The hefty price tags touted by the couture creations and exquisite ensembles of high-end designers make them fiscal fantasies for even the most style-obsessed fashionista. There was a time when just one insanely covetable item from Marchesa or Philip Lim would mean forgoing food and rent for the foreseeable future. Then, like an answer to a posh prayer, came the brilliant idea known as the “diffusion line.” Most commonly this is when a top-tier designer pairs with a middle-market retailer to create an affordable, yet still visionary, capsule collection – thereby saving you from the fate of becoming a hopelessly chic homeless person. These fab collabs have been gaining popularity over the last few years, resulting in a treasure trove of quality garments for the discerning dresser on a budget. Read on to discover the cream of the current crop of these trendsetting teams, just be prepared to shop til you drop – with enough capital leftover to accessorize.
White by Vera Wang at David’s Bridal. Nothing says “I’m going to live the rest of my life in happily wedded bliss” like floating down the aisle in a creation crafted by the queen of nuptials herself. The amazing news is that now you can make that fantasy a reality by choosing one of the divine frocks from Ms. Wang’s diffusion line. This season’s collection was inspired by the, sigh, glamour of Old Hollywood. Modestly priced between $728 and $1,348, it is impossible to not fall head over heels for one of these enchanting, elegant, affairs. Plus, she designs for the wedding party as well. Need we say more?
2. 3.1 Philip Lim for Target. The buzz about this cult designer’s collection for Target has grown into a collective roar with its recent release – and it’s well deserved. The bags alone are worth the hype. Full of sophisticated floral prints, skinny trousers and sparkly, fête-ready frocks, the line has caused a veritable stampede at some Target locations. With sleek looks to take you from a.m. to after-party, this is one dream team-up not to miss.
3. RACHEL by Rachel Roy for Macy’s. This elegant designer brings the class-with-an-edge attitude that makes her namesake line so covetable to her diffusion line. Her most recent creations include military-inspired pea coats, printed suits and feminine animal print dresses paired with motorcycle jackets. It’s a one-stop shop for wardrobe basics and of-the-moment trend pieces.
Catherine Malandrino for Kohl’s. Malandrino is the most recent elite designer to create a limited-edition collection for Kohl’s DesigNation, and her accessible-yet-chic looks are the best yet. The romantic, Paris-inspired line is full of graphic, black and white pairings and intricately beaded shift-dresses. Be sure to stock up on the perfectly styled lace-print tops and frocks – ideal for date night or a swanky holiday soiree.
Image via Glamour
Truly by Zac Posen for David’s Bridal. Although the line isn’t set to debut until 2014, it will be worth the wait – if Posen’s gowns are anything like his red carpet creations, they will be magical. The illustrious designer’s foray into affordable wedding-wear is bound to be both a commercial and critical success. Boldly sophisticated, sexy and distinctively glamorous, Posen’s design aesthetic lends itself perfectly to bridal gowns. The creations promise to be couture quality at a price that won’t break your budget.