Best Revival of an Extinct Fashion Species

In his seminal work The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life: Volume 1, Drunvalo Melchizedek offers a detailed breakdown of the impending dimensional shift, a.k.a. the Apocalypse. Melchizedek urges the reader to outfit himself in natural fibers because nylon and poly blends can singe the skin while passing through The Void. In other words, those skinny jeans with the 3 percent Lycra that you picked up at Diesel ain’t gonna cut it.

Stronghold Jeans was L.A.’s first denim “work-wear” line, started in 1895 and recently relaunched by partners Michael Paradise and Michael Cassel with an unwavering dedication to the originals, right down to the loop of the stitches and the patina on the rivets.

The Michaels took an unearthed pair of antique jeans found in a mineshaft and used them as blueprint and inspiration for the company’s mission, which hovers somewhere between fashion-forward and obsessive-compulsive.

Stronghold jeans are constructed from selvage denim made on old-school shuttle looms that weave a thicker, higher-quality material that won’t tear or wear as easily as the carelessly made jeans you see all over with their flammable blends and hodgepodge offshore “crafting.” With Stronghold, it’s not just about how they are made, but where they are made: here. On American soil. With American-made materials. What a concept.

The jeans are nifty and, yes, expensive. When you wander into the back of the Abbot Kinney store, past the off-the-rack midrise straight legs and the Stetson hats and the White’s boots, you’ll find bolt after bolt of top-quality fabric for custom orders. If that’s how you roll, let them take your measurements and custom-make you a pair — you can choose the denim, the thread, the rivets, the belt loops (or buttons, for the original Depression-era suspenders) and, of course, the cut. There are four different varieties of organic cotton, hank-dyed in indigo, for your safe passage through The Void and on to the next dimension.

Godspeed, my friends.

1625 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-7200.


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