High Fashion, College Wallet: Saint Laurent

As the return of grunge has been appearing from every hipster in Williamsburg to most students in the Village, one high fashion house seems to have taken the most literal approach to welcoming the nostalgic 90s. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Gala at the beginning of the year took a hint at the swinging pendulum of fashion trends with its exhibit “Punk: Chaos to Couture”. While grunge was an evolution of the punk movement, it is evidently present in today’s world of street goers and couture labels. Saint Laurent’s grunge-inspired Fall/Winter 2013 Collection was a shock to many viewers as it was perceived, in Vogue’s Hamish Bowles’ words, as “a tad too literal” and “at times a little too contemporary market on the runway.”

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Via Vogue.com

While Bowles’ statement definitely holds much truth, it makes this season’s Saint Laurent looks easy steals for those of us on a budget. Perhaps the most street-worthy outfit was that of a tartan frock with a cute peter pan collar and simple neck tie. Finished with a pair of jeweled tights and studded, strappy leather boots, the classic look with a modern twist oozes street wear and affordability.

When pulling off this grunge look, it’s easy to get wrapped up in accessorizing with necklaces, bracelets, and rings galore, but let the outfit speak for itself with its plethora of studs, plaid print, and overall playfulness.

To almost perfectly mirror Saint Laurent’s baby doll frock, Urban Outfitter’s Coincidence & Chance dress is a definite salute to the house at $59. Adorned with an ASOS Chiffon Bow Neck Tie at just under $15, Hamish Bowles himself may not be able to tell the difference.

For the final touch on the dress, a zipper belt to mirror the empire waistline trim is ideal but almost impossible to find at a reasonable price. Instead, rock a slim studded belt that will match Necessary Clothing’s Harper Short Boot at $45. These studded belts can be found anywhere from Forever 21 to Beacon’s Closet to the local Goodwill, but make sure to match the color of the studs to that of your boots because mixing hardware can be the type of statement you don’t want to make.

Find Zara’s Studded Tights at $17 to mimic the bedazzled style of the house’s high fashion tights. Jeweled  versions of these are pretty exclusive to couture labels and prices, so another subtle studded accessory won’t hurt in tying the look together.

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(Click for larger view)

As with any grunge outfit, DIY projects are definitely a plus in adding to the power of the statement making era. To truly pull off the runway look with your own personal handiwork, take a chance and add your own DIY zipper belt. With this helpful tutorial, anyone can style the accessory in their own way. Stick to a thin, one layer belt, however, so not to overpower the silhouette of the frock.

For another DIY moment, make your own Saint Laurent bedazzled tights in a homemade glitter version. This simple video shows the easiest form of the project, and with some matching silver glitter, instead of gold as the video suggests, the shine from the runway can transcend to the street.

To keep up with the latest trends, any raw, underground look is definitely an homage to the grunge of the 90s. The looks are rather comfortable but also stylish in their own messy, rebellious way which alleviates much of the pain on our wallets to match the runway. So finally, thank Saint Laurent’s head designer Hedi Slimane for making this season’s runway to street transformation as easy as can be.

David Bologna is a staff writer. Email him at bstyle@nyunews.com.

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