Denim DIY: Inspired by Anna Sui Spring 2013


Anna Sui sent a few looks down her Spring 2013 runway that have stuck in my mind ever since seeing the show back in September. The denim was noteworthy, especially an unforgettable denim sweetheart dress dripping with pearls. Totally over the top and amazing! I wanted to mimic the same design elements but a few steps down on the embellishment scale and ended up with a wearable denim top. All it takes it a quick trip to the crafts store and an old (or new) denim or chambray top. And there is much room for interpretation as you can add more pearls, less pearls, more gold paint, less gold paint — it”ll look good either way!

Time: 1 – 2 hours

You’ll Need: 

Denim or Chambray top

Plastic Pearls. Multiple sizes depending on desired result.

Jewelry/Fabric Glue. I love Jewel-it.


Gold Fabric Paint

Tear-Shaped Beads, and/or Droplet Pearls. Again, up to you! I based my top more loosely on Anna Sui but you can be literal.

Arrange Stencils on Shirt to form desired pattern. Apply gold fabric paint over stencils. Remove stencils and let paint dry. Give the garment at least half an hour to dry. Test by tapping lightly with finger.

After paint is dry, apply pearls along border of collar. First apply a dab of Jewel-it, then continue pearl by pearl until collar edge is covered. Give pearls over an  hour to dry. Using the same process as with beads, apply glue to blouse, and embellish with larger, tear shaped plastic beads in desired spots around top.  Or, add droplet pearls. There is opportunity to add much more embellishment. Again, I went with a less-is-more look but more-is-more pearls would be fun too.

That’s it! Make sure to dry clean denim top or delicately hand wash since the beads will not fare well in the wash.


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