Getting Ripped Up

Getting Ripped Up

Everyone is at it.  KOS is on a DIY rampage that I’m incredibly impressed by (the choice of fabrics in particular).  A friend who has previously been buying up Dior Homme and Rick Owens has taken to altering Gap womenswear jackets and customising them with leather sleeves.  The markets may be recovering but the long term effects I think will affect the middlers (the neither poor nor particularly rich) and how they buy things and those with a dab hand at DIY will take to the sewing machine even more.

As I have no sewing machine access anymore and the Argos catalogue is confusing me as to which one I should buy should I choose to buy one (any recommendations incidentally?), my DIY habits are fairly limited.  I do however have a knife and a washing machine and after wearing a weekend of grandparental pleasing dresses and Salvatore Ferragamo bow flats, goddamnit I’m going to vent my frustration on a pair of lonesome black jeans that I NEVER wear and slash away.  Too Martin Margiela SS08 and therefore so tragically passe (I felt physically ill whilst typing that last word by the way…) you say?  Well, I suppose you would be right but alas, there is no way I could ever get this low quality denim to fray quite so heavily so instead, I went for jagged cut-outs, rather like the crazy tiling that people were so fond of in the 70s’.  I only had the time to snap this one outfit but the point is that the useless pair of jeans can now go over any sort of tights/leggings and thus highlight my fondness for accumulating legwear.  It’s sort of like a flip reverse effect as the black jeans tones down whatever is going on underneath but then draws attention because of the crazy slashes.  Still, I’ve kept the back unslashed so as to avoid the Gisele Bundchen effect and scare young children…





Leave a comment
  1. Imelda Matt

    2008-10-14 at 9:24 AM

    I’ve got a spare tix to the Motley Crue concert and you’ve got the right look!

  2. Suzi

    2008-10-14 at 9:27 AM

    Oooh, those are fantastic, probably best to leave the back as it is, or the jeans would fall apart quite quickly. As for a sewing machine, Brother, Singer and Toyota’s are probably the best branded machines, and whether you get a computerised one (ones with a digital screen) is up to you. I have a computerised Toyota (EZ A 901), and it’s very useful because if you do something wrong, or something is in the wrong place, it will beep at you and indicate what is wrong. It also shows you what settings each dial should be at for certain stitches. But they can be heavy, so if you want a nice portable one, I would go for something a bit lighter and smaller.

  3. Lisa

    2008-10-14 at 9:32 AM

    Hello, I read, never comment, but really enjoy the blog.
    Sewing machines, I don’t think you need to go to Argos. I think you can’t do much better than a retro reconditioned Singer – there are often great deals to be had at the local dealership with part exchange. Mine was 20 quid from a charity shop in Pitlochry – it only does forward, back, stitch length change and zigzag but I think that’s basically all you need anyway. And it sews anything! A vertical bobbin layout is good for this if you can find one. I just think the metal parts really help the old horses keep on going – this one is from the 50’s but I’ve had 20’s and 30’s once that worked brilliantly too.

  4. Brigadeiro

    2008-10-14 at 9:42 AM

    Yes, so many bloggers DIY’ing, I must return to it! I have those exact Marni shoes too! Aren’t they so hot? 🙂

  5. mybeaumonde

    2008-10-14 at 9:50 AM

    everyone is definately in D.I.Y super mode… the results are so good that i may have to put a hold on my laziness and get to it!

  6. lady coveted

    2008-10-14 at 9:58 AM

    KOS’s DIY projects are out of this world… it makes me wish i knew how to sew…
    I love these ripped up jeans… cutting and light stitchign are the best i can do right now, but as we can see here, that’s all you need!
    thanks for the inspiration!

  7. coco

    2008-10-14 at 10:13 AM

    I love the tights underneath. Did you slash the back of the legs or leave them?

  8. Mademoiselle Robot

    2008-10-14 at 10:24 AM

    For the sewing machine, try John Lewis, they have a cheap Janome one, this is the one I got, it is easy to use and really good quality.
    Good work on the jeans slashing!

