Breath Of Fresh (And Auspicious!) Spring Air

Who’d have guessed this is Levi’s?

levi's flannel shirt

By Ray Zhang

Levi’s may be many things to many people, but, to me, it’s foremost a denim jeans company , and a rather conservative one too. When this appeared in full view as I passed the Levi’s store at ION Orchard, I thought: this can’t be.

Levi’s is so connected to the denim, chambray, and broadcloth shirts, mostly in solid colours or, if the season demands it, checks that this is positively deviant. Sure, the bi-patterned shirt is nothing to shout about since so many men’s wear brands have succumbed to it, from Ralph Lauren to Raf Simons, but, for Levi’s to take this route, it’s like expecting them to make skorts!

To be fair, Levi’s does sometimes offer clothing that is less in tune with the denizens. Their Made and Crafted sub-brand, now unavailable here, sometimes trod the narrow line between craft and commerce. Those available in Japan, especially, delight the senses. Levi’s still offers production quality that recalls a time when clothing was a lot sturdier, to the extend that designers such as Junya Watanabe and Vetements’ Demna Gvasalia continue to collaborate with them.

This shirt—half tartan, half camo (dotted with a medallion print that includes the Chinese character 喜 [xi or happiness]), with a patina of red—is thankfully cut a little roomier than the usual Levi’s shirt, which, as you already know, is in keeping with the looser silhouette still preferred, although, for Levi’s—and I, belatedly. I only wish it was not made of flannel, a fabric that is so linked to cooler climes that come Chinese New Year, which the shirt is released for, the wearer would hope for a Year of the Arctic Pig. Never mind that there’s no such swine.

Levi’s CNY Camo Crimson shirt, SGD79.90, is available at all Levi’s stores. Photo: Levi’s