The Emperor & I - VALENTINO - A "How To" Bring Back Your Favourite Childhood Jeans

Milan Men's Fashion Week - My Inspiration

Welcome to our online store and blog. As a barware company we toast the week behind and "The Weekend" and the week ahead !

Each Friday and Monday we invite you behind the scenes to people, places and things that inspire us. Today that's my Valentino jeans from the 80's. During the lock down, I turned on my favourite songs from back in the day to help me get in the zone and revived my favourite blue jeans from high school (see below).


Pino D' Angiò - Ma Quale Idea (1981)

While everyone was sporting their Jordache Jeans I had my Valentinos with a slight bell leg. I bought them on Old Bond Street in London, Valentino had named a store after his pug, Oliver. I bought them along with an orange jacket. For decades,  I held onto them through all my moves around the world. They always floated at the bottom of my pile of denim, even though the shape was out of style.

So during quarantine I decided to make some changes. Instead of tapering the leg or reconstructing the entire jean, I decided to use the above street style inspiration from Milan Men's Fashion Week and made it into a modern Denim Jacket. 


 The Front Pocket

I hunted high and low online for who makes the perfect Jean Jacket, not too square of an American silhouette but not to Euro tapered (as I still have my covid 15 to shed.) If it was too big I could wear a sweater underneath it and use it on the plane when traveling. 

My hunting lead me directly to Ralph Lauren & Polo. I kept thinking and wondering is this ethically design kosher? To put a Valentino Men's Jean Logo on a Polo Jean Jacket ??!! I mean had they even ever met?  I "googled" the two designers and the only photo I could find of them in the same frame is from November 3rd 2014 at the funeral of famed designer Oscar De La Renta (see below).


Designers Valentino Garavani & Ralph Lauren attending Oscar De La Renta's Funeral 

Regardless I had a vision. I continued on my design project marrying classic design with a more current silhouette. Since leaving NYC I hadn't found a tailor in Miami who had the vision I had in reimagining my classic wardrobe. But eventually I found Brickell Cleaners  in my neighbourhood.


The Interior Logo

My online purchase of the Ralph Lauren jacket arrived, and then I had to wait for my dry cleaner to open. As luck would have it, the 1st day post lock down it had opened and the seamstress was sitting there as if she knew I was coming in that day to have her make something uber special. 

The Rear View 

My initial thought was for her to unstitch each letter from the back buttocks area of the jean and to sew it on the back of the white jean jacket in a rainbow formation. I left but 30 mins later ran back, with a new idea.  I decided to keep  the essence of the old jeans and have all the letters together on the original 80's faded light blue jean background. 

The result was even better than I could have imagined.

My "New" Vintage Valentino / Polo Jean Jacket w/ Popped Collar

I came home so proud of myself that I  "whats apped" my closest childhood friends who knew me when I used to wear the Valentino jeans to say that I still had this badge of honour and friendship! 

So should you find yourself stuck back inside this winter and stores are shut, there is always a way to be inspired. Thank god for all my magazine subscriptions. Vogue is back in rotation in my mailbox among the many others! 

Plus, "Upcycling" is good for the environment. Reusing fabrics that you already have is an important step in the cycle of fashion, especially when the production of denim is one of the largest consumers of water. 

By creating new products from the existing ones in our closets, we can make a difference to shrink the waste in the fashion industry.



Enjoy Your Week and VOTE EARLY ....


1 comment

I love it! You’ve inspired me to do something with my fathers silk smoking jacket from the 40’s!

Camille October 20, 2020

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