  9. Chic Looks

    2008-10-14 at 10:27 AM

    love love love!!!!! Those shoes are out of this world
    I intend on improving my sewing skills and doing a few more sewing however the sewing maching I have now is pretty crap and quite a lot of people have been recommending singer so yeah…
    also have you managed to watch that new show Frock Me of Channel 4?! its not great but its a fun watch if only for the DIY tips. On the first episode there’s this section where they make new things out of old clothes and it was all about denim, one of the guys made a cage skirt/short out of an old denim short and it looked amazing, I’m contemplating trying it, however I’ve only got 1 denim trouser in my wardrobe so it looks like its going to get some damaging, I’ll be off to get the kicthen knife or maybe a pair of scossors will do… you should check out the show when you can, it has some good DIY tips. (sorry this is so blooming long)

  10. carrie (T.D.)

    2008-10-14 at 10:33 AM

    You look just amazing like that ! LOOOOOVE that !!

  11. ondressingup

    2008-10-14 at 10:34 AM

    What a fantastic DIY idea! I too have limited DIY skills. I think the best DIY i’ve ever done is putting a clip-on earring on a black ribbon and tying it around my head to make a headband. Ace.
    I have only 1 pair of black skinny jeans. And alas I will have to leave them unripped. However, you are one of the few people who can pull off this look with aplomb and charm rather than looking “passe”.
    And the headband/tiara/halo on your head? Any chance of a close-up or description of what it is?

  12. DJM

    2008-10-14 at 10:37 AM

    I have a Janome Sewist 525S and it’s incredible. I had a random cheaper one but it gave me nothing but bother but this one I’ve had for a while and never had a single problem.

  13. clareassiral

    2008-10-14 at 11:08 AM

    awesome! it’s one of those, Why didn’t i think of that moment!! Now it’s like having 10 new pair of jeans in different colors!

  14. tanya

    2008-10-14 at 11:30 AM

    all this fabulous diy-ing that’s happening all over the internet is giving me some ideas for diy’s of my own… i cant wait to try them out after my huge lot of uni assessments ia over. problem is i have no idea how to sew/use a sewing machine. hmm the skills of mother may have to be utilised…

  15. Zahra

    2008-10-14 at 11:48 AM

    Love the look! I never thought of DIY. Now I’m tempted to go rip jeans up!

  16. Schizodefective

    2008-10-14 at 12:03 PM

    There is a really good sewing machine shop on the Bethnal Green end of Hackney Road. They’ve got loads of refurbished second-hand machines for sale.

  17. Ana

    2008-10-14 at 12:06 PM

    Good god this is an amazing outfit.

  18. La Carmina

    2008-10-14 at 12:35 PM

    Love it, Susie! I did a similar Harajuku Punk look – black pants over red and leopard print tights. Check it out 🙂
    LA CARMINA Gothic Lolita Fashion

  19. Margot

    2008-10-14 at 12:48 PM

    hey! i luuuuv this outfit. so edgy. wish i could have the gutts to dress this way 😛
    *i grab the chance to ask you sth. i just came to london and as you had told me on my last post (i’m heloise j.) spies everywhere! could you now suggest a couple of nice places for a night out? more like bars not pubs!
    +of course if you’re willing anything ‘must’ -from shopping to .. i dont know what- is more than welcomed!!!
    thanx a lot susie!

  20. Anonymous

    2008-10-14 at 1:05 PM

    wow! the overall effect is amazing. perhaps i’ll try now with a spare pair of jeans…

  21. Lisa D

    2008-10-14 at 1:06 PM

    This is brilliant credit crunch behaviour. I love this outfit!

  22. KD

    2008-10-14 at 1:07 PM

    Oooh, I love that look! I’m not such a big fan of denim jackets, but make it work! I wish I had any time to DIy at all . . . 🙁

  23. Kat

    2008-10-14 at 1:21 PM

    Oh! The Shoes!

  24. The Clothes Horse

    2008-10-14 at 2:02 PM

    I’m loving the slashed jeans–very relieved you didn’t slash the backs though. We must protect the children…

  25. Riann Bethany

    2008-10-14 at 2:47 PM

    I absolutely J’adore this look. It’s affordable and adaptable with the change of leggins, you could create so many different moods. I’m sure you’ll inspire so many people to start d.i.y-ing up there old jeans. Love it.
    Rianna Bethany

  26. Becca

    2008-10-14 at 3:18 PM

    I say your diy turned out pretty well! I love them with those turquoise tights underneath.

