I think it’s safe to say more who adore fashion also have a big appreciation for art. After all, fashion IS a form of art (just check out any high couture fashion show or observe the numerous amounts of fashion blogs infused with home decor out there). Chances are, anyone who cares how they look when they step out the door give just about the same attention to decorating the walls of their home or admiring art exhibits. Besides the very-popular printed jeans out on the market, what if we could combine denim with artwork? J Brand just proved the incredible potential with their recent collaboration with artist Rob Pruitt, but this isn’t the only great example out there. I recently discovered Dragonfly by J. Claire, which already has a hot hold on the market with some celebrity attention. These are custom hand-painted jeans—done with your choice of both denim wash and design colors. If you please, you can even send in your own jeans to be given a makeover! I recently wrote about Dragonfly by J. Claire on my own blog, and long story short, now I have a few pairs to share with all of you! Two are from her shop, and one was done on a pair of Mia & Moss jeans I reviewed recently (review here)! So here is something truly special to present to all denim fans out there…a Dragonfly by J. Claire Custom Painted Jeans review!
As mentioned in my first review, Dragonfly by J. Claire was founded by artist-turned-entreprenuer Joan Claire Smith, who always desired to be a positive inspiration. She became a certified decorative painter in 2000, and used to paint textured art on the sides of restaurants and other businesses. Several people ended up asking her where she got her resulting paint-soiled jeans, so they could get a pair for themselves! So, in 2012, Smith transferred her artwork from walls to jeans by launching Dragonfly by J Claire, after her daughter sent a letter to the Ellen DeGeneres Show, leading to a phone call back from one of the show’s producers. Her intricately hand-painted works have already gotten a ton of Hollywood attention. Selena Gomez bought two pairs, and Smith had to turn down a request to create a few pairs for grab bags given to celebrities at high-profile red carpet events, due to lack of capital. Joan Claire sources her jeans from a California company, and uses stencils or goes freehand using a soft fabric paint and a dry brush technique, layering and blending to give a “fade-in fade-out” appeal. Because of this, and her desire to stay in the designer denim market with high-end fabrics, all jeans range between $200 and $300, but Smith is working towards creating a lower price point, as well as a brick-and-mortar storefront which would offer customizations for customers’ existing items. She also wants to expand her denim line to fit a variety of body shapes. Joan Claire is inspired by her late father, who was also an artist and taught her early on about giving back to those in need. She keeps this mentality through her work with the company slogan of “Create, Inspire, Give Back.” Dragonfly by J Claire also offers t-shirts to help support creative arts programs in schools with the profits, and donates 5% of net profits to a wide variety of additional causes, such as anti-bullying campaigns, children’s cancer research, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and various human rights campaigns! She also asks customers to suggest other causes as part of her “Urban Buzz” campaign to continuously help make the world a better place.
So this review is my first of the two custom painted jeans that came directly from her shop! For each design from her swatch shop, Joan Claire offers two washes of straight leg jeans as your canvas: white or indigo, which is a dark rinse wash. One of the jeans she sent back to me was painted on an indigo pair! The wash itself appears to be a variation of the Barcelona Tile, which is on the white pair. I basically mentioned I’d like a pair in that design, and to surprise me with the second one she wanted to send. So this is it! For each, you can choose the size and inseam. The Mia & Moss pair I sent for the “personal pair” custom work was a size 27 (which fits more like a 26 on me), so Joan sent me this one in a 27 as well. It’s also a nice fit! It is slightly relaxed and the waistband could be maybe a tad tighter, but fits well. As mentioned before, I have a curvier athletic shape so sometimes the waistband is tricky for me, especially with higher cotton blends that aren’t super stretchy, and these are 92% cotton, 7% polyester and 1% spandex. So if you purchase a custom pair from Dragonfly by J. Claire, I’d say go with your size for a tight fit, or size up if you like a fitted but more relaxed fit! They are stetchy, but not too much. I wore these for about a day and a half and they didn’t stretch out, either! These are a 33″ inseam (you can choose between 29″ and 33″) which is perfect for me in straights and bootcuts, so they are just in between for wear with either heels or flats. I wore these to work, but I also look forward to hitting the up nightlife in them too! They are the perfect combo of casual enough for the day but dressy enough for the night.
Visit Dragonfly by J. Claire here to purchase a pair or browse her wide range of custom options!