A tale of two dresses

September 13, 2010: 3:00 AM ET

For frugal sartorialists, the prospect of low-priced goods from high-end designers is tantalizing: a Vera Wang dress for $68, a Christian Siriano clutch for $40. But as prices plummet, does quality suffer? And if you can really make it for $40, what's so special about the designer version? For answers, we took a dress from high-end label Vena Cava's main line and one from its 2009 Gap collection and asked designers Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai to explain the differences.

By JP Mangalindan

Back to: 7 designers who've gone 'cheap chic'

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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