When former beauty Queen Olivia Culpo launched her debut ‘Olivia Culpo X Pretty Little Thing’ collection, the media was buzzing. Aged just 20 when she won Miss USA, the former beauty queen turned actress, model and TV Presenter knows a thing or two about fashion. With over 2.1 Million followers on Instagram and a verified account on Twitter, Olivia Culpo’s social media prowess makes her the perfect candidate for popular fashion brand Pretty Little Thing, who merge the line between ‘affordability’ and ‘quality trend led purchases’, giving you more ‘bargain for your buck’. As Culpo stated in an interview, despite her love of ‘designer brands’, she loved collaborating with Pretty Little thing because it allowed her to create a collection that would not just appeal to celebrities but a mainstream audience too. With prices varying between £5-£60, Olivia Culpo lends her ‘experimental street style’ flavour to the collection, with a signature PLT stamp that its audience knows and loves.
Inspired by ‘Mediterranean glamour’, the Olivia Culpo X Pretty Little Thing collection features six key trends: Black Floral Velvet, Ruffles, White Lace, Ruching and Cold Shoulder detailing. With undertones of a ‘Spanish Novella’ interwoven with opulence and grandeur, the selling point of the collection lies in its ‘key pieces’ ability to transcend any social occasion. There are white lace midi dresses, that when cinched in with a patent belt, becomes an ideal outfit for a christening, whereas the black sequin cold shoulder playsuit is undoubtedly suited to social occasions like New Year, Christmas and nights out on the town. And Culpo’s ability to collaborate with PLT to create an affordable and varied collection is not the only party trick that Culpo pulls out. Oh no. The Olivia Culpo X Pretty Little Thing debut launch also celebrates challenging your personal ‘perception of style’, with high waisted wide leg trousers, ruffle flameno co-ords and PVC vinyl, all trends which are considered difficult to pull off, but the results are oddly satisfying.
To test out the collection and challenge my own ‘colour led, matchy matchy, 50’s meets 70’s style’, I chose six key trends that have not been shown on the blog before, in order to create looks that are still ‘me’ but a little different to what I would normally wear. From high waisted wide legged trousers-yes I know I never wear trousers- to experimenting with white lace and ruffles, Culpo’s collection has showed me that sometimes, just sometimes subverting away from your ‘normative style’ and trying something new will not necessarily yield negative results. But what trend mediated by Culpo, would I actually integrate into my personal style?
The Spanish Senorita: White Lace Ruffle Dress
Spanning over 500 years, the ‘ruffle trend’ might have regained popularity in 2017, but it’s origins are rooted in 16th Century Nobility, where royals and privileged noblemen and women would wear ‘ruffles’ as a symbol of their status and wealth. Today ‘ruffles’ are a mainstay on ‘summer and spring catwalks’ with their Spanish/ Flamenco flair but have seen a recent surge in popularity during cooler months too. To style during ‘cooler months’ simply pair the ruffle dress with nude invisible tights, a thick A-Line coat and a pair of winter clothes, for opulent layering that ticks all the boxes. The peekaboo cut outs stop the white lace from appearing to be too mature, while the tiered ruffled skirt adds dimension and shape to the overall look. While ruffles don’t necessarily have to be designed with the white lace trend in mind, white lace ruffles do pay a touching homage to predecessors love of ‘ruffle collars’. Except instead of being an ‘exclusive members club’ , ruffles are thankfully far more inclusive in the 21st Century.
Shop The Olivia Culpo X Pretty Little Thing White Lace Ruffle Dress Look
Shop White Lace Ruffle Dresses
The Disco Queen: Cold Shoulder Sequin Playsuit
The 80’s were known as being the ‘disco decade’ and stars like Madonna pioneered key 80’s trends like Neon Brights, permed hair and of course the trusty leg warmers. But a more stylish component of the 80’s were sequins, which women and men would wear to get their ‘freak on’ down at the disco. The decadence of the iridescent sequins as they glinted underneath the disco lights were a sure fire tactic to go on the pull and was as much an aesthetic choice as it was a tactic to draw attention. The saying goes that magpies are attracted to ‘shiny things’ and as humans it is only natural that we too become the ‘mating magpies’ circling our potential lovers in our incandescent sequins. While sequins might have been popular in the 80’s, its actual origins pre-date to the 2500BC in Ancient Kot Diji culture, where they were used to symbolize wealth and power.
