Here at DFW Style Daily, we’ve been known to break out a hot glue gun from time to time, flexing our creative muscles (as it were) with a few crystals and a dime store find. Or an old tee shirt and a pair of fabric scissors. You get the idea. A current D.I.Y. trend, however, is raising elegantly arched eyebrows in the fashion world. Would you craft with an already finely crafted designer item?
Prompting clicks of the mouse and clucks of the tongue, from some camps, fashion bloggers have recently featured paint-splashed designer bags and home-sewn pillows made of – gasp! – Hermès scarves. Is this high-low chic or just plain wrong?
For example, the staffers at Lucky Magazine asserted that we might just consider taking a brush to a quilted Chanel chain bag after a glimpse at stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele’s painted purse. Let’s just say we weren’t tempted. An item often sought after and saved for over the course of months or years, and subsequently passed to future generations, a handbag from the house of Chanel represents decades of fashion heritage. But maybe we’re just being old-fashioned?
On a similar note, throw pillows sewn from Hermès scarves are a blogger-touted Real Housewives fave. As Nancy Marcus of the Marcus Design blog wrote of the coveted collector’s items, “This classic wardrobe staple can be converted into a home accessory in a snap!”
Again, we ask, would you take a needle and thread to a painstakingly designed, screen-printed scarf crafted of the finest silk? In this case, we’ll admit the results are, indeed, beautiful.
Capping this creative trio are “customized” Louis Vuitton handbags, emblazoned with team logos, animals, or other painted pictures. Seems the Speedy is a ready canvas for all sorts of interesting motifs.
As our feathers continued to ruffle over this trend, we sought a balancing expert opinion. Julie McCullough, founder of Oak Cliff’s MAKE Shop & Studio and IndieGenius, co-founder of the annual Dallas-based Pin Show, and designer of Folksie, offers a fresh perspective.
“I personally love the idea of making a pillow from a high-end scarf,” says McCullough. “The prints and fabrics of scarves translate beautifully into home décor.”
As for painting designer bags, our expert also softens our hard-line stance. “The artist in me says go for it,” she continues. “I have seen very various examples of this, from amazing to appalling. With that being said, I am a fan of making your own style. I believe this is along the lines of painting classic furniture – it’s your style, make it your own! These days, bags are so mass-produced and common that I don’t see the harm in adding your touch to make them unique.”
While we remain on the fence, we respect McCullough’s opinion. Perhaps the deciding point should be the origin and condition of the designer item in question? What do you think? We welcome your comments below, with bonus points for any pictures of unique designer D.I.Y. finds.