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  • Put your label on DESIGNER DENIM

    Put your label on DESIGNER DENIM, designer jeans fit

    When Gucci paraded raw-edge weeeeeeeeell-worn jeans and jeans skirts down its Milan runway, Neo-Bohemian Chic was born. Look, I like designer clothes– if not to wear, but to drool over– as much as the next girl about town. But ripped jeans (no matter how many roses are embroidered on the skirt, or how many beads and feather flocks are appliqued to the pants) are just not my idea of true top designer form… it is only styling, baby. Trend junkies, go and get those bona-fide hip Gucci jeans (you probably had them on order before they made it to the stores anyway), but everyone else– savor the flavor and have it your way.

    Shops are overflowing with sooooo many interpretations of whatever you’d like to call this jeans thing… rich-hippie, hippie chic, new bohemian or, peace, love and Woodstock re-do that a girl could go mad choosing. Check out The Gap, XOXO stores and Bella Dahl Vintage Chic (available at Anthropologie and Nordstrom) for a start.

    But if you truly want to be an individual, try it yourself! It does not take a genius to decorate (or as they say back home, “dreckorate”) a pair of jeans, just some scraps of cool fabric, beads, feathers, appliques, maybe some embroidery, and a little ingenuity. You are the designer here, so the choice of embellishment is totally up to you! Whatever you do, do not be too perfect– the look is raw!

    And, do not forget the pair of really worn-out, faded, tattered jeans– which you style-crazed savage, probably have stuffed in the back of your closet from the last time ruff-hewn jeans were a craze.

    If sewing is not your thing, or you want this look in a matter of minutes, use iron-on adhesive or fabric and craft glue found in the notions department… just be sure to read the label for cleaning instructions.

    The skirt of the moment is low-slung, knee-length, and fashioned from a hacked-off pair of old jeans. Since I wouldn’t want you to ruin your well-fitting, worn-out favorite in the transformation process, I asked Cathleen Campbell, Director of Marketing and Education for the Home Sewing Association ( for some handy do-it-yourself advice.

    She suggests:
    – Cut jeans off at or below the knee and save the leg pieces for later; remove all stitching on inner-leg and crotch.
    – Overlap center front and back crotch pieces together and baste in place.
    – Use fabric from the cut-off legs to fill in the open triangle and pin in place.
    – Try on skirt and adjust fit.
    – Topstitch old leg and crotch seams onto the new denim insertion; trim excess.
    – Topstitch or trim (raw edges are good here) hem to desired length.
    – Embroidery or decorations can be done either before or after the insertion is made… depending on location, some embellishments will be easier before skirt is finished.
    -Voila, an old jean gets a new lease on life!

    Top off the Neo-Bohemian look with a belly skimming T-shirt or airy peasant blouse, flowing hippie hair, and a pair of beaded slides. Caveat emptor: If you are old enough to know the difference between hippie and yippie, just select one earthy element …too much of a good thing and they’ll be asking what was in your brownies. G-roooooovy.

    Published on January 01, 1998