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  • Alicia McCaslin

Pollock + Salvador: A Match Made in Stylist Heaven

Flashdance sweatshirts, cut-off denim shorts, embroidered jeans and jackets…even distressing in general all started as DIY projects before ever becoming products you could purchase. I know this since I have executed each of these projects for my own style purposes throughout the years. Without the internet at my fingertips, I was left with magazines to direct me exactly how much space to cut the slashes down the arm of my sweatshirt before putting it in the washing machine. The completion of these projects started teaching me a lot about fabrics’ inherent qualities, as well as the value of the efforts behind them.

There were definitely a few disasters along the way. The first time I cut a pair of denim jeans into shorts, for instance, taught me that there is a particular angle that achieves the desired effect. Episodes such as this may be why many would never take scissors to their favorite denim but rather choose to purchase the finished product. But what if that product is not available?

Last week I was looking for examples of the somewhat new trend in denim you’ll be seeing a lot of in the coming season…the “step” and the “stagger.” While doing my research, I came across an image that caught my attention and had me reaching for my scissors…and my paint brushes!

{Quick aside: I had already cut off the hem of a pair of cropped JBrands from my days at Hysteria to experiment with the trend and not spend more money on more denim. I look at my own wardrobe thoughtfully and as a continuous work in progress and also try and make choices based on whether I will ever wear these pieces the same way again. Finding new opportunities that reside in my closet not only extends the value of my investment but keeps me consciously aware of what feels authentic to me in lieu of trends that come and go.}

Ok, back to this look. I have grown to love the “step” and “stagger” styles in denim enough to take matters into my own hands before the first deliveries started to arrive. So not only did I take scissors to another old pair of JBrands in order to make my first pair of “step” denim, but I also decided to dig into my Tullebox for some paint and DIY my Freda Salvadors. You see, I was so taken with the shoes that I immediately started to look for them online thinking I had missed this style in past years. What I found instead was the blogger who was first to project a little Jackson Pollock with some acrylic paint to a pair of Freda’s on request from the designer team themselves, Cristina Palomo-Nelson and Megan Papay. It was this discovery that sparked me into action on my own pair of Freda Wits.

Having purchased these staple d’Orsay oxfords nearly two years ago, I decided I had a great opportunity to bring renewed energy to them. This may not be for everyone, but based on reactions to the Instagram post, there were others who were not only intrigued but enthusiastically interested in the shoes…it’s always about the shoes! One thing to keep in mind is that acrylic paint is friendly to the DIY process. In other words, you can easily remove any unwanted spatters with a delicate touch. Here is my documented DIY of transitioning my Salvadors into Pollocks.

Not everyone has the time or inclination to explore experimental style projects but the takeaway should be more of a being open to new ideas in regards to the items that you own items. There definitely takes a certain courage to create (or copy!) and a willingness to make mistakes, speaking as a perpetual art student. It’s the process of discovery that I find so enriching and will continue to examine through my own closet with any number of tools in my hand and the spirit of creation in my heart.

To see the final results in action, check out my Facebook or Instagram feed today!

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