January 28, 2019
Designer dresses—like the ones we saw last night on the SAG Awards 2019 red carpet—can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But as one creative, resourceful mom and her darling daughter have shown, you really don't have to spend a fortune to look like a star. Alya Chaglar is a Turkish artist who recreates high-fashion outfits for her five-year-old daughter Stefani to model on their joint Instagram account. And while it looks like little Stefani is wearing fancy haute couture, her mom actually styles and creates these looks using common, inexpensive household items.
In an interview with All the Moms, Alya revealed she uses things like "paper, plastic garbage bags, [and] newspaper" to recreate celebrities' pricey fashions.
"If I need some different color paper, I get it especially for the new look," she noted. "But normally, yes, I have all those things around my house."
The mother-daughter duo started recreating stars' red carpet looks in late 2017 after Alya saw a photo of Rihanna wearing a beautiful blue Molly Goddard dress. She made a faux couture version of the dress for Stefani using plastic bags and tape. Alya then posted a side-by-side photo to Instagram of Rihanna in the real dress and Stefani in the impressive reproduction.
The post went viral, which inspired Alya to "[make] a 'dress like a celebrity' photo series," she said. Since then, Alya and Stefani have recreated the looks of stars like Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Meghan Markle, and Cardi B.
Alya told All the Moms that Stefani is "a natural poser," adding, "She definitely has a modeling talent. I show her a picture and she emulates it easily."
More than anything, though, recreating the celebrity red carpet looks is a fun activity that Alya and Stefani can do together. Alya is happy, too, that their photo series has inspired other parents to play dress up or try a new activity with their child.
"I love to read that we motivate people to create something or to spend more time with their kids," she said. "I got a lot of (direct message) comments saying that we make people smile and that is the best feedback for me."
And while we might not all be as artistic as Alya, we can still engage our kids in quality make-believe play—whether that means dressing up like a superstar, pretending to be a pirate, or anything in between. These kinds of imaginative activities are actually critical to a child's development.
As child psychologist David Elkind, Ph.D., author of The Power of Play, told Parents.com, "Imaginative play fosters creativity and helps children explore the world,"
It's important to play pretend often, too, because as Elkins put it, "Imaginations and creativity are like muscles: If you don't use them you lose them."
We don't think Alya and Stefani need to worry about that!