This year’s Splendour in the Grass festival had it all: crowds, drum circles, food trucks galore, confetti cannons, exotic headdresses, a giant inflatable shark and lots of double denim. Luckily, we were there to help (at least with the latter). Nestled in the heart of Splendour’s Very Small Mall was Australia’s first Levi’s Tailor Shop, where celebrity tailor Matt Stone (head tailor at Levi’s Haus of Strauss in LA) lovingly patched and customised clothes for the 27,000 festival goers at North Byron Parklands.
Matt’s been on the music festival circuit before in the US, but this was his first appearance in Australia – and his first working out of a shipping container.
Our pop-up workshop boasted a changing room, clothing racks, workshop and industrial sewing machine for Matt to work his magic – whether that magic resulted in repairs, a one-off vintage patch or some distressing and studding. He also decked out some of the headliners in customised Trucker Jackets, including Lily Allen, Sky Ferreira, Kingswood, Peking Duk, City and Colour, Vance Joy and Dan Sultan, to name a few. Parquet Courts lead singer, Andrew Savage, even joined in on the action after arriving straight off a plane from Japan.
When things heated up in the day – and believe me, this is something you notice when you’re working in a shipping container – the sexy 501 Short was a winner; but by the time the sun went down, everyone was jostling to cover up with an iconic Trucker Jacket or Western Shirt. And regardless of the temperature, everyone got their elbows dirty digging into our treasure chest of cheeky vintage patches (and if you’re discerning like us, choosing from thousands of ironic slogans and Americana is hard).
Stitching the seams of over 1,000 sweaty festival goers per day is no picnic, but Matt impressed everyone with his LA charm – even if it meant answering many a question about his work at Haus of Strauss or helping the odd anxious young man get back into his pair of skinny jeans.
But once the crowds simmered down, there was still the music to look forward to. Highlights for us included Outkast, Lily Allen, Kingswood, Peking Duk, Kelis and Brit crooner Sam Smith. We even made it side-of-stage for 360 and City and Color, which isn’t a bad way to spend a day of work.
After three packed days customising denim for the crowds at Splendour, we felt our job was done. Till next year, anyway.
For more images from Splendour 2014 – visit https://splendourinthegrass.