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Dear Auntie Kiki: dollar store couture

runway inspired styling

Lessons in not giving a what and feeling fabulous from our in-house agony aunt, every month @ VAUGHAN.

Dear Auntie Kiki,

I’m crazy for couture. Paris Fashion Week gives me some great ideas for dramatic dressing, especially with this year’s showcase of high luxe accessories. But, can I really get away with anything from SS18 - and can I really pull off Schiaparelli style on a shoestring budget?

Yours Truly,

Stingy in Staten Island

Dear Stingy in Staten Island,

Paris Couture Week is for all intents and purposes, the world’s most expensive costume party.

A perennial event that allows designers loose in the crafts cupboard to express their inner ‘artist’, let’s be honest, most of it is conceptual crap.

Impossible to wear and with a price tag that only drunk Russian WAGS would fall for, couture week is all about the haves and the have nots – and if you can’t afford a five-figure papier-mâché head à la Victor & Rolf, you can count yourself lucky.

The proverbial ripple that starts the storm, looking through the catwalk shows on this season’s main stage, there was one resounding difference – the emergence of Prêt à Porter designers on the annual roster.

Good news for the consumer, bad news for the legacy of couture.

A sudden change in the status quo that has seen high profile brands like Proenza Schouler and Rotarde leave the big lights of NYC for the bitchy front row of Paris Couture Week, what these en vogue étrangers brought to the pot luck was an air of everyday wearability.

Proving that flower crowns were born on the runway – not on the festival ground, Rodarte encapsulated an ethereal aesthetic with their debut couture week RTW collection. An impressionistic ode to Robert Altman’s 3 Women, Rodarte’s French garden was the perfect setting for their collection of cinematic tulle dresses, pearl-pierced outerwear and 3D blooms in an endless summer palette of spring pastels and vivid high saturated hues.

Embellished with haberdasher’s top drawer favourites that ranged from ostrich feathers to caviar beads, Rodarte’s signature rough and smooth sense of style wasn’t lost in the anxiety of their first couture show, with perishable baby’s breath headpieces contrasted against easy rider biker boots and heavy metal hardware.

A predictive summer trend hard to turn your nose up at, everyone loves a flower crown and owns a biker jacket, too – making it a runway to real way win-win.

Obviously, Kiki mustn’t condone robbing your local florist of baby’s breath in an attempt to try this at home. Instead, go to your garden centre for a range of plastic-fantastic substitutes that won’t leave you wilting under a mid-day sun – or buy it ready-made online.

Working with what you already have, Rodarte’s ready-to-wear take on couture is the perfect blend of creativity and effortless glamour.

Start with your faux-leather biker, and adorn with cheap studs or glue-gun embellishment, then dig out last season’s tulle tutu (ripping out the lining to show your knickers, duh!) and style with one of our VAUGHAN crisp and classic silk shirts.

All that’s missing now is a pair of black leather booties, an industrial-adorned handbag, and a strut that says ‘Kerbside couture, bitches…’

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