Instead of dashing off to Barneys, make a beeline for your local Target or Urban Outfitters, where top-tier designers are creating special lower-priced lines. Check out our favorite chic-on-the-cheap collaborations here.
Jonathan Saunders for Target: The latest buzz-worthy designer to throw his hat into the GO International ring, Saunders' punchy British style is translated into body-hugging sweater dresses and vibrant colorblock and ombre pieces for fall. The colors are cheerful, and so are the prices: Most retail for under $40.
Alice McCall for Topshop: Talk about friendly foreign relations: Top Aussie designer partners with a British retailer now available in the US of A. Look for playful pieces inspired by '80s-era video games... meaning fun graphic prints, not Mario's red overalls.
Hawks by Geren Ford: Starlet favorite Geren Ford's line for Urban Outfitters -- priced at $158 and under -- features easy-chic pieces in a palette of dark hues. Our picks: The flirty black Ruffle Tank and the boyish striped Button Sweater.
Anya Hindmarch for Target: This luxury handbag designer counts Angelina Jolie as a devotee. In other words, be prepared to wrestle with Shiloh and Zahara as you make a mad dash for Hindmarch's $50-and-under shoulder bags (we love the blue version) and python satchels.
Norma Kamali for Wal-Mart: Norma Kamali for $15? Get the smelling salts! The collaboration between the legendary womenswear designer and the mass discount chain sounded unlikely at first, but the dirt-cheap classic jersey tank dresses, striped henleys, and batwing cardigans prove this is a perfect match.
Play by C. Ronson: Can't shell out for Charlotte Ronson's downtown-girl designer duds? No sweat. Her Play line for Urban Outfitters has that same indie-cool vibe, minus the big-ticket price tags. Standouts include a gray Ruffle Neck Dress and a slouchy Intarsia Cardigan.
Sergio Rossi x PUMA: Running in heels? Pretty tricky. Running in high-end shoe designer Sergio Rossi's sleek PUMA sneaker heels, however, might just be doable. They aren't out until spring '09, so, slip into Alexander McQueen's PUMA line while you wait.
Comme des Garcons for H&M: This avant-garde line is "comme-ing" to an H&M near you on November 13th. Given the buzz on designer Rei Kawakubo's polka-dot-crazed collection for the store, we recommend getting there early and putting on your game face if you want to fight off the crowds for the best goods.
Tara Subkoff for Bebe: Tara Subkoff of Imitation of Christ fame has followed up her Naturalizer collaboration with a line for the trendy Bebe brand. Priced from $34 for a locket necklace to $259 for a flowing gown, Subkoff's designs are heavy on bows and sexy cuts.
The bad news? The economy appears about as doomed as Kenny in a "South Park" episode. The good news? Even in this time of bailouts, you don't have to bail on big-name designer labels.
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