DR. DENIM IS AN INDEPENDENT PROGRESSIVE DENIM BRAND BASED IN GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN, ESTABLISHED IN 2004. Dr. Denim believes in untraditional ideas, in taking a path which intuition says is right but others say is wrong. To us, denim is a blank canvas that allows us to apply research and creativity. Read more about the history of the family-owned label below. - The Graah Family
HERE YOU CAN READ A BIT ABOUT HOW IT ALL STARTED
Chapter 1 - History
Back in the early days of the 20th century, one of our grandfathers worked in fishery - in a time when life at sea was a path through hard work and treacherous waters towards a dream of a better life and perhaps one day one’s own ship. He built his life around the sea, pursuing his dream to one day have a custom-made wooden fishing trawler built to his specification. When we were young we would sit on his lap and listen to his many stories which were to make a big mark and inspire us deeply. He taught us important values and showed the importance of challenging established truths and going your own way. On the flip side, our other grandfather was a fashion & clothing entrepreneur with a background in documentary filming, hard-working and creatively talented, leaving behind a legacy no less inspiring. And so it came that one sunny day back in 2004, we went astray and devoted our lives to adding an extra pinch of awesomeness to the world of denim by challenging established truths as we continue doing to this day, inspired by our past and optimistic about the future.
Chapter 2 – Development
HOW TO MAKE JEANS LISTEN TO YOUR HEART. DR. DENIM ALWAYS LISTENS TO ITS OWN FEELINGS. THINGS HAVE TO FEEL RIGHT, OR THERE’S JUST NO SENSE IN CONTINUING. IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT NOT TO TRY TO FORCE FEELINGS THAT AREN’T THERE. FEELINGS MUST BE GENUINE.
THE FIRST SKETCHES A pair of jeans can begin with a fleeting impression. An apparently insignificant film experience. Small, odd impressions that trigger ideas, which lead to a whole chain of thought that finally ends up on the sketch pad. Daring to experiment and investigate is important for the first phase of the process. This is where feeling must be allowed to take a leading role. Impulsiveness and humour must be given free rein as well. The sketches soon develop. First as scruffy, rapid lines on white paper, then transformed into a serious blueprint for action. At Dr. Denim, all inspiration is abstract and internal. Collections are built around ideas and visions.
MATERIAL & PRODUCTION The material is everything. One can never overestimate the importance of getting this aspect right. We evaluate construction, weight, dyeing techniques and finishes. There are many, often complex decisions. Yet somehow, time and time again it turns out that feeling is incredibly important. The feel of a perfect jeans fabric can’t be described or calculated. It just feels right.
THE PRODUCTION PHASE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PAIR OF FANTASTIC JEANS: 1. Dr. Denim sends a collection of technical documents to the factory: sketches, patterns, photos and descriptions of fabric, washes, pocket lining, measurements, thread thicknesses, thread colours and everything else necessary to make the jeans. 2. The factory uses this information to create a prototype, which they send back to Dr. Denim for an initial examination. 3. Naturally, the prototypes are made to fit the people who work at Dr. Denim. They’re the official testers, and their assessments form the basis of the continuing process. 4. The adjustments are sent back to the factory, and implemented, then the collection is sewn for exhibition at trade fairs and sales meetings. Meanwhile, work continues on the details for the next collection. 5. Final approval. 6. Production. 7. The jeans arrive in stores and reach consumers.
Chapter 3 – Design
JEANS MADE BY ALL THE SENSES FOR ALL THE SENSES.
SIGHT At Dr. Denim we believe in beauty. Things should look good for the sake of looking good.
