For What’s It Worth

Proenza Schouler red crepe shirt dress, Right:  Zara red poplin v- neck self-belted A-line shirt dress
Left: Proenza Schouler red crepe shirt dress, $1090 Right: Zara red poplin v- neck self-belted A-line shirt dress, $89.90

High fashion undeniably comes with astronomically high prices. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t bargains to be found. And who amongst us doesn’t love a bargain? Once again, I have selected an item in the market, and showed the high priced version alongside its (far) less expensive doppelganger (or reasonable facsimile).

Will the quality, workmanship, fabrication, and detailing of the latter be on par with the former? Probably not, but then again, there are times when it is and in many cases, the differences are minuscule, barely discernible, discernible only to those with the most well trained eye, and not enough of a negative to outweigh the positive (the price tag). In some cases, I actually prefer the less expensive version and not just because of the price but by virtue of its design, size, etc. Let’s face it; most of us can’t afford not to take cost into consideration. And anyway, it’s all about mixing high and low.

Roberto Cavalli leopard printed shopper, $608. Right: Zara quilted leopard printed shopper, $49.90

Left: Roberto Cavalli leopard printed shopper, $608. Right: Zara quilted leopard printed shopper, $49.90.

Haney “Jackie” open-back sequined mini dress, $2200.  Right: Zara black shimmer blazer dress with self-belt

Left: Haney “Jackie” open-back sequined mini dress, $2200. Right: Zara black shimmer blazer dress with self-belt, $89.90.

Gucci printed-cotton canvas parka, $3600.  Right: Zara tan cotton twill jacket with pockets

Left: Gucci printed-cotton canvas parka, $3600. Right: Zara tan cotton twill jacket with pockets, $49.90.

Olympia Le-Tan Basquiat Crown Hotel artwork book clutch bag, $2317. Right: Loqi Jean-Michel Basquiat Skull Bag

Left: Olympia Le-Tan Basquiat Crown Hotel artwork book clutch bag, $2317. Right: Loqi Jean-Michel Basquiat Skull Bag, $12.95.

Schiaparelli shocking pink draped half zip midi dress, $5500.  Right: Zara shocking pink pleated maxi dress

Left: Schiaparelli shocking pink draped half zip midi dress, $5500. Right: Zara shocking pink pleated maxi dress, $59.90.

Left: Yves Saint Laurent iconic 1980’s “Opium” gold metal tassel minaudiere box bag, $1601. Right: Zara Special Edition embossed gold handbag, $49.90.

Fashion, Chanel 1990’s lipstick red tweed jacket, $3200. Right: Zara jewel button lipstick red tweed jacket

Left: Chanel 1990’s lipstick red tweed jacket, $3200. Right: Zara jewel button lipstick red tweed jacket, $149.

If all but one of the inexpensive pieces are from Zara; that was unintentional but given how in sync they are with the pulse of fashion, and how successful they are with creating affordable fashion, it shouldn’t be that surprising. Case in point, at the LOOT Opening Benefit at the Museum of Arts and Design last Monday evening, one attendee, Ailey Durham looked smashing in a black tuxedo inspired ensemble accessorized with a Marni bag and Zara’s colorful statement making earrings. They couldn’t have cost more than $20 but easily held their own with the one-of-a-kind, far more pricey pieces for sale at the 5 day exhibition.

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Marilyn Kirschner

I AM A LONG TIME FASHION EDITOR WITH 45 YEARS PLUS EXPERIENCE. AS SENIOR MARKET EDITOR OF HARPER'S BAZAAR FOR 21 YEARS I MET AND WORKED WITH EVERY MAJOR FASHION DESIGNER IN THE WORLD AND COVERED ALL THE MAJOR COLLECTIONS (INCLUDING HAUTE COUTURE) IN NEW YORK, PARIS, MILAN, AND LONDON. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories. AS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF LOOKONLINE, I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO USE MY TRAINED EYE, MY WRITING SKILLS, AND PHOTOGRAPHY.

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