Applique - It's a Patchy Subject - The Legend Of The Jeans

May 19, 2017 | Gilly
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Applique - It's a Patchy Subject - The Legend Of The Jeans

Applique…. To decorate (a garment or larger piece of fabric) with pieces of fabric to form pictures or patterns.
"the coat is appliquéd with exotic-looking cloth"

In the seventies, my sister had THE most beautiful pair of jeans which she had customised and perfected herself by slicing up from the ankle and adding paisley fabric triangles to create the perfect flare, painstakingly embroidering her name in rainbow coloured threads onto her back pocket, stitching a big tan suede apple patch on her thigh and random butterflies and stars. She loved them, and with her skinny, shaved off, then pencilled on eyebrows (which never fully grew back, but her love for David Bowie lives on) long legs and skinny waist, she was stupendous and strutted around town like Marc Bolan.
I always dreamed about those jeans when I was a student in the 90’s (although I would never have gotten into the 24” waist anyway) and my niece could be wearing them right now - if they hadn't mysteriously ‘disappeared’ one day in 1978 when they went into the laundry pile and just never came out again - gaining legendary status in our family.
In actual fact our mother had hated them; “frayed, scruffy, can't you wear something else??” and only finally admitted to throwing them out some 30 years later. It still confuses us, as our mum was a great tailor so you would think she would be impressed at the workmanship and she always encouraged us to have our own style, but what's even more puzzling is that she was a massive hoarder and could never throw anything away.

Gilly: Put link here to shoe shopping story?

Then, in the eighties, EVERYONE in my school had these baggy legged, sometimes stone washed jeans, with huge fabric cartoon patches of Flintstones characters stitched on one leg. They were ugly and unflattering, but I wanted them desperately, but my mum just wouldn't have it. Maybe they were too expensive, or perhaps she knew she wouldn't get away with the “I haven't seen them for weeks, you must have left them at a friend's house” excuse again, but either way (thankfully) I wasn't allowed to copy the crowd, but she helped me find my own applique patches to sew on my jeans for the school disco. I WAS allowed the reversible and quilted Minnie Mouse sweatshirt though, (two unflattering sweaters in one!) so maybe my Mum just had a thing against Dino and Fred.

Dash Down to the Haberdashery

When it comes to customising your wardrobe this time around, you only have to look to Gucci for inspiration, where Alessandro Michele has gone delightfully and magically mad with applique. Bomber jackets, dresses and beautiful tailoring... bags, shoes and biker jackets, all emblazoned with tigers, snakes, romantic roses, punky studs, ACDC band logos…
(Photos of Styles, Dakota and Allesandro, snake bags etc.)

And hello Harry Styles, in his pink silk dragon patched pants this week - just the latest in his plethora of recent Gucci good looks.

Then there's the bonkers British label Itchy Scratchy Patchy (insert link) designed by model Edie Campbell and Artist Christabel MacGreevy with their English eccentric mix of showgirls, voluptuous builders, floral posies and sumo wrestlers.

(Insert photo of Adwoa wearing Gucci and itchy scratchy patches)

It's a fun and frivolous way to customize and we have already seen that this summer's festival season is extra decadent with glittering band logos, cleverly positioned roses over see through lace, painted and embroidered biker jackets and denim covered in a plethora of iron-on eye candy, so why don't you get down to the haberdashery or dollar store, grab yourself a bunch of patches, iron or stitch them on and get on the style train to funky town!!

Warning: items are left in the laundry basket at your own risk.
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