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Yes, doggy haute couture is a thing…and it’s fabulous

They say there’s no love like the love of a dog, so why not lavish yours with the best money can buy? And there are plenty of designers who have launched dog apparel lines for the beloved pooches of the well-heeled. High-end dog groomers advise clients to go custom made for that perfectly tailored doggy look, but we decided to focus on the most coveted brands. And we also ignored the plethora of knockoff designer doggyware that abounds. Here’s our expert opinion on where to shop if you want to spoil a pooch who has a taste for the high life.

7. Gucci/Louis Vuitton – TIE

We dreamt of the outrageous: ruffles, feathers, fur, bling, and, by God, more bling, but Gucci and Vuitton’s classic collars convinced us of the sheer goodness of simplicity. Gucci’s line sports dangling bows that bring us straight back to childhood evenings spent in the park playing with Fido, while Louie Vuitton gets no fancier than a sedate tuxedo-inspired collar that makes Puggie look like a debonair butler. Still, though, a tiny part of us lusts for glitter, for gold, for glory.

6. Goyard

If we’re going to spend big, we want to spend like the ridiculously rich and fabulously famous. Celebrity dog groomer, Jorge Bendersky, who says he counts Ralph Lauren’s dog among his clients, let us know Goyard is all the rage among the high flying. Goyard prides itself on being oh-so-exclusive, the secret of the in-crowd, but we were slightly frightened by the spiked collar with fur accents. And while we like the idea of customizable collars, seeing them displayed in a case reminds us of bracelet stalls at the mall. 

5. Kate Spade

For the rest of the world, 2013 was the year of the snake. For Kate Spade, it was the year of the dog, with its launch of a new product line featuring parkas and raincoats for the furry. Was there ever a time when dogs wanted to roam through parks and yards bare-skinned? Perish the thought: who would want to when they could tuck a hood about their ears? We whipped out our wallets, but it seems like the line has been discontinued. Kate Spade didn’t return our calls, but we say bring it back. Also, can we get the black and white parka they made in human sizes?

4. Ralph Lauren

Speaking of Ralph Lauren…the designer is devoted to expanding every dog’s wardrobe: turtleneck sweaters, personalized polos, a yellow slicker complete with a belt and hood. Why worry about what the Joneses are wearing when Fido sports the inimitable Lauren? Of course, now the pressure is on to make sure Fido doesn’t outclass you.

3. Roberto Cavalli

Ah, for a life where the bathtubs are filled with milk and roses, the cakes are gilded with gold, and your pooch is decked out in a plush white bathrobe with leopard accents. Roberto Cavalli made this happen—the bathrobe that is, and that’s really all we care about. When bath time is over and it’s time for a bathroom break in the park, Robert Cavalli still had Fluffy covered with a tracksuit that screamed luxury. It appears the line has been discontinued, but the designer didn’t respond to our inquiries. 

2. Vivienne Westwood

One word: diamonds. Now a moment of silence to contemplate the $5,000 razzle-dazzle of a spring jacket. A puppy might find beauty painful in this bridle of diamonds and sapphires, but why worry when your darling will be the brightest spot in the room? For quieter moments, consider Westwood’s line of waistcoats bristling with pockets, straps, and buckles galore, but really, it’s about diamonds, because when you have dogs draped in diamonds, who needs best friends anymore? Sadly the diamond jacket seems to be a relic of the past, and Westwood didn’t call us back to confirm. 

1. Burberry

Who isn’t prone to fantasies of being a nattily kitted-out Sherlock Holmes-cum-James Bond, which of course, demands that the trusty sidekick is dressed up to match. Burberry’s pet apparel line filled that gaping hole in our hearts with soft flannels, sleek plaid cover-ups, and crisp trench coats aplenty. Unfortunately, Burberry discontinued the line in 2009, and doggie trench coats are now vintage and hard to come by. But that’s why we have eBay.