The Same Dress For Less

I look at high end fashion and, just as I try to work out the costing behind cheap clothing, so I try to understand why a dress can legitimately cost £2,500. Just because something is expensive it does not mean it is well manufactured or has been ethically produced. An expensive garment may be hand finished but do you know who made it or where the fabric was produced?

I have read that some clothing labels aren’t necessarily accurate to the country of manufacture and that you can’t be sure of the country of origin unless your dress has been handmade to your measurements in the shop. Off the peg is always produced for maximum profit.

Sharon-Kavjian-by-Pamela-Hanson-for-UK-Glamour-June-2013-1-773x1024I was reminded of the enormous differences between well known haute couture brand prices and the cost of, say, myself honestly and lovingly hand making a dress here in the UK on my own using my own skills, on the way back from a long weekend in Barcelona. In the departure lounge I picked up a discarded copy of ‘Glamour Magazine‘. Pages 216 – 225 ‘Just Add Sugar‘ exhibited some beautiful but unavoidably costly summer fashion from the likes of John Rocha, Alexander McQueen and Erdem.

I could easily produce similar dresses at a fraction of the cost in a quality and fabric that would last and be just as enviable at any function. Because just as Primark means the dress is cheap, so ‘Rocha’ means the dress will be expensive. At every end of the scale, you are paying for the label. But you don’t really know what you’re paying for.

Plagiarism in clothing design is a very murky area but unless you are trying to profit from copying someone’s design exactly or deceiving someone by passing it off as the original article you cannot be charged with any criminal offence.

And if a client comes to me (as has happened in the past) and asks me to make a copy of a dress they have seen then I will do it. The dress will never be an exact copy because fabrics are different, the finish will be different and it won’t have the designers logo on it.

Essentially couture fashion ranges are there to inspire, to be drawn down to high street level, to be made affordable by the general public. Because it is only a tiny minority who can afford to pay for fashion at these prices.

And whilst you may be proud and feel a million dollars in your £2000 Dior playsuit, how would you feel if you had modelled for your dress every step of the way as it was created by your very own designer?


Beautiful fashion at a price. McQueen won’t even reveal the cost on this one but the shoes are nearly £700 a piece.


This outfit will set you back over £2000.


Beautiful simple lines in luschious fabrics at £500 from Armani.


Designer fun from Dior.

All images are taken from the blog Love to Life and Beauty. Check it out


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