Balmain vs. Alice + Olivia

The Balmain military jacket as worn by Beyonce Knowles would have set you back $11,410.

Thanks to Alice + Olivia, you can purchase their shrunken military jacket with embellished details on the front and shoulders for a small fraction of the price at $550.

It’s still quite expensive for some, but that’s no doubt due to the crystals, pearls and beaded details.

Alice + Olivia also seemed to be inspired by Balmain’s Fall 2008 zebra print blazer as worn by Kim Kardashian.

It has the same print and embellished lapels, but at a fraction of the cost.

This blazer is available from Nordstorm for $495.

Unlike Bebe’s attempts to knock-off Balmain, these are much more acceptable.


Fall 2009 Runway vs. Zara Fall 2009

I’m a huge fan of Zara and their runway inspired pieces.  You can channel your inner Carine Roitfeld for under £200 in the store.

If I had £5,000 to spend on a Balmain jacket I would, but I don’t which is why I appreciate Zara so much.

Balmain is again a huge inspiration for Zara.

We can expect puffy sleeves inspired by Dolce & Gabbana.

Sharp shoulders à la Balmain.

Wool wrap coats inspired by Stella McCartney.

Like it or not over-the-knee boots are coming to the high-street. We saw these in Stella McCartney’s, Rodarte’s, Halston’s and Roberto Cavalli’s Fall 2009 shows.

Remember the advice Natalie Massenet from Net-A-Porter gave me, which was to wear these boots with an oversized sweater or blazer making sure the tops of the boots are not seen. You don’t want to end up looking like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”.

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Balmain vs. Bebe

Oops Bebe have done it again. They’ve twice been inspired by Balmain’s Fall 2009 collection.

The shimmering Bebe sequin striped party dress with a silky ruffled hem closely resembles the Balmain Fall 2009 strapless dress with a ruffled asymmetrical skirt.  Even the black straps are flowing in the same direction.


…they’ve also also been inspired to create this Bebe strapless sequin train dress which is identical to the Balmain dress presented, but the Bebe dress has a very limp train.

Not everyone can afford Balmain’s prices, but both these copies look really cheap and unappealing. The first one is OK but the second one has be the worst copy I’ve ever seen.

Credit: & Bebe

Fall 2009 Runways vs. Primark’s Fall 2009 Collection

You may remember a few months ago I did a post on Spring 2009 vs Zara’s Spring 2009 collection.

Looking at Primarks Fall 2009 collection, I couldn’t help noticing how similar many pieces are to looks on we saw on the Fall 2009 runways.

The most striking was Primark’s blue striped sequin dress (£22).

This dress bares an uncanny resemblances to the one-shouldered Balmain dress which Luisa via Roma sell for €10,773.

This wide shoulder floral tea dress (£15) is gorgeous.

The shoulders resemble both Balmain and Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2009 dresses we saw presented on the runway without the steep price tags.

I really love this dress.   In fact I prefer it to the runway looks.  I’d camp out early for this dress.

This fur coat styled with a thick black waist belt took me back to the Michael Kors Fall 2009 collection full of luxurious pieces.

The Primark coat cost £30.  The Kors coat? A whole lot more.

The sad thing is I bet these beautiful Primark pieces will fly off the shelves before we even get a chance to try them on.

Below is the rest of the Primark Fall 2009 look book which seems to be inspired by Gucci, Lanvin and Balenciaga.

What do you think?  Inspired pieces or cheap imitations?

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Rodarte vs. Bebe

Some things you just don’t try to recreate.

A Michael Jackson classic hit is a perfect example. My second example would’ve been a Rodarte dress, but Bebe have created this silk shred party dress which bears a striking resemblance to a dress from the Rodarte Spring 2009 collection.

They both have a mesh bodice, bands of silk wrapped around the bodice, and a chiffon two-tone skirt.

As always the difference is the price. The Bebe dress cost $229, whereas the Rodarte dress would probably set you back about five figures.


Marc by Marc Jacobs vs. Lipsy London

UK retailer Lipsy London have recently added this haltered Ric Rac dress figure hugging mini dress with a double bow on the front to their website.

This dress – I’m sure you will agree – holds a strong resemblance to the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2008 white dress we saw presented a few season ago.

It has the same neckline, bow and ric rac detailing but it doesn’t have the same price tag.

The Marc by Marc Jacobs dress was sold for $458/£345, but this blue Lipsy Ric Rac dress is only £65 and is also sold in black, pink, and white.


Gianfranco Ferré vs. Alice + Olivia

Back in September 2008, this black and white strapless Gianfranco Ferré dress was presented during Milan Fashion Week.

The next time we saw it, was on Anna Hathaway at the Critic Choice Awards, as we marveled at the gorgeous structured two tone piece.

The dress looks like a traditional white dress from one side, but the black side panel added a creative twist making the dress a stand out piece.

Alice + Olivia have created a similar dress, which was no doubt inspired by the Gianfranco Ferré dress. It’s strapless, black and white, has a pleated overlay and buckled belt.

I’m not sure how much the Gianfranco Ferré dress costs, but the Alice + Olivia dress only cost $367 from

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