There’s a very limited time when someone looks adorable in ripped tights, Doc Martens, a crinoline mini and leather jacket.
Once you’re old enough that bartenders don’t bother carding you, it’s time to retire that look. Not that anyone should be relegated to shapeless skirts and cardigans, but to pull off that Madonna-1982-meets-Tinkerbell look requires a certain youth and body.
Aria (Lucy Hale) of Pretty Little Liars, airing Tuesdays on ABC Family, has that look, which she pulls off brilliantly, courtesy of costume designer Mandi Line. Aria is one of a group of high-school pals who were very close and then drifted apart when another friend went missing. Each character has a distinct style.
“She is very eclectic,” Line says. “Everything on her body is mostly one of a kind. What I do with her is some high-end (clothes). Jewelry is flea markets, old Doc Martens I have painted on. She has a lot of high-end vintage: old Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and old Vivienne Westwood.”
“She is so tiny,” Line says of Hale, who is about 5 feet 1 inch tall and a size double zero. “We cut, we sew, we alter and chop. Any time she is in a fitting, we have three pairs of scissors. She is vintage eclectic, very tactile. Everything is very textured, but really done in an elegant way, with little granny boots and fishnets.”
In the July 13 episode There’s No Place Like Homecoming, Line crafts Aria a dress “made with the base of a matte sequin dress from Bebe with a panel on (her) chest from vintage lace ISW from the ’40s,” she says. The “shoulders come from this T-shirt from H&M, and it’s very Rihanna-esque with studded shoulders. Around the waist, I found this beading from the ’60s, and I made a little belt. And underneath the dress I found this crinoline at Polkadots & Moonbeams to give it a ballerina effect.”
She wears Givenchy black onyx and silver earrings and Michael Kors shoes that are “thick, strappy and industrial looking.”
Rather than the expected fingerless gloves, her gloves have fingers with no palms. Line made her fingers-only lace gloves, held on with elastic at the base of each finger.
Line bemoans that she doesn’t have the budget she would love and must outfit everyone for $10,000 per episode, when, for instance, “Greek” had a budget of $25,000 per episode for wardrobe.
She shops at plenty of affordable stores, including vintage stores such as Wasteland and Una Mae’s. Line is also a fan of Forever 21, Macy’s and Urban Outfitters.
Not every teen needs a credit card without limit to get this look.
“This isn’t a ‘Gossip Girl,’ ” Line says. “It is attainable. It’s going to give these kids hope.”