constructed in Glorietta and deconstructed to be put up again in Robinson’s Place Ermita and then to SM Mall of Asia. The Lee Archives serves not so much as a museum as a chronicle of fashion firsts, denim die-hards will see where much of the current jean innovations started from.

The exhibition space opens with a visual play on repetition: at attention are 125 limited edition “Buddy Lee” dolls wearing customized and shrunken to proportion 101+ denim replicas—complete with miniature hardware and stitch detail. “Buddy Lee”, 92 years old and cherubic faced as ever is the brands mascot and has been since 1922. In the earlier days, Buddy was used as an advertising product, a convenient traveling tool to showcase new styles but now he’s more of the brand’s symbol of heritage and an endearing icon for Lee.

The focus of the whole tour is at the main display area: 27 historic Lee items collected from different parts of the world representing the historic timeline of Lee Jean’s purposeful design. A woman’s Union-All from 1918 is the most vintage in the archive and clearly represents the infusion of functionality even then. The Union-all was primarily designed for the male car mechanic, addressing the inconvenience of their jackets and trousers separating while they were working under cars. So Lee melded the two together to create the first Union-All. The women’s Union-all on the other hand became the uniform for the ladies during the First World War who were working on the positions left vacant by the men who left for the army.

Stories behind each piece and more are described and explained in detail by Jean Svadlenak, the historian of Lee Jeans who travels with the items but is based in the heartland of the brand, Kansas U.S.A. She has researched and broken down the significance of the 27-piece Lee Archive into historical fashion chronology:  Work Wear (mechanics 1910-1119), Western Wear (cowboys 1920-1929) and Lesiure Wear (casual fashion 1950-1959).

Photos during the Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2014.

A make your own Lee Jeans booth was also available during that day. By this, one can explore denim creativity in the do-it-yourself workshop, exclusive 125th anniversary trims in the form of: colored and textured leather patches, button, rivets and iron-on appliqués are available to add-on to your jeans. There’s also an area that specializes in surface finish where you can subject your denim to tough loving: distressing, scraping and whiskering processes so you can give your favorite pair a vintage and worn-in feel. A monogramming service is also at hand to personalize your best crafted creation. Exciting! By the way, Bianca's denim skirt was made by her hours before the show.

More photos during the Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2014.

Stay Curious. Stay Lee. Share your stories by using the hashtags: #LeeJeans & #LeeJeansPH

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