Friday, 19 December 2008

Samurai Jeans ~ S634XX-AI & S5000AI-10SP

Samurai Jeans has gained tremendous momentum in terms of brand exposure and recognition since it's establishment back in '98. Like most repro companies, the shift in direction from the original vision has a lot of purists taking up arms in protest. But that doesn't mean a compromise in quality, which Samurai has plenty. For a start, it's flagship model, the S510XX series, has various weight from basic 15 oz to a staggering 21oz. It then drilled down to the details like type of indigo, cotton etc etc. Then there are also the Zero series line, the Jin series line and another off shoot called Samurai Motor Club series. And new variants keep popping up every year, which I think created a bit of problem for me to choose (especially when I am on tight budget) which version to get.
I managed to narrow down to S643XX-AI and S5000AI-10SP as final choices, also a start for me to get accquainted with Samurai.
First would be S643XX-AI. This pair is called "Musashi", based on the legendary late 16th Century samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Fabric weight is at 17 oz, cotton type unknown. Natural indigo dyed, probably using Indigofera. No sure if it was hand dyed. Thread type, brown and yellow with the distinctive "sword's edge" selvedge interlined with silver and gold. Cut based on S3000VX, which means a repro cut ie high waist, straight, loose and baggy. Comes with suspender Zero "pines" buttons, buckle back with cinch, and crotch rivet. Deer leather patch shown only Musashi, with his famous rival Sasaki Kojiro being absent (Kojiro was "honoured" with S526XX-II). True to Samurai Jean's tradition, each patch depicts different settings of the famous fight between them. I could observed that Musashi just arrived at the scene, the sun has just risen and the tide is high. Limited to 300 pairs, domestic market release only.
The S5000AI-10SP model was released as the second pair in conjunction to Samurai's 10th Anniversary celebration. The first pair is S0510XX-10SP. Cut according to S5000VX ie low rise, straight leg, based on 66 type. Fabric weight is 17oz but cotton type unknown. Natural indigo warp threads were dyed using kase zome technique up to 24 times, interwoven with bamboo ink dyed weft yarns, creating a grayish dark blue effect on the fabric. I suppose the indigo dye is derived from polygonum tinctorum instead of indigofera but this is not verified. They did something different during oxidization process as well but I do not remember.
Special "gold" plated steel buttons, with designs randomly inserted based on the 3 main line, Samurai, Zero, Jin. This pair have both Samurai and Jin buttons. I was hoping for Zero "pine trees" buttons. Both side and back pocket bags come with silk-screened cotton and hemp fabric featuring some "kimono" imprints.
The selvedge still has that "sword's edge" motif ie red with silver speckle but interwined additionally with gold lame as well. All threads are gold, with the arcuates particularly very thick and stands out.
Finally, the deer leather patch is gold leaf embossed with a "shogun". Unfortunately, I am hoping that, being a special model, the leather would at least be the famous "3mm" thick variety. But that's alright.
Limited to 300 pairs, domestic market release only with a free denim pouch which looked like an ultra mini sized tote bag...will save it for Chloe I guess. Gold, believe in your soul...;)

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