Sometimes you stumble upon the greatest fashion finds when you’re not even looking.
Last Saturday I visited the Buffalo Exchange on Burnside in downtown Portland, in search of a Hawaiian shirt for a party. For some reason I was drawn to the men’s section and quickly found a shirt that fit the part. As I was waiting for a friend, I continued to aimlessly sift through the men’s racks when this incredible crew neck sweater caught my eye. I pulled it out and looked at the price tag – $20. ‘Not too bad for such a cool sweater’ I thought. But then I noticed the brand label. My mouth dropped.
PHILIPP PLEIN?! ‘No way… it can’t be. Must be a knockoff.’ I assumed.
But sure enough, the signature Philipp Plein couture mark was there on the tag. I felt like Sophia Marlowe in “Girl Boss” when she finds that East-West moto jacket for $9 and flips it for $650. (If you haven’t seen this show, highly recommend. It’s on Netflix). However, after hours of searching online to solve whether the sweater is real vs. a knockoff, I’m still not 100% sure. There are so many knockoffs out in the market these days and some replicate the real products almost perfectly. But here’s how I see it: either the buyer at Buffalo is new to the world of fashion and I made away with a serious second-hand steal, or I paid $20 for a fake but dope, excellent-quality sweater. Either way it was an awesome find that didn’t come from a fast-fashion retailer. Score!
To those of you who don’t know who Philipp Plein is, here’s a great article about his rise to fame within the fashion world (I also touched upon his debut collection in Fall 2017 NYFW in a previous post here). His style is edgy, bold, almost aggressive, saturated with skulls, rhinestones, glitter and obnoxious graphics. He is a favorite among the controversial trendsetters – you can find his garments splashing red carpets and worn by the glamorously tacky.
The sweater makes quite a statement by itself with its patriotic skull currency graphic – while considering potential outfits, I didn’t want to wear anything that would take the spotlight off of its glory. For a more casual look, I felt it worked best paired with moderately-ripped skinny jeans (Francesca’s), sky-high open-toe black platforms (Public Desire) and a pile of chokers.
Then I went more avant-garde by laying the sweater over a black button-up with a hardware collar (H&M), tucking it into black suede rhinestone mini-skirt (Express) and topping the look off with sleek but sassy thigh-high boots (Boohoo). Which look do you like better?
Can you see now why I really don’t care if it’s a knockoff or not? It’s not like I’m going to try to sell it to make a profit, I’m hanging on to this beauty. Any fashion nerds out there, I’d love to hear what you think. Real or nah???