Designer duds at discount prices — what we all long for. The new diffusion lines, popping up at retailers like Target and Kohl’s, can turn the most budget-conscious shopper into a fashionista.



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Fashion Fusion



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On model: Jovovich-Hawk linen vest in blue and Arabesque halter dress in multicolor, both $29.99


Our resident style guru, Liz Stein, shares the excitement over one hot, yet affordable, fashion trend: the rise of diffusion lines


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If there’s any one who likes wearing designer clothing, accessories, shoes, etc., it’s me. (Actually, love is more like it.) Not that the label really matters that much (okay, maybe it does); but there’s no denying the fact that designer clothes fit better, look better, last longer… you get the point. But let’s face it: Unless you’re Katie Holmes, the likelihood of purchasing your entire wardrobe at Neiman Marcus is slim to none.


Because we all love the way the fancy embroidery enhances the back pockets of our Sevens jeans (and boosts our confidence), and feel a tinge of pride when we catch someone eyeballing the Marc Jacobs logo on our bag, it’s probably safe to say that we’d do just about anything to land some designer duds — except pay the designer price. Generally speaking, this means long Saturday afternoons in Marshalls or TJ Maxx (where we’ll purchase slightly defective pieces) or early Sunday mornings at Woodbury Commons (where we’ll find merchandise from last season that we hope and pray will pass as this season) — and there’s nothing wrong with that. But now, we have a heavenly new option: diffusion lines.


In the past couple of years, a handful of low- and moderately-price retailers have begun to partner with high fashion designers to sell merchandise that has the luxury label without the exorbitant cost. From H&M (where we’ve snagged fantastic designs by Roberto Cavalli and Stella McCartney, to name just two) to Kohl’s (where, since the fall of ’07, shoppers have been going nuts for the much-sought-after Simply Vera Vera Wang collection) to Target (where we’ve found trendy clothing and accessories from the likes of Proenza Schouler, Luella Bartley, and Erin Fetherston), we can now buy items that are similar to — and have the same name as — what’s on the runway.


And luckily for us, the excitement has continued into 2008. One of the latest designers to team up with Target is Jovovich-Hawk, an LA-based label created by actress Milla Jovovich and designer Carmen Hawk. The Jovovich-Hawk for Target collection is part of the GO International initiative, which “provides affordable luxury from world renowned designers,” and will be available in select Target stores and on-line from March 2 through mid-April. The women’s fashion and accessories line includes dresses, blouses, jackets, miniskirts, jeans, and swimwear, ranging from $12.99 to $39.99. Other recent (and brilliant) Target collaborations are the Loeffler Randall limited-time-only and Converse One Star collections. Launched in early February, the Converse line features lifestyle- and vintage-inspired contemporary sportswear: denim, knits, wovens, graphic tees, dresses, outerwear, and of course their famous footwear (sadly, however, don’t expect to find those vintage Chuck Taylors we all love). The clothing is all priced under $50; the shoes are between $25 and $35. The Loeffler Randall Ready-To-Wear collection features elegant, seasonal shoes and handbags (clutches, satchels, totes, and ballet flats — available in patent and linen) suitable for both day and evening. The shoes are priced at a mere $29.99, while the bags range from $19.99 to $49.99; they all will be available at Target stores and at until the end of this month.


There are 12 Target stores in the Valley. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be heading straight to the car so you don’t miss this fashionista’s dream come true.


Valley Vogue On-line

Be sure to check my weekly blog for updates on other diffusion lines, including the alice + olivia collection for Payless, and much more fashion news.




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