Customized Denim

Fashion’s favourite material, denim is reinvented itself each season by designers and specialist labels alike. Whether it’s torn, embroidered, worn out, crumpled, hand painted, or cracked, the ultimate chameleon fabric is constantly reworked and revisited. Exit the pristine and brand-new, think used and custom-made this winter.

A.P.C.

For those who like their A.P.C. jeans slightly over-sized and worn, but also fans of the original dark raw denim look, the French house has launched project Butler. If you prefer your denim raw, you can now return your old A.P.C. jeans in exchange for a brand-new pair, at cost price. The jeans will then be resold, marked with the initials of the original buyer who wore them, washed, mended and ironed inside out and tagged with a “Butler Worn-Out Series “, an allusion to a time when box-fresh just wasn’t cool.

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ASHISH

For 10 years, the Indian designer Ashish Gupta has been mixing street with couture, sportwear with glam and urban with fluid to unveil blinged-up customizations more brights and sparkled each season. Star of the Ashish wardrobe, denim is recycled and customized with sequins, patches, feathers and embroidery.

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MM6

A melting pot of cultures and generations, the MM6 show was big on customization, challenging proportions, lines and materials. Denim is a key material, punctuating the MM6 collection with an assortment of bandana patchwork designs.

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MARQUES’ ALMEIDA

Winner of the LVMH prize 2015, Portuguese designer Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida launched Marques’ Almeida in 2011. Based in London, the dui are inspired by the 1990s basics and minimalist/grunge style from the era. Jeans are an integral part of their collection, completely re-worked each season with silhouettes crafted from ripped, worn, cropped, cut and frayed denum the collection in a sartorial nod to Kate Moss style in the 1990s.

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The Ballet Pump

THE ballet pump – a starlet classic which we all have at the back of our wardrobes – hasn’t had an easy ride over the past few years. Deemed polite to the point of prissy, the staple shoe developed a bad rep after the high street was flooded with every variation imaginable a decade ago… the patent, gingham or leg-toning adaptations during the Noughties.

Now is the time to switch your attitude to the humble ballet slipper. The simplest of all-day, everyday shoes has made a comeback thanks to Celine: Phoebe Philo showed a stretchy, pliable style on the spring/summer 2015 catwalk. The key to the new-look ballet pump is an elegant almond-shaped toe (rather than round) – try Lanvin, A.P.C or French Sole. Pick a punchy red or tan, matte leather – extra marks go for authentic balletic details such as ribbon ties or blush silk, which works particularly well with suiting, where a box-fresh white trainer now feels a little obvious.

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Over on the red carpet, the ballet shoe is elbowing the lace-up stiletto out of the limelight: Karlie Kloss made a very convincing case for the uber-classic Chanel pump at the Tribeca Film Festival last week, pairing hers with a little tweed dress. They look chic, in a sprightly sort-of way, don’t they?

Maybe heels are simply feeling like too much hard work, or post-normcore there’s enough irony to dressing safe to make it appealing now. Either way, the modest ballet pump feels refreshingly feminine for summer 2015 – which is something we shouldn’t be afraid of.

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