Level 99's Fall 2010 collection is titled 'Back to Basics' and no truer words were spoken. Take away the hype, the pretense, the gimmicks and the gloss and what do you have left, a line that is both classic and uncomplicated.
After days of running up and down Manhattan looking at different collections, I realized that it's so easy to get caught up in the developments. Most every brand that's worth anything is experimenting with different washes, finishes and treatments, if not so much silhouettes, which in our industry tend to stick around awhile —think the skinny jean and it's predecessor, the bootcut. I believe it is this quality that keeps the industry fresh and has given it such longevity, but there is something else that gives it longevity as well, and that's the fact that no matter what direction it goes in, denim is always a reliable basic and a wardrobe staple.
That's where Level 99 comes in. This isn't denim made to turn heads by day and dazzle by night. This is the kind of denim you wear on vacation in Monte Carlo. Yes, I know it's Fall, but bear with me. The wide leg, lightweight trouser complete with sheen would be perfect paired with a white, roomy blouse, floppy hat and wedge sandals. On the other hand, it would work just as well paired with a slim-cut blouse on a lazy stroll through the city during the moderate temperatures of Fall or Spring.
Many of the items were made of lightweight denim, like my absolute favorite of the collection, the denim romper. If i could have taken it home, I would have. Denim culottes were absolutely fun and were the only pair I'd seen this season from any brand. Of course there was the ubiquitous skinny jean, which Level 99 made super soft. Things were kept simple for the most part, but there were still a few surprises, such as the corduroy-like denim pant and the cargo pant with drawstrings at the waist and ankles.
Level 99 is entering the new season with lower price points at $98 making all of these wardrobe staples incredibly affordable. They also have an exclusive deal with high-end retailer Anthropologie making their collections a lot easier to find.
UPDATE: The denim with the corduroy-like texture is called the Railroad Stripe, a striped ring/slub stretch denim that is overdyed to create the tonal striped effect. Level 99 can be purchased at Anthropologie as well as other boutiques and retailers.