It Is To D.I.Y. For

Valentino Fall 2019 Couture
Photo: Vogue.com

As recent runways have proved, it is all about the artisanal and the handmade. But that generally comes with a hefty price tag, especially where haute couture is concerned. As it turns out, some of the most coveted items seen on recent runways, and in the market, are easy to replicate. If you apply a little DIY creativity, you will not only customize to your specifications, you will save money.

The fall 2019 Valentino Couture collection was extravagant, colorful, and individual. Exuberant knitwear was emphasized. Now that the weather is turning chilly, these elements look even more enticing. If you love Pierpaolo Piccioli’s thick woolen fringed hats, want to re-create your own, check out Loopy Mango, knitwear, and DIY brand founded in NYC in 2004.

Hat made from Loopy Mango DIY kit
Photo by Loopy Mango

Their big loop yarn is produced at their mill in Key Largo, Florida, using 100% domestic merino wool. Every ball is handcrafted by their artisans. With their beginner-friendly DIY KITS, anyone can make luxury accessories and home décor items in a matter of a few hours, if not minutes.

The Loop Hat DIY Kit contains one ball of the Loopy Mango Merino No. 5 yarn, and the pattern. If you want the knitting needles, it costs $57 and minus the needles $39. More info/purchase

Gucci Spring 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Vogue.com

Alessandro Michele’s accessories always steal the show. One recurring item for spring was the oversized plastic link, eyeglass holders. They were shown throughout the collection in black and off white, for both men and women.

Black plastic stanchion chains used for crowd control

The hefty chains are eye-catching, statement-making, and functional. They will be sold with the matching oversized sunglasses, and when they hit the stores in a few months, will likely cost close to $1000.

Perhaps you already have several pairs of sunglasses you love, and all you need is the chain. Look no further than the familiar, lightweight, waterproof plastic chains most commonly used for crowd control along with the matching posts. They are readily available at many hardware stores, including Home Depot, as well as online.

Georgia Expo sells a 2-inch plastic stanchion chain in both black and white. They are priced at $1.99 per foot. You will need at least 30 inches to replicate the Gucci chain and more if you want to make it long enough to double around your neck. If you call 1- 800 433 9767, you can specify what length you need, and they will cut to order. Then, all you have to do is get the small rubber and metal eyeglass holder ends, which are also readily available online. These are usually sold in bulk, but I found a seller on Etsy who sells 4 pieces for $5.00. More info/purchase

Balenciaga Scarf Bag

Balenciaga’s ‘Classic City’ tote features a silk-twill logo-printed scarf on the handle and sells for $2050. The scarf bag is the new ‘It’ accessory, but there is no reason to out and buy a bag with the scarf already attached. It’s much cooler and much more personal to fashion your own.

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Undoubtedly, you already own many coveted handbags and patterned silk scarves. Take one of your scarves and wrap it around the handle or attach it and let the ends fall. This always looks chic, and it is an easy way to add a bit of pizzazz to any outfit.

Marine Serre Spring 2019 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: Vogue.com

Marine Serre strictly follows environmental practices; 50 percent of her collection is made from upcycled materials. Inspired by her grandfather’s key fob collection, she decorated a black opera coat with vintage key fobs. Why not take a favored coat or jacket and use it as a base to personalize by decorating with anything you especially love?.

Gucci Boots

Lace-up shoes and boots are all over the runways and all over the market. There is no quicker way to change the entire look of your footwear than by merely changing the color of the laces. I especially like the way contrasting laces look. It makes a big difference and should only set you back about $3.00.

Off-White Spring 2019 Ready-to-Wear trainers

Off-White sneakers and trainers have reached cult status. Virgil Abloh’s iterations are instantly recognizable thanks to the signature red zip tie looped through one eyelet. These black and white low top trainers sell for $690.

Zip tie

Perhaps you already have the perfect trainers and don’t need to buy anymore, but you like the idea of the off-beat red accessory. All you have to do to create a facsimile is to buy the separate red zip tie. While these are usually sold in bulk online, I found a seller on eBay who is selling them for $5.00.

By the way, the presumption that sneakers are dead is preposterous. That is like saying leopard is passé, or black and white is over. Retailers want you to spend money on the next new thing, but sneakers are now a classic. Spring may not be a “sneaker season” per se, but they are a mainstay in everyone’s wardrobe, and they are not going anywhere. Nothing can replace them.

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Marilyn Kirschner
Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

1 Comment
  1. Hi Marilyn…great seeing you at Man Vin. I love your ideas here. I especially love that loopy knit hat & scarf. I am ordering the kit. I haven’t knit for years but I do know how to, so I guess it will come back.
    You are so clever!!!
    Best
    Elaine
    Vintage With A Twist

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