How to Create a High-End Look on a Low Budget with Stylist Amia Serrano

chiconthecheap_aliceoliviaAmia Serrano is a noted fashion stylist who has styled photo shoots and editorials for numerous magazines, lookbooks, and websites, and is able to make the most mundane items sing by pairing high-priced with affordable finds. She is guest-posting today to offer her tips for getting a designer-inspired look-for-less just in time for Summer. Take it away, Amia!


Hi Chic Steals readers! My name is Amia Serrano and I’m so eager to share my great finds for you. Enjoy!

Many designer looks walk down the runway, leaving audience members and online viewers in awe, but these are already known to have a hefty price tag attached.

As a fashion stylist I often work to re-create designer-style looks, but on a real-world budget. Today I’m here to show you how to style a designer-inspired look from Alice + Olivia’s S/S 2013 Collection without breaking the bank. It mixes pops of bright color and on-trend florals: the perfect match for a Spring-meets-Summer ensemble.

Here are some affordable yet chic pieces to re-create the Alice + Olivia look for a fraction of the cost:
chiconthecheap_aliceoliviaRhinestone Cluster Stud Earrings – No need to over accessorize, so keep it subtle with these everyday studs.

Merona Women’s Trench Coat – A colored trench is a perfect way to add a pop of color to any look, especially for gloomy rainy weather.

Camellia on Club Ivory Floral Print Romper – This versatile floral dress can be worn casually or for a night out on the town.

Studded Faux Leather Wristlet – The studs outlining this handbag keeps the edge going, allowing the whole look to flow.

Embellished Spike Heels – Spikes are trending and pairing these edgy beauties with an overall feminine look goes perfectly.

This fun ensemble will take you from a a Spring day of shopping or to a fun Summer girls’ night out!

Until the next post, take advantage of this one and please do share what you find and come up with. I’d love to see them!


Thanks Amia! It was wonderful having you here. Don’t forget to leave a comment, lovely readers – did you like this feature? Want to see more Chic on the Cheap from Amia? Let me know below!!



cache_711097404 Fashion Stylist Amia Serrano has styled photo shoots and magazine editorials for publications such as Open Lab Magazine, Relapse Magazine, and Bridal Tribe Magazine. She has also worked with recording artist Mashonda to style the inaugural video of her video series #LifeStyleHer for, and Hemma Collection’s New York Fashion Week show. Working with brands such as Rehna Pendse, joe Dahan’s Seduka Jeans, and GET NYCE Clothing, her philosophy is to find great style using the resources you have.  Check her out here:

Website  /  Instagram  /  Twitter

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DIY Ideas from New York Fashion Week Spring 2011 Part 1: A-M

Whew!  That Fashion Week went by in the blink of an eye (and now we’re on top London), but I’m still collecting ideas for new projects to begin later this season and into next.  Spring?  Already?  Wha-….?

The trends on the runway were captivating; the ideas full of Spring and renewal.  Who didn’t swoon over the pastel minimalism at 3.1 Phillip Lim, the bold prints at Anna Sui, and the metallic fringe at Marchesa?  Though minimalism and fresh colors dominated, I was still inspired by the latest round of DIY possibilities.  Hit it, girls!

Alexander Wang: Embolden a pair of basic leggings with some fabric paint – just first use some painter’s tape to mask off geometric graphics.

Alice + Olivia: Thrift a diaphanous chiffon curtain and sew the vertical sides together.  Thread a ribbon through the top pocket (where the rod would go); tie at the back of the neck.  Cut off the excess bottom and slice a side-slit for an easy, springy halter dress.

Band of Outsiders: Create a contrast-y dress by adding a black collar (cut off another shirt if need be, or just by covering the dress’s existing collar in black fabric, and iron-on some black trim at the waist.

Carolina Herrera: Re-invent the LBD by adding the front of a white shirt, cut out, to it.  Create the unique belt by simply cutting the negative space out of a 2-3″-wide red belt.

Cynthia Rowley: Cut jagged pieces from gold lame (or use gold lace!) to embellish the shoulders of a simple black cocktail dress.

Donna Karan: Use black elastic straps and hand-sew them to a mini bustier.

Erin Fetherston: Use a graphic print to create a simple sheath (or find something that fits the bill off-the-rack).  Use a fabric marker to “color in” areas of the print for a bolder, eye-catching piece.

Jen Kao: Take a simple trench and dye it military-green, reserving the bottom for a dip-dye of lavender and orange sherbet.

Juan Carlos Obando: Punch large holes with a leather punch or using a pair of scissors (or even a scrapbooking punch!!) in a leather or vinyl jacket for a sultry peep-show.

Kimberly Ovitz: Cut out triangles from the sides of a sheer white blouse.

L.A.M.B.: Take a plain tote and cover side-to-side with a layer of neon yellow-green duck tape.  Add more tape (or even vinyl trim!) – this time in camel – in geometric lines across the front.

Marc by Marc Jacobs: Replace the buttons of an otherwise unremarkable blue blouse with bright orange buttons.  Tack on some khaki pockets (salvaged from an old pair of trousers or an overcoat) to a pair of dark blue pants.

Michael Kors: Cut the sides out of a python-print maillot.  Cut the top from the bottom, add a belt in the middle, and hand-stitch each end to the top and bottom of a belt buckle.  (Don’t swim in it!)

Monique Lhuillier: A bright wrap dress (dyed?) can be made edgier with pieces of black lace affixed to it strategically.

Some of these I’ll probably be doing tutorials for in the coming months.  See anything you’re just dying to know how to make?  Leave it in the comments section, and if it’s possible, I’ll make it so!

Also: Part 2 (N-Z) Coming Soon!



All photos found at  Layouts by me.

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