BEAUTIFUL JEANS ARE CREATED BY: • Exciting, workable basic ideas. The original concept behind the style should be strong and interesting. These ideas often come from people we see and their behaviour. Impulses can also come from more unexpected directions, such as music, films or dreams*. (* Dreams can be described in simple terms as mental experiences. They often occur during REM sleep and mainly have a narrative form. The individual believes that the story is real when it takes place, but the dream fades on awakening.) • Good patterns. The lines are drawn with passion and scientific precision. • The right wash. Washing is an art form. Creating a wash with the right colour, pattern and attitude requires huge amounts of feeling. That’s why Dr. Denim never stops working on washes. This thorough- ness is based on the scientific connection between the fabric and the wash: a bad wash is devastating for a beautiful fabric and a bad fabric is devastating for a beautiful wash. • The right fabric. The fabric should have the optimal optic characteristics. The eye* should be caught by the fabric. (* The eye is an anatomic organ for sensing light.)
HEARING Some jeans are quiet: many of Dr. Denim’s jeans are absolutely silent. The soft stretch jeans don’t make a sound; you can even creep up on animals without being discovered. Some jeans are noisy: Dr. Denim also has jeans that rustle, swish and make noises. Some models are so coarse in their character and material that they produce great sounds; some of them sound like sails flapping in the wind. Another sound that Dr. Denim values is the one you hear when someone puts on their jeans. This sound is brisk and slightly rocky. Now and then a metallic clang can be heard as the buttons knock together or hit a belt.
TOUCH Jeans from Dr. Denim should feel good. This is actually a part of the company’s statutes. One reason is that skin is one of mankind’s most sensitive organs. It’s also the heaviest. In fact, skin makes up 20% of the body’s total weight.
EPIDERMIS EXPERTS In all mammals, skin has three layers. Dr. Denim only focuses on the outer layer, the epidermis, because that’s where the skin comes into contact with the jeans. To be precise, only the upper layer of the epider- mis, the horny layer, touches the jeans. This layer is what protects the body from blows and makes the skin almost entirely waterproof. The horny layer contains the body’s sensory receptors; they detect how the jeans feel on the legs, registering pressure, temperature and in the worst-case scenario, even pain. These sensory receptors also have the great privilege of feeling the wonderful jeans from Dr. Denim.
DECIDING THE FEEL OF THE JEANS Many factors combine to create the Dr. Denim feel. These are the most important: • Fibre length. • Composition (adding hemp and cotton to create rawness, polyester for softness and elastane for great stretch). • Spinning techniques. • Fabric construction. • Density. • Surface treatment.
GUT FEELING The most important of all the senses is gut feeling. Dr. Denim follows it faithfully. We know that it will be right if we just listen to our gut feeling. Researchers aren’t entirely sure how it works, but it is probably connected to our innermost being. Another concept that is close to gut feeling is “fingerspitzgefühl” – literally, fingertip sensitivity. However, Dr. Denim doesn’t want to mix up these feelings. Both are too important for that.
TASTE Dr. Denim has good taste. Everyone at Dr. Denim knows that, as do many others. The taste buds sense four basic tastes; saltiness, sweetness, sourness and bitterness. Not too long ago, an entirely new taste was discovered, the flavour of savouryness, called umami. Another fascinating thing about taste is that flavours can only be detected when dissolved in water. You can’t taste dry bread until it’s been moistened by saliva.
Chapter 4 – Vision
DR. DENIM'S POWER STATION YOU NEED A MOTOR TO START THE WHEELS TURNING, SOMETHING TO PUSH THE COMPANY FORWARD. IT SHOULD BANG, SMOKE AND ROAR. THERE MUST BE SPARKS AND SPEED. DR. DENIM’S MOTOR STRENGTH COMES FROM WORKING AND FOLLOWING A STRONG VISION – THE VISION OF MAKING THE PERFECT PAIR OF JEANS. OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
THE FUEL: Joy. The joy of creating awesome jeans. The wonderful feeling of designing, experimenting and testing is the optimal fuel. Jeans are to Dr. Denim what music is to a musician, or a picture to an artist. They are the result of hard, creative and highly enjoyable work.
THE FUSE: Customers. It’s a great feeling to see people walking around feeling awesome in a pair of Dr. Denims. Nothing else lights the spark in quite the same way.
