I DIY! Bleachblack’s Valerie Takes On A Full Balmain Runway Look

Balmain may be everywhere, but the prices are insanely out of reach. Thankfully, one style blogger used her creativity to sum up a self-made look straight from the spring runway and shared with us her step by step instructions. Take a peek at how Valerie, the other half of BleachBlack and Senior Men's Apparel Designer for Element Skateboards, made it work!
Inspiration: So, like many--okay, let's face it--all of us, I'm beyond obsessed with Balmain's rock 'n' roll, glam-tastic spring '09 collection. However, no amount of Top Ramen can make a $5,000 jacket feasible (I wish!). That being said, I've fashioned my own version from a pair of jeans, a thrift store blazer ($6), and some thrift store pumps ($7). The total cost? Less than a crystal-encrusted button on that drummer boy jacket. Having bragging rights on DIY-ing a total runway look for the rest of the season (and beyond)? Priceless.

Materials Used/Cost/Time
Thrift Store Blazer: $6.00
Buttons: Approx. $25.00
Braided Trim: $18.00
Needle/Thread: $5.00
Time: 4 hours (sewn by hand--should be faster with a machine)
Already-owned Element jeans
Bleach: $4.00
Time: 3 hours, including wash/dry
Thrift store pumps: $7
Assorted studs: $10.00
Hole Punch Tool: Approx. $25
Time: 45 minutes
Valerie's How-To:
I used about approximately 5 yards of braided cording, approximately 60 small silver military buttons, scissors, straight pins, needle, and thread. Use sharp scissors to cut the ends of the cording, folding under half an inch of excess on each end. Secure with straight pins, and begin to sew. Remove the pins as you sew to avoid the cording from buckling. This takes a long time--but it's easy TV work. After the braiding is complete, affix your military buttons onto the ends of the military cording.
I used about 40 rubber bands, Clorox brand bleach, and scissors. Begin by grabbing chunks of the denim and wrapping with the rubber bands. Grab both large and small chunks of denim, so that the end effect is random. Repeat until your jeans are largely covered with rubber bands. Place banded jeans in your bathtub, pouring bleach on the jeans so that they are completely soaked. Wait about 5-10 minutes. Color should start to change. Rinse with cool water. Cut rubber bands. Effect should be subtle. Wash and dry. Effect should be more noticeable. For stronger contrast, repeat by pouring bleach directly onto dry jeans (no rubber bands) in the darkest spots. Wait about 5 minutes. Rinse, wash, and dry.
Per shoe, I used 4 large tree spikes, 5 medium tree spikes, and 6 small tree spikes. I punched the hole using my crop-a-dile eyelet setter/hole puncher. I punched 3 rows of holes, spaced half an inch apart: 6 holes on row #1: 5 holes on row #2, 3 holes on row #3 (closest to toes). The tree spikes are easy to affix, as they are a male/ female screw-set, which can be easily applied with hands.
And...voila! The full Balmain runway look, at a tiny fraction of the price!

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