There’s something rugged and sexy about frayed and ripped jeans, especially when someone can carry it off the right way. Be it actor Ranbir Kapoor in his latest Bollywood ‘item’ number Tai Tai Phiss or Sandalwood’s superstar Upendra in Super, they’ve set benchmarks when it comes to fashion off the streets, with young college goers aping their style statements.
The history of ripped jeans dates back to the bands of the 1960s and 70s, like The Ramones, who were the first celebrities to wear them. While this caught on as a fad, it didn’t make its way to the fashion runways. Instead, it became popular with the whole cliche of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, which was the motto of the 70s child. These jeans became popular with mainstream celebrities only towards the early 1990s. Actors like Julia Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Daryl Hannah and Meg Ryan often paraded in front of paparazzi at premieres and events wearing ripped jeans and T-shirts with combat boots, uncombed hair and not a spot of make-up.
While one or two Indian celebrities, like actors Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan did try to ape this trend, it didn’t end up quite as popular as it did in the west. It is only towards the end of the past decade that the Indian actors, especially the men, have sported these rugged jeans. Designer Vikram Phadnis observes, “When the fad of ripped jeans began in the west, it marked rebelliousness. Gradually, jeans makers have realised the popularity of this look, which has led to some really funky designs by the top denim labels. Today, you end up paying a lot more for a frayed pair of jeans, which shows how the trend has climbed up its way into the fashion ladder.”
Today, a lot of the women folk sport a pair of frayed or ripped jeans, especially when it comes to casual outings. Sandalwood actor Ragini Dwivedi, who considers ripped jeans to be her signature look, says, “It is very comfortable and it also has a very edgy feel to it. While a normal pair of jeans may look plain, a pair of ripped jeans can add wonders to your look.”
Another popular face in the city who loves wearing ripped jeans is model Jackie Shetty. “I think it is casual and comfortable, but it still has that spunk,” says Jackie, who recollects an incident, “I was wearing this pair of jeans once that I had torn around my knee. My mother was petrified seeing that little patch, where my knees were visible, so she stitched a little black cloth patch to it. When I saw that, it looked quite funky. The ripped and frayed look for your jeans essentially is something you can achieve at home.”
Designer Manoviraj Khosla, who owns a couple of denims that are frayed, says, “It is the best option for a casual evening out with your best friends. These are your pair of denims, but they still have that designer feel to it.” Though he maintains, “Sometimes people go over the top when it comes to ripping those jeans. These can get a bit too loud and obscene.”