Balmain SS11 RTW
Style and inspiration can come from anywhere; from nature to street style, and of course, from the runways. Especially in this day and age, it is important to keep your eyes open (literally and figuratively) to inspiration everywhere. Never have the lines between high and low culture been so blurred. We’re now living in the age of post-post modernity, if one can even call it that. Basically, with the globalization of culture and information via media disseminators such as the internet, social networking sites such as Facebook, and more immediately, Twitter, we as a human culture can receive an enormous amount of information at light speed and at the tips of our fingers. An exaggerated result of this informational blizzard/melting pot, is that a person who lives in Jakarta who has access to the internet, can be influenced by some sort of cultural phenomena going on in Scotland and adopt their style or worldview point.
Case in point, this article will talk about how awed and inspired we at Jennifer Elizabeth were with the Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear Balmain runway show at Paris Fashion Week. Though this show was geared for Spring, there was nothing here for the faint of heart. Balmain’s show was pure glitz, glamour, and rock n’ roll…which is why it spoke to us! It is an aesthetic and idea we at Jennifer Elizabeth adhere to and live by.
The show was filled with a dizzying array of splashes from an acid-washed, punk-inspired color palate (blacks, whites, reds, metallics), which were deftly and artistically mixed with complex, but never contrived, textures and rips. Head designer Christophe Decarnin took the street style that bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash created, and elevated it to that of couture status.
The fishnets were delicately meshed and almost transparent, and ripped ever so purposefully, yet still exuded the “I could really care less” attitude that embodies punk and goth subcultures. The stain fabrics flowed and were draped just so, the splashes of bleach/paint recalled the best of Modernism (a la Jackson Pollock), and the studs and safety pins were placed in such a way that resembled the sequins and artisinal craftsmanship of Indian prince and princesses. Everything in the show successfully balanced on the tightrope of imperfect perfection, or as the Japanese call it, wabi-sabi. It seems as though Decarnin has successfully channelled the “je ne sais quoi” quality that the French are known and revered for, into a seemingly haphazard, yet beautifully and delicately executed, Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear line.
Lastly, the thing that is also so spectacular (but perhaps detrimental in the eyes of Balmain) about this line, is how it is possible for one to take inspiration from this feigned DIY aesthetic, and actually do it yourself! Here are a few tips and tricks to elevate your own wardrobe to the next level for Spring!
A lot of the items in the collection are easy DIY projects. My favorite is the red leather jacket:
What You’ll Need:
* leather jacket
* any type of BeDazzler tool, my favorite is the Crop-A-Dial. They have a great one on http://www.joann.com:80/joann/search/searchall.jsp?keyword=crop%20a%20dile&catPath=All%20Products////Product%20Home////UserSearch1=crop%20a%20dile&_requestid=206854
There is a great selection and there are also different tools for the more advanced studder
* Rhinestones (optional-see above of where to buy)
* Settings There is a really great selection for a great price at http://kitkraft.biz/catalog/Silver_Tiffany_Settings-p-1-c-1031.html if you do choose to use rhinestones.
* Studs & Nailheads- Great selection at a very good price http://kitkraft.biz/catalog/Studs__Nailheads-p-1-c-356.html
They have a really large selection of different studs & nailheads
* Spikes and a larger selection of studs are found at the perfect online store for this called Studs and Spikes, www.studsandspikes.com
* Safety Pins- any size, but in the Balmain show they used small one’s where you can find pretty much anywhere. But for the ultimate crafter, look online and you will find a bunch of different safety pins to choose from
1) If you love thirfting- this is perfect for a good search. Go to flea markets, thrift stores, goodwill (that’s where I found mine!) and any other spots you know that sell vintage clothing. Look for a distressed red leather jacket. It doesn’t even need to be red because you can use any color leather jacket that suits you.
If you find a new leather jacket you can distress it. You will need, rubbing alcohol, sandpaper and a wire brush.
Dampen the leather with rubbing alcohol. Putting the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle is the best way to go. DO NOT soak the jacket.
Crumple the garment. The first thing you are going to do is add unnatural looking creases and lines by crumpling it. Really work the leather!
Sandpaper you garment. Remember this is about how much you want the jacket to look distressed, so start slow, as you can always go further, but it’s hard to reverse once done. Rub some places more than others and leave other places untouched.
Brush your leather with a heavy bristled wire brush. This will do a lot of wear to the fabric in the desired areas.
Then, this might sound weird, but kick your leather around in the dirt, not mud, but dirt. Like at a baseball field. Kick it around until it is nice and dusty (think Indian Jones) Then after a good dusting, pat off all of the excess. Let the jacket dry off for couple hours and then your done!
2) When you are ready to start studding and decorating your jacket, look through all of the pictures from the Balmain SS11 Collection at www.style.com because there are so many different variations for this. I chose this look:
3.) Then all you really have to do is create a pattern you want for your studs, spikes, rhinestones and safety pins. You can cut the jacket in places and then safety pin them together, like the way the black t-shirt is. Then start BeDazzling everywhere you want!