by Carly J. Cais, Fashion Designer & ChicSteals blog
As a designer - my line is RIVETED Clothing & Accessories - I've developed an eye for style over the years, and an appreciation for the fact that sometimes, designer pricetags can be downright scary. While life necessitates a splurge once in a while on that can't-live-without-it fabulous item, much of the fun of fashion is mixing high with low to create outfits that are creative, and also budget-friendly.
This spring/summer, channel your inner artiste and look runway-chic on a DIY budget with these picks that require more creativity than cash:
BREAK OUT THE PAINTS The spring Dolce & Gabbana collection was awash in brush strokes and handpainted details which are do'able, even for even the most artistically challenged...if you can wield a paintbrush, you can make your own one-of-a-kind ensemble. Find a light-colored shift or sheath dress with minimal detailing (try one from Gap.com for under $100) and stock up on fabric paints like Dye Na Flow Jacquard paints in painterly hues of black, cerulean blue, and midnight blue for $3 each at DickBlick.com. How To: Lay the dress flat, front-side up. To prevent any dye bleeding through to the back, try tucking some cardboard inside. Using a wide, dry brush, stroke color onto the front of the dress in any pattern that catches your fancy and leave to dry. Repeat on the back. Set the dye according to the directions, et voila...cinch with a thin neon-hued belt and step out in one-of-a-kind style. (runway photos: style.com)
HEAVY METAL The edgy Harlech studded belt from Burberry Prorsum S/S '08 collection would give even the most straight-laced outfit some edge. In lieu of spending almost $1000, make your own version for a fraction of the price with an inexpensive belt, some decorative buttons, and a plastic side-release buckle from Michaels or JoAnn Fabric for under $15. For additional flair, add some pyramid studs from StudsAndSpikes.com, and secure everything with a hardcore adhesive like Loctite Vinyl, Plastic & Fabric Adhesive (or whatever glue is most appropriate for your choice of materials). The finished product? Original, punky, and utterly fab over a black trench or that loose top in desperate need of a makeover. (photo: style.com)
A BED OF ROSES While a tad over-the-top for, say, running errands, these Junko Shimada shoes are like lovely flower baskets for your feet. To get the look, pick up some inexpensive nude wedge sandals (try Payless, Go Jane, Target, Dorothy Perkins, Charlotte Russe, Topshop) with an earthy or natural vibe such as bamboo or jute espadrille. Using faux flowers from the craft store (Michaels; JoAnn Fabric), cut and attach to the undersides of the straps with a glue gun. Keep them from rubbing with a strip of moleskin. For maximum impact, wear with a breezy frock or sassy short shorts. (images: elle.com)
DRAW OUTSIDE THE LINES True, it's been the talk of the town this season with a wait list longer than Canada, but the Prada Fairy Bag also comes with artwork and a pricetag ($2200+ ) that appeal but to a select few - not to mention the fact that if water touches it at all, the color actually bleeds (for a closer look, click on the image to enlarge it). Starting with a white leather-look bag, transfer the outlines of your design using carbon paper and fix them with a permanent laundry marker, a Sharpie, or even nail polish (in which case, keep your bag away from the acetone...but you already knew that). For artwork ideas and inspiration, check out Creative Image Licensing. (images: Prada Fairy bag - Luxist; closeup of ink running - The Purse Blog; Creative Image Licensing)
If there are any high-priced pieces you'd like me to find similar, less costly versions of, please email me at carlyjcais AT fashiontribes DOT com. 'Til next week, fellow bargain-hunters!
- Carly J. Cais
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