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$855 Or $49.99

One designer -- two very different price points. So is that Temperley or Target?

September 16, 2007|Melissa Magsaysay | Times Staff Writer

Call it a designer taste test. With a new cheap chic collaboration rolling out almost weekly, the question often comes to mind, how different is the real thing from the much less expensive alternative?

Alice Temperley is the latest designer to bring a high-end aesthetic to the racks of Target. Her limited edition GO line, which debuts today, is an almost verbatim translation of her boho babe collection. There are signature knit dresses, dandy ruffled capelets and cropped jodhpurs that look as if they could have walked right off the runway. A floor-length floral halter gown is almost identical to one she had in a past collection, and a Victorian ruffle front blouse has the same high neck drama as many of her high-end pieces.

But it's the $49.99 belted black sweater dress that is the most similar. It's a stylistic ringer for the $855 "Tatyana" dress in her main fall line with a deep scoop neck, detailed hem and flirty, above-the-knee length. The weight of the Target dress is much lighter, which makes it a more casual, workday piece and arguably better suited to the L.A. climate.

But then there's the fit, and that's not something you can buy at Target. The real Tatyana hugs the hips in a surprisingly flattering way, given the unforgiving nature of a knit dress. It's 100% silk instead of cotton, and is crocheted at the hem and sleeves, a pretty detail that isn't on the cheaper version. It is that little black dress with a sexy silhouette that you could wear for years to come, and for the price, you probably should.

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