I'll be honest. I hate, loathe & detest fakes. All those "Gucci" or "LV" or "Calvin Klein" or "Rolex" sitting on sidewalks all over the world, whether they are sunglasses or hand bags or whatever - I hate them & I hate their peddlers.
I hate them because they dont last for more than a heartbeat & cause normal people to think less of the real thing (even when that person realised they were a fake) and I hate them because they are made and distributed by the lowest forms of life - people who are linked to organised crime, child prostitution, child slavery, inhumane working conditions and terrorism.
This post isnt intended to clue you up on how to spot fakes - if you want a post on that, just let me know - its easy for me to do.
This post is intended to show you how you can use the web to examine the top of the line clothes and accessories and use that as a guide when buying on the high street. After all, we all buy on the high street - I dont know anyone who only buys high end designer.
Lets get this clear - it is illegal to be selling those blatant fakes on the high street in Australia (& in alot of the developed countries). Blatant meanining with all those obvious logos or with deliverately misleading spelling of logos like "Prado" or "Dolce & Gabana" or "Cuggi". If only the high end retailers had the resources to chase these down.
However with the advent of the world wide web and instant live footage of fashion weeks in London, New York, Paris & Milan, it becomes easier & easier to produce something fast & similar (lets call it "inspired") even without the logo or without the deliberately misspelt logo.
In fact I use the runway footage to check out trends in clothes, jewellery, shoes, bags & belts so that when the high street has the inspired version in every second store, I can better look for the one that I think is most suitable for me & my wardrobe.
My examples as follows:
Spring Summer 2011
I loved these agate necklaces & the first place I spotted them was Milan Fashion Week SS 2011.
I have extracted photos of the purple, blue and green versions on the left below.
On the right (of the blue and green) is the inspired version.
The blue was from Lovisa reduced to $12 from $20
The green was $24 from Diva.
Both are long and adjustable, however I have pinned them short for the photo.
The green was offered first, then the blue was released. The green is a better quality in the cut and the polish/finish. I bought both for colour flexibility, as you do (at those types of prices).
Both of these stores have versions in rings, earrings etc and a combination of pieced both in real agate which is a semi precious stone (like mine) and synthetic versions.
Note: Lovisa and Diva are related stores in Australia which translate runway trends very very well at very affordable prices. I will pop in most weeks to see the new arrivals and they have a wonderful on line site.
Here is an agate rack at Myer (taken last week)
Dries Van Noten
Spring Summer 2009
Chunky metal necklace
I adored this whole collection but couldnt justify the prices.
The chunky necklace alone was $2.5K in a Sydney boutique.
Again, runway photos on the left, my loot on the right.
I found the inspired necklace (on the right) for $30 reduced from $40 in Lovisa.
Sure it isnt the same as the original & doesnt have the balls, but it has a lovely take on the ball bearings and I am happy to wear it.
In fact, they decided to mix the gold tone and silver tone into the one necklace (unlike Dries who kept the metal tones in separate pieces).....in fact, I kinda prefer mine as I have more flexibility to mix metals (especially in my chunky rings)....
I also found the original jacket on ebay for $199, oops, still has the Neiman's tag on the right side at the back...Note to Self: Snip that off.
Spring Summer 2011
Dipped silver look metal/burnished gold metal jewellery
I picked up a necklace copy by Iosselliani (an Italian brand) at Barney's Co-Op in New York late last year for $350. It was available on line until a few weeks ago when it (finally) went on sale.
I normally wear it with a higher almost crew type neckline - this Witchery top doesnt do it justice.
But I love, love, love the fact that it has mixed metals - whilst gold isnt my best metal, the gunmetal helps to correct that and allows me to mix it with other jewellery of both tones (kinda like the Dries inspired piece above).
That sort of flexibility = more mileage = more wearing = lower CPW = happy!
The interesting thing about this is that I found the Italian version before Chanel released its collection - we wont go there.
All runway photos are from style.com
My conclusion: Use the on line runway facilities to better understand what may end up on the high street. Then look around and select the best inspired versions you can find. Trust me, they'll be there by the droves. Just do me a favour and stay away from the blatant logo copies which dont promote their own brand on the packaging the item.