This is the dark, cold time of year where we all like to remind ourselves that spring will eventually come, but if you're the type who faithfully follows the big four fashion weeks, you know that the shows have already covered and skipped right past spring/summer 2015 and are currently knee-deep in dictating what we'll all be wearing come this October.
To which I say, BOO, can a girl please put away her puffy coat and enjoy the summer sun on her face for five friggin' seconds before you rush to sign us up for a fresh deluge of made-up fashion trends and another round of winter skin articles?
At least one of the trends those overeager designers have in store for us this fall can actually be put into use right now (or really, whenever you wanna look cool as ice).
This idea is pretty simple: When faced with a fashion item that somehow bores you, just slap a patch on it! It's a low-key sort of glam — zero parts bling and all parts DIY. I'd sort of forgotten what a groovy idea this was, which is dumb, as I long ago snazzed up my dog walkin' Uggs with a well-curated selection of studs and patches.
Sewing is boring, so I tend to secure my patches on whatever I think needs bedazzling with a big 'ol safety pin. But if you really want to commit to the look, I find that a thin layer of E6000 glue applied with a toothpick to the back of your chosen patch adheres to canvas, suede, smooth leather, or even vinyl perfectly and permanently. (Just take care if you use it for an extended period of time indoors.)
The roots of the teenager-ification of your favorite accessories can be traced back to Chanel's spring 2015 show, which took place last year and included a much-discussed faux-feminist protest. The breakout star of that particular event was the peace-loving, graffiti and pin-covered Chanel Flap Bag, which Vogue nominated as one of the candidates for its #ItBag2015 election. While your opinion of this bag may be less than favorable, the fashion world is all about it:
This DIY-vibed bag is really just the next generation of Chanel's outrageously successful graffiti backpack that was literally everywhere last summer:
Lest you think the look isn't here to stay, even luxury Manhasset department store Hirshleifers has a hot take 0n the badged-out bag look:
Clearly, the possibilities for customizing your own bags and boots are endless. But if you need a little inspiration to get started, here you go.
FOR THE SENTIMENTAL HIGH SCHOOL HESHER:
FOR THE SLIGHTLY CLUMSY, TOTALLY TECHIE KID AT HEART:
FOR THE PROPER LADIES AMONG US:
FOR THE JET-SETTING FANNY PACKER:
The truth is that this "trend" isn't really all that groundbreaking. Disgruntled teens, outlaw bikers, and the military have been jazzing up their book bags, leather vests, and uniforms for as long as patches have been around — which is almost as long as clothing itself has been in existence. Embroidery is one of the original art forms, as evidence suggests that hunters in the Later Stone Age took the time to decorate their furs with stitched-on ivory beads.
But if you're looking for a little something to get you through the rest of winter that will still feel current once the sun decides to shine, the fashion world has you covered: Just slap a patch on whatever you own and call it a #DIY day.
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison
I wrote a book: "How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing," available now for pre-order.