This week, couture fashion week happened in Paris. Ah, couture – clothes that are so exquisitely made by such skilled hands that only the super-rich can afford to just look at them, let alone buy them. You need to be MEGA-rich for an actual purchase. The likes of you and I can’t even slyly give couture clobber the side-eye without our bank manager rolling up their sleeves, wagging their finger and reminding us of our already unhealthy-looking overdraft.
So what can the normal world – those of us who scoff at a £6 glass of wine in the pub and bring our lunch in to work to pop in the microwave – ever expect to gain from all of this? Well, more than you might think, actually.
For me, fashion has never been about designer labels and spending lots of money; it’s about being inspired and putting your own spin on stuff that you like, whether that’s from looking at people on the street, or musicians, or models on the catwalk. And surprisingly, given that I’m very much a dress-down person, there was rather a lot of lovely stuff amongst the mega-bling at couture that I plan to recreate on a budget. Starting with…
1. A-lines are back – yippee!
I love A-line skirts and dresses. As a someone who would describe themselves as ‘only slightly taller than Kylie’, they suit my petite frame perfectly. Seen at Dior and Giambattista Valli (above) – I very much liked the print clashing at the latter. Head to Zara right now for a lovely leather look A-line skirt in yellow, powder blue or black for a mere £25.99.
2. Wear this season’s off-the-shoulder top under last season’s tank top
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as two trends you've already invested in colliding. Throw AW16’s tank top over SS16’s key silhouette – the off-the-shoulder top – and you’ve got a slice of Dior couture. Even better, this also works with a V-neck dress for wedding season. Bonus.
HANNAH ON: HOW TO WEAR ANKLE BOOTS
3. Ask someone’s mum to crochet you an iPhone case
At Chanel, models wore tweed suits (quelle surprise) with matching iPhone cases that were strung nattily around their waists. Some were leather, others adorned with crystals, but it was the fabric ones that caught my eye. I wonder if my friend Daisy’s mum – a dab hand with a pair of knitting needles – fancies knocking a few up. She’d do a roaring trade.
4. Dig out that snake belt you nicked from your brother in 1986
My big brother had a REALLY cool snake belt when he was about 10 and a few years later, it became mine (#handmedowns). Call me savvy, or call me a hoarder, but not only did I keep it until the height of Britpop in 1995 when I wore it with vintage flares and an adidas tracksuit top, but I SWEAR I still have it somewhere. And being elastic, I bet I can still make it fit…thanks for the reminder, Maison Margiela.
5. Do Game of Thrones-style plaits in your hair
I have always been a BIG fan of plaits (Angel from Home and Away is my hairstyle icon) so I am definitely going to try and recreate these braids from Valentino. Luckily, I have been growing out my long bob for about a year, so I’ve got the length to do it properly, too. Winning.