Phuket Fashion: Distress that dress

PHUKET: When most of us think about good fashion one word comes to mind: quality. Well-made, classic pieces will always stay in our wardrobes longer, withstanding the test of time. But when it comes to some fashion trends, the emphasis away from impeccable craftsmanship might surprise you.

Distressed clothing is nothing new; we’ve all had our share of ripped jeans, and who doesn’t love a vintage worn leather bag? However, what we’ve started to see is the spread of this look to items that are usually loyal to perfection. Party and sun dresses, along with evening tops, are now being seen with frayed edges, random embellishments and decorative hand stitching. It’s becoming harder to tell whether something is brand new or a decade in the making.

The distressed trend has come a long way from college students all wearing the same commercially driven, worn-in shirt with a huge brand logo splattered across it. Instead, these typically tailored pieces have taken on a couture life of their own and the result is a detailed one-of-a-kind piece. The look is handmade and purposefully spontaneous, suggesting an array of experiences the wearer doesn’t actually have to go through. It’s as if the garment has traveled with them through time, collecting adornments and character, undergoing countless mendings to become a patchwork favorite with a personality all its own.

Unlikely patterns are haphazardly stitched together in body-conscious designs to create an organic sense of laissez faire. The buttons don’t match and aren’t even spaced correctly, implying that the wearer is easy going and unconcerned with boundaries. These bohemian-inspired items mix and match patterns and bold colors. They do pair amazingly well with fringe and thrive off layers. There is a sense of inspiration from the swinging sixties that comes through the bold geometrical patterns, and the remnants of a forgotten flower child seem to lie just underneath the peasant-like embellishments.

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Some Phuket fashionistas will go all out for this look and pull it off effortlessly. Be warned that we can’t all be so lucky and small steps will ensure that this trend works for you, not against you. One or two subtle pieces is enough to embrace the details.

If you’re the DIY type, create your own look with garments you’re tired of. A few clusters of buttons here, some random contrasting stitches there and voila! a custom embellished piece. If the unlikely patterns of this look are more your style, go for bold layers balanced with minimalist accessories. Flirt y and fun, this trend can help you relax and takes the edge off your usually structured life.

— Abby McMillan

Thai Life

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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