As the fashion world eagerly awaits New York Fashion Week in a matter of days, the clothes we're seeing now in stores and tempting ad campaigns are focused on rich fabric and unique detailing
-- in many cases, hand-crafted lace made by Parisian artisans or breathable lace from Japan. The goal goes beyond creating one-of-a-kind pieces: designers are hoping to make it impossible for mass brands like H&M or TopShop to copy their work when the materials themselves are out of reach. Designers made use of age-old, labor-intensive techniques to distinguish themselves from the knockoffs, many of which appear on shelves before the originals are even produced.
And shoppers are responding to the shift, favoring an investment in iconic brands that are easily recognizable (think Prada florals, Dries van Noten marbelized prints) instead of the cookie cutter clothes glutting the market. Because as fun as the cheap thrills are, there's nothing so demoralizing to a fashionista as walking down the street and seeing a bratty thirteen year old wearing the identical hippie tunic from Forevs 21.