I remember very distinctly that my younger brother Henry, when he was six years old, had a pair of mom jeans festooned with embroidered renderings of Taz the Tasmanian Devil, strategically placed across both butt pockets and on the pants’ left knee. I had a similar pair but mine contained images of Tweety Bird, who I kind of hated because the way he inflected pissed me off, so I never wore them.
I remember even more distinctly that in 2005, when I was still in high school and Uggs were more popular than Céline Birkenstocks are now, I went online and ordered iron-on patches from a website that I am pretty sure catered exclusively to Grateful Dead fans of the heavy drug-taking persuasion. I bought some rainbow colored “teddy bears” which I realized even then were emblems of the anterior band but also understood they were, hello!, rainbow teddy bears, dammit. When they arrived, I ironed them onto my Uggs and for about six months, I felt like — nay, was — the coolest girl at school.
Then I forgot about patchwork. Somewhere along the way, I was reminded of Melissa Joan Hart’s alter ego, Clarissa, and it was way too soon to be paying homage to such a recent, catastrophic amulet of the 90s. My parents also asked that I take a drug test given my effusiveness about the teddy bears and that seemed like a crude case of racial profiling as far as I was concerned.
But the September before last, Phillip Lim and Isabel Marant debuted their (decidedly different) versions of patchwork jeans while Junya Watanabe just rolled out his, appearing a season after Dries Van Noten did his version of the embroidery-tango. Additional denim suppliers (see: Mother) have followed suit and save for the oldest homage: manipulated JNCOs, here they are again, between the lines in street style photos from the recently departed (hallelujah!) fashion week season.
Me, personally, I am now contemplating the exact approximation of that first, devoid-of jam-band-paraphernalia slideshow image and I’ve so far come up with the following items:
Are you with me?
Come on, let’s shop. Or, you know, DIY.