You love the luxe look of Donna Karan's clothes but not the $500 to $2,500 price tags.
Does that mean you have to forgo high style clothes? Not at all.
If you know your way around a sewing machine you can have that Ralph Lauren jacket or Donna Karan suit -- albeit without the designer's fancy label -- for a fraction of the cost.
Consider Lauren's fall '91 line. His red and blue Douglas plaid jacket, with wide notched collar and fit-and-flare princess seaming, would set you back $750 if you bought it in a store.
Make it in a similar wool and the cost comes to $113 complete, and that includes the $17.50 you'll need for Vogue pattern No. 2780, a line-for-line copy of the original jacket. (The pattern also carries instructions for Lauren's tapered pants.)
If you haven't the time or the inclination to make your own outfits, a dressmaker can sew a designer wardrobe for you. The price will still be hundreds of dollars less than if you bought the clothes.
Vogue Patterns is the leader in the line-for-line field. There are about 40 designers worldwide in the Vogue stable. The patterns run from $10 to $17.50.
The garments photographed in the Vogue catalog are the designer's originals, with accessories to show the total look. The designer supplies the outfit and the actual pattern to Vogue so they can reproduce it. Garments can show up in pattern form as early as six months from the time a designer shows it in his collection.