  27. melissa

    2008-10-14 at 3:22 PM

    For sewing machines – go vintage. Seriously. They were built like tanks back then, to really get abused and used on a daily basis. The plastic ones now are on the whole built to stand up to making curtains once a year.
    That being said, a friend is a gadget writer and I just helped her review “6 sewing machines under ¬£150”. The article’s not up yet so I don’t want to say here, but drop me an email and I’ll be happy to tell you which ones were decent.

  28. Danielle

    2008-10-14 at 3:41 PM

    Old school machines are best. They could survive a nuclear holocaust.
    The digital ones tend to be shit.

  29. eloise

    2008-10-14 at 3:47 PM

    always read but never leave comments.
    just wanted to tell you I love your blog 🙂

  30. WendyB

    2008-10-14 at 4:05 PM

    Clearly this is going to be the next big thing.

  31. Tara

    2008-10-14 at 5:04 PM

    I have those exact color tights and never thought of doing the tights-under-torn-jeans look. Clever, particularly since I am a little shy about my legs.

  32. giancinephile

    2008-10-14 at 5:12 PM

    You’ve got it right again!
    Do entertain us more with more DIY antics!

  33. Prêt à Porter P

    2008-10-14 at 6:14 PM

    even ive been DIYing, well, designing, im lucky to have someone patient enough to sew it all for me. if i went to a tailor it would cost me much more than buying something from a shop!

  34. Liv

    2008-10-14 at 7:48 PM

    O.M.G love the ripped jeans and tights look. Its super cool!

  35. diane

    2008-10-14 at 8:33 PM

    wow! kudos to you! not many people could pull this look off…but you most certainly did! 🙂

  36. floraposte

    2008-10-14 at 8:40 PM

    Slashed jeans over bare legs; trashy so why so great over the coloured tights? Love, love, love those shoes!

  37. Jennifer

    2008-10-14 at 9:29 PM

    bought this in the last few months
    works really well, and as a sewing virgin, very easy to use. i managed to make a skirt out of a rainbow flag i found under the table of a pub on gay pride day. i love it even though belfast is too culturally challenged to preview it publicly 😀

  38. nobody

    2008-10-14 at 10:01 PM

    a nice old metal one wold be good, as everyone has already said, really sturdy. but if you’re buying new there is really only one sewing machine, one which my art college, and every internship i did, they all had Bernina. They are really are a pleasure to use, so simple.

  39. Copycat Sasha

    2008-10-14 at 10:51 PM

    It looks fantastic, you did it so well! It also makes your legs look incredible long

  40. susie_bubble

    2008-10-14 at 10:54 PM

    Thanks everyone for the sewing machine recommendations…evenly split between vintage and new I might add….I’m used to older machines coz of my mother’s one but then I see the benefits of a new one too (guarantee and waranty to be specific…)….
    ondressingup: It’s a feathered headband that’s all…by whom I’ve forgotten…was an emergency buy in New York!
    Thanks for all the comments…. definitely an easy thing to do and with excessive washing they might fray even more….

  41. Janavi

    2008-10-14 at 11:42 PM

    I would go for a simple machine. Check out Janome, their new machines have a 25 yr warranty, and sew really, really well. Of course the old, metal Singers r the best!

  42. niceandshiny

    2008-10-15 at 12:57 AM

    Those jeans are the hottest things I’ve seen in a long time, not too margiela, 100% susie bubble. Loveeee them!! Wow, with the tights it just looks incredible! And to think I’ve had a pair of bleached out jeans just waiting to get cut up, but I’m too scared to start slicing. Thanks for giving me that extra push!

  43. Shen-Shen

    2008-10-15 at 2:13 AM

    Ahhh, those are amazing! Didn’t your feet get caught in all the holes though? I know mine would have, haha.

  44. evie

    2008-10-15 at 3:44 AM

    i have no advice about the sewing machine seeing that i am a total noob when it comes to diy. but i love what you did with the jeans and as you say, it certainly tones down the tights a little and yet draws attention to them all at once!

  45. arline Jernigan

    2008-10-15 at 4:54 AM

    very cute!!!!!!!

