“Johnny Depp” Your Boots

Johnny Depp in his signature scuffed boots.

Johnny Depp in his signature scuffed boots.

As I sit down to write this, I’m laughing inside at the irony — the irony in what I’m about to do, which is rub sandpaper all over my still new Balenciaga boots  in order to make them look — old. Reverse exfoliation!

Ever since I was a teen, I’ve never felt comfortable in anything perfect, neat and hot-off-the-mannequin. To me, nothing is worse than a stiff pair of too-blue, brand-new jeans, or a crisp t-shirt, bright and devoid of fading and flaws, which conspire to make me feel so — normal. And normal just makes me uncomfortable. Way back, when Rei Kawakubo of Comme Des Garcons debuted her “Deconstructed” blazers and skirts featuring unfinished hems and an overall destroyed look, I about died. That’s me!

My perfectly beautiful Balenciaga boots, post-sandpaper.

My perfectly beautiful Balenciaga boots, post-sandpaper.

Pilled sweaters? Bring them on! Holey sweatshirts? Yes, please! Battered Levi’s? I’ll be right over!

There is definitely a trick in pulling this off, as I’m always one hole away from hobo or a fray away from Flashdance. But a little scuff here, a little cut there, and viola — imperfection never looked so good.

So out came my sandpaper and I went to town on the Balenciaga’s. Underneath that perfect shine lurks a soft, suede-like leather ready to kick life’s perfections to the curb.

Balenciaga boots, pre and post sandpaper. So much better, right?

Balenciaga boots, pre and post sandpaper. So much better, right?

I also relish the fact that every time I alter anything, it’s truly mine — no one else has it. How many times have you gazed in your closed at a pair of your shoes, a shirt, a skirt, and thought, “if only….?” Well ladies, head to the hardware store for some sandpaper and scissors, and turn your kitchen into a deconstruction site.

Next week I’ll show you how to turn an old pair of boots into open-toe booties. In the meantime, I guess it’s time to exfoliate my skin so it doesn’t match the boots. Frayed footwear is one thing, a frayed face….not so much.


4 Responses

  1. moniqueverrier@me.com'

    I once worked with an Art Director who purchased a leather bomber jacket and was dismayed when it arrived to see that it was shiny and fresh and unscathed, and quite clearly conveyed no ‘street creed’ whatsoever. After two days in the Studio using exacto knives, bestine, sand paper and other indoor tools to rough it up, he finally settled on tying it to his bumper and dragging it around behind his car for a week or two. The pavement scuffing did the job, it looked fantastic (and much more authentically ‘used’) after that!

  2. aforchette@mac.com'
    Addie-Marie Forchette

    I absolutely love both boot looks! Too bad you can’t have each look for different occasions. Or can you?

  3. Paula

    If only I had a car! I love this story Monique, thanks so much for posting. I just bought a shiny, spiky Burberry leather jacket on ebay that I am about to sandpaper too — perhaps I should drag it from Muni– much easier. xoxoxo

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