Today sequins are undoubtedly more decorative and remain popular with festival goers, for nights out and special occasions like New Year and Christmas day.
Shop The Olivia Culpo X Pretty Little Thing Black Sequin Cold Shoulder Look
Shop Sequinned Goodies Part I
Sequinned Goodies Part II
Shop Sequinned Goodies Part III
The Christening Guest: White Lace Midi Dress
As the colour white from a psychological perspective equates to purity, innocence, wholeness and completion,its association with Christenings is far from coincidental. Not being particularly religious myself I have never been baptized or believe in a God, although its interesting to read more about why white and lace are used at weddings. Of course you guessed it, to denote the purity of the baby/child/ adult’s immortal soul (from a non-Calvinist/Evangelical perspective). So if you are a guest and want to wear white, regardless of your religious convictions or lack thereof, white is a fitting colour for attire that is suitable as a christening guest. Naturally lace is a popular choice for christenings too but if you don’t have any christenings coming up don’t worry because a white lace midi dress is a must need for any social occasion. Got a garden party? Check! Have you decided to move to Spain? Check.
Shop The The Olivia Culpo X Pretty Little Thing White Lace Midi Dress Look
Shop White Lace
The Alternative Lady: High Waisted Trousers
I was never one for ‘wide legged trousers’ as I am petite and prefer more streamlined, tailored trousers and jeans which suit my frame more. However for those who are taller than me, wide legged trousers can elongate your frame and make an alternative night out choice that is as comfy as it is stylish. Unfortunately on me wide legged trousers are far too long, but the camera did a pretty good job at making it look like it was swamping me less than it actually was. Sadly in real life I have to face it wide legged trousers are definitely not made with petite people in mind, but it’s ok. I just need to eat some magic beans and grow until I am at least 5 ft 7 LOL. But for those of you who are taller than me, feel free to add wide legged trousers to your basket and pair with a crop top, a jumper or even a colourful turtleneck to add some colour to the white high waisted wide legged trousers.
Shop The White Legged Trouser Look
Shop Wide Legged Trousers
The Black Velvet Trend Part I: Ruching
The 1870’s might have used ruching, to gather gown fabric, but the spring/summer catwalk 2017, brought back ruching in a modern and inspired way. Bodycon dresses were ruched to give an illusion of an hourglass shape, while fabrics like velvet,where ruched so that the heaviness of the fabric would cling to the body in a flattering manner. Marni, Versace and Preen spring 2017 fashion shows, all showed how ruching could be applied to ‘everyday wear’ through drawstring ruching , but Culpo decided to ‘simply gather fabric’, to differentiate her collection from the seasonal catwalk trend reports. Admirable really considering velvet is a difficult material to work with but Culpo still managed to add the ‘Mediterranean flair’ to the ‘black velvet dresses’ by creating a rose print which runs throughout the collection.
Shop The Ruched Black Velvet Dress Look
Shop ‘Ruched Goodies’
The Black Velvet Trend Part 2: Assymetrical
Like all good trends, the asymmetrical hem traces back to the Victorian era, where it was known as a ‘fishtail’, although it was also popular during the twenties, thirties and briefly in 2012 as well. In 2017, the asymmetrical trend had an overhaul and as evidenced by Culpo’s black velvet asymmetric dress, no longer is it a fishtail/waterfall or bubble hem, instead the asymmetric design is more comparative to a ‘wrap’ making it more flattering on the figure. With this particular dress be careful with sizing as my normal size proved to be a bit big in the chest area, so go a size up if need be.
Shop The Asymmetrical Hem Look
Shop Asymmetrical Goodies
The Results Are In: I was a little intimidated by the high waisted trousers, mainly because I am only 5 ft 4 and the trousers, even with heels swamped me but the black sequin playsuit and the white lace/ruffle trend are outfit combinations that I will gladly make room for in my voluminous wardrobe. I love how the sequin playsuit offered me an alternative night out option that would allow me to dance but still be my dressed up self, whereas the white lace ruffle dress, added contained volume and interest to my look, that was still attuned to my signature personal style.
What Is Your Favourite Piece From The Olivia Culpo Collection?
Please note I was given PR samples in exchange for this post but I was not given monetary compensation. This does not affect my post and all thoughts and research are my own.