Say it with me: "Love the look, hate the price." Consider it your mantra as you watch the designer-decked rich and gorgeous glide down the red carpet during tonight's Academy Awards.
Now log onto www.anyknockoff.com and try to get your mouth around this: "Love the look, looooooove the price." A few minutes of clicking through the accessory-seller's site ought to have you practically purring, because it's loaded with Prada, Gucci, Fendi and Kate Spade knock-offs -- the kind we can usually only find on big-city side streets, which explains why anyknockoff's got 'em. They're based in L.A.
"We're right in the fashion district," says Brian Bell, one of the 2-year-old company's three owner / employees. "So we see the popular trends, and use our eyes and ears to track what's going on." Then they look for close copies (not too close, no copyright infringement cases wanted) and sell them from their site.
Chloe-inspired shades go for $17 (originals can sell for $250), Prada-like purses are $29 (compared to $220-plus for the real thing) and DKNYesque army belts are priced at $26 instead of the $250 you'd pay for the label. You do get what you pay for: The materials aren't amazing, and the construction might not be up to designer par, but shelling out 40 bucks for cute and cheap sure feels a lot better than $400.
The royal treatment
We've all heard it said that celebrities are American royalty -- and this evening's fanfare sure seems to support the suggestion -- but for a personal brush with the real thing, check out handbag designer Lulu Guinness' adorable new travel bag and toiletry set.
The colorful little carry-all is filled with products by Floris, the official perfumers of England's royal family (the Floris Web site carries a "By appointment to Her Majesty the Queen" seal). Inside you'll find basics including a sewing kit, toothbrush, shampoo and shower gel, but the collection also contains Cefiro eau de toilette, a citrusy blend that should make you feel like a queen. Call 800-535-6747 to order; $115. -- T. B.
Emmy award-winning costume designer Shelley Komarov, who's designed outfits for stars including Oscar-nominees Halle Barry and Nicole Kidman, has introduced a two-level spring and summer 2002 clothing collection for us regular Janes.
The Kisca sportswear line ($75 to $200) is made up of close-fitting and colorful pleated tanks and Ts, while the sister Komarov line is a little more upscale, offering sheer feminine blouses and flowy dresses (prices begin at $140). View the collection online at www.komarovinc.com or check it out at Nordstrom. -- T. B.
Stepping out with Kenneth Cole
While rooting for their favorite stars at the Oscars tonight, Kenneth Cole fans can root for their favorite designer, too -- holding their breath until the verdict is in: Did nominees Russell Crowe, Sean Penn, Will Smith or Ian McKellen actually take the public relations bait and wear one of the two free pairs of shoes Cole's marketing department sent them? We already know Jon Voight asked to visit an L.A. boutique to pick out a pair of KC shoes for the big night, but Voight just doesn't have Crowe's publicity pull.
You can pick up your own pair of the Venice square-toe loafers or the Florence lace-up version at Nordstrom for about $160. -- T. B.