Topshop
Banana-print denim biker

American Apparel
Sunflower-print shorts

DIY Denim painting: gathering inspiration…

All photos with tripod

I was asked by eBay to customize my own pair of jeans in support of a charity campaign involving the pop group B*Witched, who will be auctioning their favourite denim show pieces in aid of the UK charity Jeans for Genes Day. This obviously led me to Googling for ideas, and eventually took me straight back in year 1999. What is it about the internet and painting on denim material that MUST involve a brooding cat/wolf/unicorn or really awkward grafitti? Google Images suggests a mountain of things that either look like the wardrobe for Sister Act II detonated, or Robin Sparkles* is actually a Canadian fashion blogger (oh, is that why we all need to go to the mall) littering the intranets with ‘coul grafitti coat‘ how-to’s. The fact of the matter is, other than the popular two that are bleaching and ripping, there’s seems only so many other modern ways to customize denim without crossing over to the 90′s again. So heck, I decided to give painting a go, if all fails I figured I’ll wear it with roller-blades + scrunchie and do the Locomotion… aaand get braces again, why not.

* The alias of Robin Sherbatsky, a fictional character on the series How I Met Your Mother

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What you’ll need
Victim jeans (mine are secondhand from eBay), a range of fabric paint (For this particular project you’ll need black, blue, green, red, white and yellow), medium & small brushes, a piece of thin cotton fabric (i.e t-shirt), iron, masking tape (optional).

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Sketch the outline of the pattern lightly using the pencil

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Start with the lightest shade. For this particular pattern, I mixed mainly green and white, and added a dabbed yellow to warm up the green, then a bit of red to to desaturate it overall. For the darker leaves, try not to use too much black – instead, add a hint of blue and to deepen the green.

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Tip: Use masking tape to block out the areas you don’t want to paint (i.e the insides of the pocket)
Slide your hands in the shorts for more control while painting.

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Use a skinnier brush to add details.
Leave to dry for an hour or so.

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To fix – iron the denim from the front through a thin cloth at cotton heat setting for 3 minutes. Et voila! The paint should be waterproof and even machine-washable. (Try not to touch the paint-job with the iron!)

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Wearing: Jersey tee – ASOS. Denim shorts – DIY on Levi’s (via eBay). Nail polish – American Apparel.

A couple of tips:

  • I usually source most of my DIY equipment and victims on eBay, but it’s especially good for denim. You can score a pair of previously-worn white denim Levi’s shorts like these for under £5, or choose from a range of new products from certified sellers. Same with materials and equipment – sometimes I purchase a job-lot of random broken jewellery to play with, or buy very specific colours of rhinestones.
  • Fabric paint is surprisingly opaque, almost identical to the texture of acrylic paint. If you find that the paint is too thick while painting, just dip your brush in water to thin the paint out for those tricky corners.
  • It IS actually possible to paint on denim with acrylic paint – but I’d personally recommend doing that only to garments you wouldn’t necessarily wash as often: like jackets, vests or denim rucksacks.
  • Masking tape is perfect for geometric patterns – simply cut strips and lay them out in zig-zag pattern for a easy-peasy paint-job.
  • Last but not least, if all this painting scares you, there’s so many other simpler things you can do with fabric paint and denim – polkadots, stripes, shapes… you can even draw bananas all over your jeans, which would also be very effective in hiding your boner. Yes I have bananas on my pocket and I may or may not be happy to see you.

Please do help Jeans for Genes Day by selling your own denim on eBay (or bidding for one) and donating between 10-100% of your final sale value to the charity. 

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Making of Jaguar #YourTurnBritain video

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Wearing: Top - Red striped top –Chinti & Parker.White culottes -ASOSWhite heels – Zara. Bag – Couronne.

Last week I popped by Victoria Grant‘s studio in Notting hill for a cloudy lemonade. The lovely Alice Temperley happened to be there, so was a lipstick-red Jaguar F-TYPE, and about fifteen film crew guys and gals. You know, just hanging around. We talked about hats and modern British design, while Alice and I wore the red & white outfits we matched over the phone the night before. As you do.

Who am I kidding. One of the few things that this wee blog allows me to do, that I’m very grateful for, is allowing me to to be a part of exciting campaigns like this. Especially alongside the likes of Alice Temperley, who translates English countryside love-stories into a collection, and Victoria Grant, the rock & roll milliner that have crowned many a head with pistols and purple nipples. With the arrival of the new F-TYPE, Jaguar are celebrating modern Britain in the areas of design, music, sport and film, and speaking as one ever slightly obsessed with this city that is London, I’m glad to be sharing it with you. I’m also very proud to have a British design education, although I guess it’s my fault I’m not really applying that education anywhere except when squirting ketchup very very artistically.

Be a part of the celebration

Capture an image, GIF or video that you think defines the best of modern Britain and share it on Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram. Use #YourTurnBritain for your chance to win one of four unforgettable weekend experiences with the Jaguar F-TYPE. (More information here)

In collaboration with Jaguar (If it wasn’t obvious enough…); Competition terms and conditions.

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Aubaine, Dover Street

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A blue macaron to celebrate the, hashtag, RoyalBabyBoy!

