The relationship between fashion and nostalgia is a highly examined one. We’d be willing to bet our bucket hats that the current ’90s fashion resurgence might be seen by some as a longing for a less polished, more gritty time. A punkier era before the ‘Cute Face’ filter on Instagram. And in a year characterised by widespread protest and the pursual of justice, perhaps ’70s counter-culture and anti-establishment vibes are making themselves known in our style, too. Which comes first: donning flares, boot cut jeans and tie-dye, or ~the revolution~?
Fashion is perpetually embracing the old school, but recently it seems like it’s also going a little pre-school. The trends we’re connecting here are a little disparate, but taken together it seems like the latest sartorial depth we’re plumbing is… our own childhoods. Or at least, a brightly coloured fashion-industry-filtered version of it.
There’s the gently kiddish colour-blocking in heady pastels hues and primary colours. A look first popularised—or embedded in our subconscious—by Sesame Street and after-school cartoons where the characters wear exactly one (1) outfit. The enduring popularity of maximalist arrangements of oversized hair clips. Plastic-fantastic pink Gucci slides that wouldn’t look out of place on a toe-less Barbie foot. We’ve just seen a playful “polysexual” collection from Marc Jacobs that features a literal teddy bear bag and a sweater that could have been ripped from Ernie’s streetwear wardrobe.
Now, your favourite progressive denim brand is throwing their hat in the ring. Or their toys into the toybox, if you prefer. Coming to you on the 1st of October, the collab alliteration enthusiasts and Big Kids alike will enjoy: Levi’s x LEGO. (Levi’s really said “old school *and* Play School.“)
The collection features a range of trucker jackets, hoodies, crewnecks which are decked out with the first-ever flexible baseplates from LEGO. Nearly everything is customisable—each piece comes with a package of LEGO DOTS, ideal if you’ve been mainlining thrift-flip and customisation YouTube videos but aren’t so comfy around a sewing machine.
There’s something very fun and meta about this Levi’s x LEGO collection, which aims to celebrate “self-expression, creativity and nostalgia,” according to Karyn Hillman, Chief Product Officer for Levi Strauss & Co. We’re thinking of the denim jacket, in particular, an item that’s been remixed and reworked in the name of political and self-expression so consistently throughout history you’d think people were mistaking it for an art canvas. Throwing the customisable LEGO plate on is at once a nod to that tradition, and an invitation to try a really low-stakes version of it.
Given we’re now well-versed in passing pandemic time with soothing hand-work hobbies, puzzles, video games, and redecorating our bedrooms with a nod to cluttercore, this Levi’s x LEGO moment couldn’t come at a better time. YMMV, but we are wondering if the resurgence of childhood and kid-inspired fashion could offer a slight reprieve from the harsh world out there. The most soothing spring fashion trend is… literally wrapping yourself in a nostalgia bubble of innocence, building blocks and imagination.
Worst comes to worst, the agony of stepping on a LEGO block would certainly shut out the noise for a while.
You can see more details from the Levi’s X LEGO collection below.