Dressing like your favourite girl band member is taken to a new level says Emma Kimber as fashion brand Rare launch a new collection, with photographs by Kris Talikowski.
Teaming up with popular girl group The Saturdays, high street shoppers are given the chance to wear a selection of dresses designed exclusively by the band.
Rare by The Saturdays is a high street range of ten pieces: dresses, a playsuit and a waistcoat (two items for each member of the group). The most expensive dress retails at £69, a steal for the price of star style and is available in Rare’s online fashion store or in selected Topshop stores across the UK.
The girls are no strangers to Swindon style, having performed at Radio One’s Big Weekend back in May, and they'll be taking the stage at the Oasis on 2 July. Those who are lucky enough to have seen the girls perform will know that the perfectly preened and glossy style the girls possess on stage is largely down to the sexy, colourful outfits that they choose to wear.
For the five different girls, there are five different styles, each designed to flatter their different shapes. Vanessa from The Saturdays chose a more frilly style for her two pieces: “I really love huge skirts so I’ve tried to incorporate that into my designs. By having a wider skirt it really nips in my waist which I love.”
As each Saturday knows, fashion is about expressing yourself through what you choose to throw on each morning. Wearing something to boost your mood, your confidence and body in, that you feel most true to yourself in, is imperative to achieve true star style.
Mollie explains: “Our fans are so dedicated and really know us inside out so it's essential that our dresses reflect each of our personalities and that they are true to what we each wear normally!”
A modern array of metallics and purple and blue hues complete this collection pioneered by the five girls. Miniskirts, body-con fit and studs or chainmail decoration are recurrent features in this capsule collection, perhaps giving fans an insight of what the five fashionable girls will be sporting this Autumn/Winter.
But for five non-Saturdays, how do these dresses rate? Swindoners tested out the Rare by The Saturdays collection to see how they fared on the designing front.
Sarah Kimber, 17, from Peatmoor, tried on Una’s Studded Boob-Tube dress from the collection. “It’s cool for celebrities to bring out their own endorsed brands. Like the Girls Aloud fake eyelashes you can now buy, it’s nice to have something that a favourite celeb would definitely wear, because they designed or contributed towards it.”
Sarah wasn’t a huge fan of the dress, although it did grow on her throughout her trial. “It’s not something I’d usually pick out, and I’m not big on the studs. The panelled section on the front frames the stomach so for any girl larger than a size 10 I can’t imagine it would be flattering. Being a standard size 10 it fitted me quite well, but was fairly figure hugging!”
As for the rest of the sizing, the range isn’t very consistent. For the two size 12 Swindon girls, the dresses were unusually tight. Polly Leech, 17, from Rushy Platt, explains: “I always wear a size 12 and this dress (Vanessa’s navy blue dress) wouldn’t even do up on me. This would make most girls feel a bit bad about themselves and shows that the Saturdays are not really designing for anyone but girls of their own body shape.”
“These dresses are a little too short for The Saturday’s target audience I think,” says Rachael Mak, 21, from Shaw. “The styles will appeal to girls around my age, but the dresses are all really short and I think a lot of girls will shy away from them for that reason.” Rachael tried out Rochelle’s little black dress and chainmail waistcoat.
Emma Cowdry, 21, from Shaw also test drove Rochelle’s outfit but felt a little more comfortable in it than Rachael. “The dress part wasn’t right for me; the fabric felt like a wet-suit filled with water. But the waistcoat was different and although really expensive it can be put with different items. I really like Rochelle’s and Una’s styles but they are too heavy to be comfy.”
“These dresses are clubbing dresses,” says Becky Halliday, 21, from Shaw. “They are good colours and there are some good shapes but they are going out clothes, and the majority of The Saturday’s audience aren’t old enough to go out and wear these clothes! I quite like their music, but a celebrity endorsed fashion collection wouldn’t persuade me to buy; I like my own style!”
So The Saturdays as fashion designers received fairly mixed reviews from Swindon’s fashion testers. The general consensus was that the dresses suited slim body shapes and will take a confident girl to pull them off. The dresses are available at selected Topshop stores (the closest being Bath) and online on www.rarefashion.co.uk
Model photography by Kris Talikowski from top:
Sarah wears Una Studded Boobtube dress, £69
Polly wears Vanessa Ruffle Pipe Dress, £59
Vicki wears Frankie Metallic Playsuit, £45
Rachael wears Rochelle Chainmail Waistcoat, £69
and Black Dress, £35
Becky wears Mollie Peplum Dress, £35
Pictured, bottom, with The Saturdays at the Swindon Radio 1 Big Weekend, Kirsty Huber-Smith of swindonweb