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

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