The Bottom Line: If you are hoping to have stylish clothing, then this book isn't for you. However, if you simply want it to learn about using denim, it could be great.
I have to start by stating that I never ordered this book, I never wanted this book, and honestly don't understand how this book was accidentally sent to me by the book of the month club that I belong to, but as you will soon see, it is a great bit of entertainment.
DENIM BY DESIGN Denim by Design, a book written by Barb Chauncey who is an apparent victim of fashion idiocy, is a delightful guide of what not to wear. Wait, oh, this is meant to be a book of what TO wear. Apparently, I misunderstood while looking through the book.
The book itself, is very well laid out from start to finish. Barb goes through the various types of denim, how to select the appropriate denim for each project, and how to put the denim together in the best way possible to have the best results. Unfortunately, Barb fails to realize that no matter what type of denim you use, no matter how it is assembled, you can't possibly bring denim back into style in the way that she is hoping. And I am pretty sure the majority of her designs never would have been in style, not for the Mormons, not for the Hippies, and not even for the homeless. In fact, these designs are so horrible that I can envision naked homeless folk in a snowstorm telling her to give it to someone else.
PROCESS Most of the process in the book is designing items that are meant to reflect who the person wearing it is. To do this, Barb goes in to detail about how to add dazzling effects, such as beeds, gems, lace, etc. Unfortunately, it is still denim and denim no matter how much junk you add to it, isn't going to magically come back in style.
The scariest part is that Barb seems to truly believe that by throwing some lace around the back of a vest, gemming up some pretty flowers, and trimming the lines of the denim with gems and colors they are going to make the denim shine and look wonderful. Well, sometimes art is best displayed in a trash incinerator.
DESIGNS Some of the designs in the book go from the simple Lacy Vest, which features far more lace than should ever be included on any item, let alone a denim vest. This thing has lace around the shoulders, lace all the way around the trim and pretty much looks like lace threw up all over the vest.
Other items such as the denim purses aren't quite as bad. These have practical use in the modern world and could be somewhat trendy if done correctly. However, the way that she does them looks like she is trying to design denim bags to pick up groceries in. Unfortunately, she is actually trying for style.
She even includes some designs that are meant for men. However, those designs are so sad that the boys featured in them probably got beat up severely in school for wearing them and most likely their swollen faces are so scarred that you can't even really tell that they aren't girls anymore.
FEATURES Some good qualities to the book happen to the be the quality step by step instructions, a good what is needed section before each project, and of course a little breakdown about how difficult it is and how much time it is going to take in order to complete it. This of course makes projects a whole lot easier to complete.
Another good feature of the book is that there are patterns included in the back which you can use to complete the projects that much easier.