THE ENGINE: The science. An engine produces some form of output from a given input. Dr. Denim’s input is their knowl- edge. Despite an extremely high level of knowledge, Dr. Denim develops new insights into jeans with each passing day. New angles on washes, colours, materials, designs, trends etc. flood in continually. Jeans and denim are a science in the true meaning of the word. Research in progress.
THE WHEELS: Dr. Denim is carried forward by the Graah family. It’s an independent family business with experience, creativity and passion.
THE PIMPING: Finding an outlet for artistic and decorative urges is exhilarating. We get such a buzz from pimping up a pair of jeans with leopard spots or cartoon figures. All those creative decisions are what make Dr. Denim into Dr. Denim.
THE JOYRIDE: Dr. Denim is primarily about daring to have fun, trusting your feelings and intuition. Jeans are fun. For us, jeans-making is a love affair.
ENGINE: The word motor comes from Latin and means “motion”. The word is mainly used for machines that move things along, rather than for stationary machines like a central vacuum cleaner. A combustion engine is a motor that is powered by burning fuel, such as petrol, paraffin oil, diesel or hydrogen. Combustion engines include jet engines, gas turbines and piston engines. On the whole, the piston-driven combustion engine was the most important invention of the 20th century and has radically changed people’s lives, based on the development of the steam engine at the end of the 19th century.
Chapter 5 – Calculated Fit
DO THE MATHS MATHEMATICS IS THE ART OF ABSTRACT FIGURES, STRUCTURES AND PATTERNS. IT DEALS WITH METHODS FOR DESCRIBING AND ANALYSING ABSTRACT CONNECTIONS, AND WITH KNOWLEDGE IN THE SHAPE OF PREVIOUSLY DETERMINED RESULTS. IT CANNOT BE TESTED EMPIRICALLY, BUT IS BASED ON AN AXIOM. THEREFORE, MATHEMATICS DOESN’T FIT INTO THE CATEGORY OF A SCIENCE – AND YET IT IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY TOOLS FOR FORMULATING AND SOLVING PROBLEMS. AT DR. DENIM WE PUT MATHS TO GOOD USE, CREATING OUR JEANS FROM MATHEMATICAL TOOLS AS WELL AS OUR STRUCTURES, PATTERNS AND EXPERIENCE.
CALCULATED FIT Geometry describes shapes. From individual points we create lines and angles, and from there circles and other geometric objects. Here at Dr. Denim we think that geometry is stunning, but the most amazing mathema- tical phenomenon, in our eyes, is the golden ratio. The golden ratio is the relationship that occurs when a line is divided into a longer part, a, and a shorter part, b, so that the length of a + b is to a as a is to b. This idea of the perfect fit is not entirely uncomplicated.
THE GOLDEN RATIO The golden ratio was known back in the days of Pythagoras and the Ancient Greeks. Throughout the ages this ratio has served as the norm for perfect harmony of proportions in painting, photography, architecture and sculpture. In 2003 Dr Denim brought this harmony into the fashion world through carefully calculated fit and brilliantly thought-out jeans. Because the golden ratio is a mathematically calculated formula for what the eye finds pleasing, it’s not surprising that Dr Denim’s jeans are considered attractive. Dr Denim is so much more than just the product. Sure, La divina proportione was perhaps one of the first and most influential works to be created on the basis of the golden ratio, but nowadays Dr Denim has caught up with the mediae- val mathematician Luca Pacioli. Dr Denim’s jeans have taken his place with a fit that can only be described as having “divine proportions”.
FORMULA FOR THE GOLDEN RATIO (AB = p + q), such that the square of the larger part (AC = q) is the same as the product (rectangle) of the smaller part (CB = p) and the entire line (AB = p + q); Or, in other words, the entire length (p + q) is to the larger part (q) as the larger part (q) is to the smaller part (p).
