Friday, May 13, 2011

The patina of experience

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I love second-hand Levi's. Its my thing. Well... OK... its one of my things.

I really love the worn nature of denim... the feel of age... the wear of wear... I love it. I don't think you can authentically provide this "first hand"... it comes with time.

For some denim aficionados (aka nerds!) the patina of wear is as important to them as the rigidity of new is for others. I'd love to be able to afford heavy weight Japanese selfedge denim spun on ancient looms... but I can't... and, to be honest, I'm not sure I'd really like it anyway. I have a few pairs of dark new Levi's that are lovely... but I do prefer the wear of wear.

The patina is an important concept for me.

Patina (noun)...
1. a film or incrustation, usually green, produced by oxidation on the surface of old bronze and often esteemed as being of ornamental value.
2. a similar film or coloring appearing gradually on some other substance.
3. a surface calcification of implements, usually indicating great age.
It is the pattern that comes with age and wear... and it is something I value.

I love to see the points of fading that come with time. I love the imperfection... I see it as the ultimate form of customisation. These jeans are uniquely mine... because I rescued them and am wearing them.

I think I'm obsessed!

That said... it got me thinking about experience. I spoke recently about experience and differentiation and the subject is still in my mind.

Our experience is like the patina of faded and worn jeans... it is something that is uniquely ours. It can't be faked... it may look like it but it won't feel like it. It is something that comes with time, effort and activity. Jeans don't fade or get worn without activity. You can wash them with stones etc but the patina most coveted can't be made... it is something that becomes... something that occurs... and it is something uniquely ours.

This is why all experience... whether good or bad... should be cherished because it contributes to our patina... it builds who we are.


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