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Wearing: Tee – T by Alexander Wang. Tartan trousersZara. Slingback heels – Lucy Choi. Bag – JinYoo103684. Watch – Sekonda. Gold bangles – ASOS. Thank you Kit for helping with the outfit shots!

This is where I take all my meetings to, and possibly also the reason I make meetings for. Client meetings, PR meetings, blind dates, sword duels, eBay item handovers… husband looks up from the sofa and asks ‘what are we having for dinner?‘, I’m glad you asked dear, shall we convene at Aubaine to discuss whether the chicken needs to be defrosted or will it be the Indian takeaway again?-meeting. Back when I was on student budget I used to visit Selfridge’s to fondle Louboutins and contemplate not eating for a month but then I’d catch a whiff of the croissants from Aubaine and I’d go pffft and splurge on a creamy latté instead. It would be a decision that allowed for a merry month of eating pot noodles and being a happy student. I believe it was actually around the time I could afford my first Louboutins a year or two back when they opened another branch on Dover Street, I braved the lunch menu and fell straight in love. If you treat yourself to breakfast, you must try the duck eggs omelette with Ugie smoked salmon and horseradish crème fraîche; for lunch, the Lobster spaghetti. I’ve never been for dinner but I imagine it won’t be long till the hubby and I have a meeting there about who will do the laundry and I can sneakily convince him to stay and eat.

This is not a sponsored post, I just like sharing nice places with you.

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Jumpsuit – Topshop. Heels – Zara. Rose-gold star necklace – MyFlashTrash. Sunglasses & Bag – c/o Couronne. Watch – Sekonda. Gold bangles – ASOS. Friendship Bracelet – DIY (similar here). Belt - Marni (via the Outnet); Ring – Michelle Oh; Thank you Charlie for helping with the photos.

Let this be my humble attempt at inquiring what ze heck is up with this weather by going into the boiler room with a wrench. Apparently, according to practice, the most appropriate attire to such assignment is either a boiler suit or a beer company t-shirt + paint-stained khakis combo, and since I’m off beer for, like, THE REST OF MY LIFE after spilling it all over my laptop the other day, I’m going with the jumpsuit option. It’s surprisingly comfortable! But I won’t speak for the poor man who missed his chance to overtake me in a narrow street and could not help but to witness the series of wedgie un-doing.  As for the weather, I’m really not too sure what’s wrong – my theory is that the thermostat plastic melted onto a permanent state of 32°C (90°F). The manuals were clear though, on claiming I am just one ungrateful bastard for complaining about this beautiful summer weather. I do apologize. Alas, I did do some good banging around with the wrench (The stud-embossed Couronne bag does a fantastic tool-bag make) and now there’s a thunderstorm outside, which means I may have either fixed it or broken it further. We shall see.

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Forte Village Resort, Sardinia; Part 1

Suit – Agnona (via Donne Concept Store at Forte Village)

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Suit – Agnona (via Donne Concept Store at Forte Village). Top – DAY Birger et Mikkelsen. Necklace – Noemi Klein. Sunglasses – Couronne.

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Floppy straw hatClaire’s. Straw bag – Chloe. Kaftan as dress – Tallulah & Hope

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Floppy straw hat - Claire’s. Straw bag - Chloe. Kaftan as dress & Belt - Tallulah & Hope

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Red striped topChinti & Parker. White culottes - ASOS. White heelsZara. Clutch – JinYoo103684. Flower hairclip – H&M

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Red striped top –Chinti & Parker.White culottes -ASOSWhite heels – Zara. Clutch – JinYoo103684. Flower hairclip – H&M

I’m aware of the fact that I tend to overuse Disneyland as a basis of good, or in other words omg-pee-ze-pants-awesome - for example that cake shop down the road that offers infinite free samples is basically Disneyland to my eyes. However, when I say Forte Village is like Disneyland, its one thing that it is indeed omg-awesome, but technically it’s probably the easiest way to describe the concept of this Sardinian resort.
Once you enter the candy-cane barrier and the pastel-coloured gates smothered in Mediterranean flora, it’s similarly a whole other world inside; one that makes date, news, time irrelevant for the entire duration of your stay. There isn’t a stuffed-mouse posse to greet you, but will a parrot named Mario do? We find out later in the week that watching it fight with two other parrots is one of the best entertainment when slightly drunk. A golf-buggy transports you to a remote bungalow amidst thick vegetation that effectively hides the thousand other guests staying at the resort. Once you’ve unpacked, it’s up to you which ‘rides’ you want to go on – I personally abuse the spinning teacup, which involves my hubby spinning me underwater in the Mediterranean sea while he ingests fish of sorts while I have the time of my life forgetting I’m on the other half of my twenties. By lunchtime you hit the pizzeria to reclaim stolen calories, and depart with a cheesecake to eventually nap with, while the adults (hubby) catch up on a bit of rest themselves. See, I’m sure there was a very rich culture and lots to see in the island of Sardinia, but not once we felt the urge to leave Forte Village. In fact it’s exactly what we wanted in a holiday: being locked in a fortified playground with infinite icecream.

Thank you Forte Village Resort for the warm welcome. Stick around for part Two!