  46. Jey

    2008-10-15 at 5:06 AM

    DIESSS for your jeans. great job with the DIY. & lovess the marni’s, or chloe’s. i could hardly tell these days. haha.

  47. yulanda

    2008-10-15 at 6:04 AM

    I love how you layered tights underneath. Looks good!

  48. berlinrocks

    2008-10-15 at 6:36 AM

    amazing look susie !!!
    it’s truly great.

  49. jess

    2008-10-15 at 7:02 AM

    yes, i’m seeing DIY efforts everywhere particularly since sart snapped anja’s slashed leggings. i have to admit i like yours the best. they look really good with the colour tights underneath. i like the black top you’re wearing, too.

  50. Elissa of Spandexpony

    2008-10-15 at 7:06 AM

    Gahhh! I love it! You are doing total justice to those leggings! it might look totally awesome with some black crochet tights underneath as well!

  51. Raquel

    2008-10-15 at 7:15 AM

    This is my next diy as I have a pair of jeans that I love but bought for cheap that are going to be slashed up too!
    I just DIY some Rodarte stockings on my blog as well!!

  52. diystylecindy

    2008-10-15 at 1:32 PM

    Your blog is fab! There are lots of sewing machines that are worth their weight….one of my favorites is Baby Lock. You can get one for as low as $150. DIY is a way of life for me….check out the projects on our website, and you will see what I mean! Keep on DIY’ing 🙂

  53. clover

    2008-10-15 at 8:36 PM

    been wearing slashed up jeans during spring when i was depressed. mine was all horizontally slashed. i like your random cutouts though

  54. * Fashion Dreamer *

    2008-10-15 at 9:09 PM

    Love it!!! I’ve got several pairs of tights in crazy colours and I’m starting to think I need a way to tone them down…Southampton’s not exactly at the cutting edge of fashion and a lot of people here just don’t ‘get’ why I dress the way I do!

  55. Susan

    2008-10-15 at 11:44 PM

    You must have got an idea from Isabelle Aout when you attended the same fashion show. She who brought the shredded trend.
    Though the trend came since last august, didn’t it?
    i think you shouldn’t wear the jean with the tight, it supposes to show a bit of flesh with the slice and dice style.
    the rest looks great, though a new hair style may be needed.

  56. The Shoe Girl

    2008-10-16 at 2:45 AM

    LOOOVE DIY and LOVE this look!! Nice going (as usual) You’ve inspired me to get to cutting!

  57. herfashioneye

    2008-10-16 at 3:37 PM

    Now this is COOL to the highest order well done! I absolutely LOVE it, great style!

  58. indie

    2008-10-17 at 11:18 AM

    Gosh, I’ve wanted to rip and cut something (that is useless and unused otherwise, like the lonesome black jeans you used) for months and months, and I think after this, I will really pick scissors and do something about it. Thank you thank you thank you.

  59. hek

    2008-10-17 at 12:27 PM

    Now that’s fashion!!!

  60. marie

    2008-10-17 at 1:38 PM

    no offense but rumi did a much better job on the torn leggings look.. your take on it is a bit tacky and too over the top.
    i still love reading your blog tho. cheers!

  61. susie_bubble

    2008-10-17 at 2:03 PM

    Funnily enough tacky and OTT are my fave things in the world….

  62. mara

    2008-10-18 at 8:26 PM

    hahaha! i did something similar to this one.
    but instead of ripping trousers i punctured black leggings then underneath it, i used blue leggings. it will stay longer since spandex and like materials wont fray. you can see it in my blog if you want to.

  63. marian

    2008-10-20 at 1:27 PM

    love what you did with the jeans. older singer sewing machines will stand the test of time.
    Fancy a link swap?

  64. Susie

    2008-12-12 at 10:19 AM

    Wow love this!!!

  65. Kim

    2009-01-10 at 9:57 PM

    And you(r blog)

  66. Wren

    2009-04-01 at 6:55 PM

    thats fab!
    i recently did the same with a pair of black skinnies i found in my wardrobe, cut in slits instead of chunks and wore royal blue tighs underneath with black peep toe stilletoes, looked fab!
    keep designing!
    love Wren

  67. jordans

    2009-06-24 at 3:55 AM

    i have to admit i like yours the best. haha

Leave a Comment