Seconds after Sandra Bullock, Penelope Cruz or Angelina Jolie walk the red carpet at the Academy Awards, dressmakers like Allen B. Schwartz and designers at Faviana take out their sketch books. Within days, knock offs of the originals are available for average women to wear. The production is intense. On talk shows Allen Schwartz of the A.B.S label said he can draw and finish a dress within three hours.
A sharp -- not to mention incredibly fast, designer like Schwartz has an eye for which dresses will sell. Generally, four to six Oscar gowns are selected to copy. Prices are kept down by using polyester instead of silk. The dresses are mass produced, as opposed to, being one of a kind. Each replica comes in several colors and is more forgiving than the size zero couture version. While the originals cost $10,000 - $35,000, the look-a-likes go for $250 - $400. So if you see a gown at the Oscars or Golden Globes you want to wear to a celebration of your own, chances are, there exists a knock off to fit both your size and budget.
Allen Schwartz's A.B.S. label is sold at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor. Can you guess which Oscar dresses he's recreating this year? We will know soon.
Meanwhile, visit these fun sites for Oscar style:
Update - Monday, March 15: Designer Allen Schwartz announced he'll interpret five of this year's Oscar gowns. His redesigns will be in stores, including Bloomingdales and Dillards in a few days. The credit goes to stylist Jill Marinelli for obtaining the following photo of Schwartz's A.B.S. dresses, which are still works in progress:
The gowns are inspired by:
1) Penelope Cruz's garnet Donna Karen
2) Jennifer Lopez's pale pink Armani Privé
3) Kate Winslet's sleek Yves Saint Laurent
4) Sandra Bullock's silver beaded Marchesa and