Chapter 6 - Washes H20
WATER IS A CHEMICAL COMPOUND OF HYDROGEN AND OXYGEN, AND IS A MUCH STRONGER FORCE THAN YOU MIGHT THINK. RUNNING SURFACE WATER, GROUNDWATER, RAIN, WAVES AND ICE ALL HAVE A SECRET WEAPON. IT IS CALLED EROSION. AT DR. DENIM WE KNOW WHAT WATER CAN ACHIEVE. WE KNOW THE GREAT EFFECTS WE CAN OBTAIN USING WATER AND WE KNOW WHEN TO BE CAREFUL WITH THIS CHEMICAL COMPOUND.
LANNED FEELINGS Dr. Denim deliberately chooses how the denim is treated, or not treated. We see washes as part of the design that’s just as important as fit. And we leave nothing to chance – except, perhaps, a few things. We planned the feeling you get when you touch the fabric. We know how the fabric will feel the first time you wear the jeans, and we know how it will feel after a year. But what the jeans will look like, where they are worn thin and how distressed they will be, that part is your responsibility. Your personality and your cares will be evident when your Dr. Denim jeans have become a part of you.
ANTAGONISTS AND LOVERS Humans have always been drawn to water – and not just drinking water for quenching thirst or fishing waters for finding food. Rivers, lakes and oceans have always offered people a convenient way of transporting both themselves and their belongings. That’s why poets of all eras have written and sung about water – springs, streams, lakes and seas as well as rain, mist, cloud and rainbows. Artists have painted water and musicians have composed with water as their inspiration. Dr. Denim has a complicated relationship to water. We love it and hate it. Just as water can be an instrument for producing a design or a feeling, water can just as well be our worst enemy. We must always be on our guard. The finest denim fabric can lose all its feeling if it’s treat- ed wrongly. On the other hand, the right wash can lift the entire garment to unforeseen heights.
AVOID HYDROTHERAPY When we have put the finishing touches to our work and the fate of the jeans is in your hands, we ask you to look after them with love. Whether the jeans are washed or un-washed, they should preferably not meet detergents and washing machines, at least not for the first six months. However, they do want to be regularly aired or rested overnight in a plastic bag in the freezer. When you reach the point of no return and they really have to be cleaned, start off gently with a dry clean. If you are going to wash the jeans in a washing machine, turn them inside out, set the machine on 30°C and don’t use the spin cycle. Look after them well and you’ll have a long-term relationship to look forward to.
THE 4 AGGREGATION STATES OF WATER:
ICE (SOLID), –273.15 TO 0°C WATER (LIQUID), 0–100°C WATER VAPOUR (GAS), 100–12,000°C PLASMA 12,000–?°C
Chapter 7 – Wear And Tear
FROM SIGMUND FREUD'S PERSPECTIVE YOU CAN LEARN A LOT ABOUT A PERSON BY STUDYING THEIR DR. DENIMS. A KNOWLEDGEABLE PERSON CAN ACTUALLY READ AND DECODE AN INDIVIDUAL’S ENTIRE PERSONALITY AND LIFESTYLE BASED ON THEIR DENIM.
PSYCHOLOGY Psychology is the study of human behaviour, thoughts, feelings and interaction with other people; a type of science that provides a fascinating foundation for investigating how jeans can affect the ego and vice versa. A pair of old jeans is like a story. You can read the individual’s mental and physical health and the wearer’s attitude in it. Below is a summary of the most common wear patterns and what conclusions can be drawn from them.
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, doesn’t exactly touch on the interpretation of jeans in his scientific publications. The closest he comes is in his most famous work – The Interpretation of Dreams, Die Traumdeutung, from 1900. His thesis is that dreams can be interpreted and understood. An extension of this reasoning naturally results in the doctrine of jeans. But on a deeper and more psychological level, of course.
Astronauts know space, mechanics know cars and Dr Denim know jeans and shirts, shorts, chinos, cardigans, dresses, jumpers, coats and even ties. Each Dr Denim garment is the product of 35 years of family tailoring and tested methods of construction.