TikTok fashion creator Angelica Hicks has a long list of unusual materials in her arsenal: duct tape, trash bags, metallic wrappers, foil, and candy. On the app, where her profile, @angelicahacks, has amassed over 48,000 followers and grown over 4 million likes, the New York-based illustrator recreates looks from designer runways, red carpets, and magazine covers using everyday objects.
Since starting her channel in 2021, Hicks’s designs have ranged from a take on Balenciaga couture fall 2022 metallic dress, for which Hicks used foil, and a Valentino couture fall 2022 rose mini dress, which she remade using real-life flowers and tissue paper, to ready-to-wear looks, like a black-and-white ensemble from Gucci’s resort 2023 collection. According to Hicks, her projects are “a commentary on illusion versus reality… I thought it’d be funny to make it seem like I’m wearing a designer outfit, when I’m obviously not.”
The aim is to inspire people to wear elaborate fashion in everyday settings: “Fashion houses are so removed from the mundanity of life when they're making these kinds of beautiful creations.” This is why Hicks turns to some of the most common objects: multigrain crackers to remake the Louis Vuitton tank dress on Emma Corrin’s Vogue cover, a white mattress cover to recreate a Schiaparelli couture cape, and duct tape to mimic the look of Balenciaga’s Cagole boots.
While Hicks had been uploading content to TikTok since last year, it wasn’t until March 2022 that she went viral on the app, thanks to a video in which she recreated a Schiaparelli dress worn by Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Oscars. For this project, Hicks used a black top and skirt with black cardboard, and taped Ferrero Rocher wrappers to recreate the gold flowers on the original garment. As of July 2022, the video has generated over 18 million views.
Since then, she’s gotten even more creative with her projects.
When we chatted, Hicks had just finished recreating the metallic gown modeled by Nicole Kidman at the Balenciaga fall 2022 couture show. “I just got so tangled up in it [the foil],” she says. “You think it’s easy because it’s just one material, but that’s what makes it harder.” The effort paid off, though: The videos from the Balenciaga couture show have over 200,000 views and over 12,000 likes.
While the videos are a lot of work, Hicks says that these projects, which started through parody fashion illustrations, allow her to channel her personality on social media the way she’s always wanted: “I always liked being funny online.” She also loves seeing how people apply high fashion to their everyday life. Recently, she witnessed a follower using her video as a tutorial to recreate a look: “That's kind of what I want people to do because it's supposed to be fun,” she says. “It's kind of like playing dress up.”
Beyond TikTok, Hicks continues to experiment with her style by wearing her recreations out. Recently, she used a straw hat and fishnets to mimic the look of a Schiaparelli fall 2022 couture hat, which she says “was cool and it’s something that people could do.” Other times, like when she took a Carolina Herrera black gown for a spin at a local park, she says she was “embarrassed.” Still, it only takes a green light from some of her closest friends, whom she texts for content approval, to make the fashion flops worth it. “That’s all I need to get the confidence,” she says.