Living Ind

Sexy Back

by Leslie Turk

JT's jeans may be the hottest ones in mass production, but downtown Lafayette's also got a new jean shop that may soon be all the rage. Today’s blue jeans are as much about couture as comfort. Styled right, designer jeans are gaining acceptance in just about any venue, though it’s still best to exercise a little restraint to avoid sneers if you show up at a really swank party in denim. (Writer Larry McMurtry won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for Brokeback Mountain but lost on the red carpet for wearing jeans and cowboy boots.) And while you can get the best of both worlds — sexy high-fashion and traditional comfort — expect to pay for it.

The talk of the 2008 premium jeans scene is singer Justin Timberlake’s William Rast label (pictured left), created with pal Trace Ayala and offered exclusively in Lafayette at Brother’s on the Boulevard for about $190 to $230. William Rast, the first name of Timberlake’s grandfather and last name of Ayala’s, was launched in 2005 but rocketed to success after hugging the famous backsides of Cameron Diaz, Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton.

While William Rast’s various styles — a combination of modern tailoring and vintage feel — can fulfill every woman (or man’s) quest to accentuate all the right curves, local retailer Lee Angers of LA Tee Shirt and Jeanery on Jefferson Street has a concept that will all but guarantee the perfect fit: custom-tailoring. You choose the fabric — eight different denims in four of five levels of distressing. Angers then takes your measurements (everything from your inseam to the width of your knee), discusses the fit and hands the job over to her professional seamstress/designer. Expect at least two fittings before strutting out the store in the final product — only after you’ve shelled out a couple hundred bucks. The jean division of her new downtown men’s and women’s store is called Voodoo Custom Jeans, “because they fit like magic,” Angers declares. The jeans’ styling is pretty basic, and Voodoo’s emblem, a winged image actually derived from a fractal, is hand-painted anywhere the customer desires.

And while achieving the ultimate fit is the impetus for Angers’ Voodoo brand, she’s also launching a one-of-a-kind line. Commissioned by local singer Ashley Hayes (Nice Little Window) to create a pair of blues for a special performance out-of-state, Angers decided to use the design as a prototype for a new line, which will set you back a whopping $400 to $600. “Each one is going to be different,” Angers offers. “There will be no two alike in the world.”

Brother’s is located at 101 Arnould Blvd., 984-7749, ; LA Tee Shirt & Jeanery and Voodoo Custom Jeans (which is open until 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and till 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday) is located at 313 Jefferson St., 261-9691 or 412-0453, .