I don’t know about you, but I still can’t get over the hotness that was Balmain‘s Fall 2009 collection. It was pure eye candy all the way through. Not that this collection was a practical one; it’s not like you can work a sequined micro mini dress to work. But I’ve never been a practical shopper anyway and understatement is for cowards, right, girls? The actual problem though is, where does one find the necessary 10k to acquire the real Balmain; also non-supermodels might feel a tad uncomfortable rocking a dress that short. That’s why we searched high and low to find you the best Balmain alternatives which embody the disco feeling without looking too stripperella.

Runway to Real Way - Balmain Sequined Disco Dress

Go Shopping:

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Zoe Saldana is such a beautiful woman, isn’t she? She’s got a spectacular face, but also an amazing body that is perfect for showing off lovely clothes – and she chooses well (that Oscar dress!). We also love the look she put together for “The Losers” premiere in L.A. just a few days ago. The strong-shouldered Balmain dress is the perfect statement piece and she showed great restraint in choosing her accessories – a simple clutch, belt and ring made that fabulous dress the focal point – along with a pair of badass Cesare Paciotti heels.

Zoe Saldana wearing a black Balmain Fall 2010 deep v-neck dress

Our Rating: ★★★★★

Who? Zoe Saldana
Where? “The Losers” Premiere, Los Angeles
When? April 20, 2010
What? Balmain Fall 2010 v-neck dress, Cesare Paciotti heels, Judith Leiber clutch, Neil Lane jewelry

Zoe Saldana’s Look 4 Less

We love Zoe’s look, but wanted to find something more affordable (duh!) and also a little more real-world (or “real-girl” as Vahni eloquently put it in one of her posts) friendly. The Balmain dress is amazing, but, seeing as how I’m not a Hollywood starlet, where on earth am I going to wear a frock with such a plunging neckline? Never mind the price. I’m in love with this ASOS Body Con dress. The general feel is the same (strong shoulders, figure-hugging style), but it’s a lot more wearable than the Balmain. The Steve Madden “LANGLY” platforms are spot-on and the accessories we chose are perfect and CHEAP. All in all this entire look will run you well under $200. Now that’s a steal.

Zoe Saldana's Balmain Look 4 Less

Go Shopping:

Michael Antonio “Tatum” Platform Sandals

UPDATE (04/28/2010): We found a second great steal alternative to Zoe’s kickass Cesare Paciotti heels by Michael Antonio. You like?

Michael Antonio "Tatum" Platform Sandals in black

Michael Antonio “Tatum” Platform Sandalsamazon
($59.95, Amazon)

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When the Spring/Summer 2010 Ready-to-Wear Shows debuted last fall, I was more than ready to wear the entire Balmain military-inspired collection. The leather! The epaulets! The olive green! Sure, one half of me is all stilettos and champagne, but the other half is pure Lara Croft—so there is just something about soldiers…uh…camo, combat boots, and military styling that gets me. Attennnnnn-TION! Balmain’s S/S 2010 collection is where military meets civilian in the chicest (and sexiest) way possible.

Balmain S/S 2010 Military Chic

So where my Balmain military tour comes to an abrupt end is when I remember it’s Balmain, and it’s expensive (and I’m sure I’m not the only one in that camp). But that’s the great thing about living in these times. There are scores of realistically-priced pieces available so you can unleash your inner G.I. Jane and not feel like a bomb just dropped when you open your credit card statement. And hey, you don’t even have to do the recon yourself. We’ve assembled a fantastic array of lower-priced items to help you build your military look now.

Balmain Spring 2010 Military Chic 4 Less

Go Shopping:

  1. Topshop Washed Military Shirtls, $55
  2. Forever 21 Glam Jean Chain, $7.80
  3. Super Trash Faux Leather Pants, $137
  4. Charlotte Russe Military Blazer, $29.99
  5. Old Navy Cuffed Twill Camp Shortscj, $22.50
  6. Nine West “Mouton” Sandalsamazon, $49.60
  7. J Brand Chino Pant, $216
  8. GUESS “Naemazza” Booties, $87.50
  9. Cheap Monday Snake Cutout Tankcj, $30
  10. Wet Seal Rib Tank Top, $6.50
  11. Alloy “Kena” Aviator Sunglassesls, $10.90
  12. Dollhouse “KENNEDY” Lace-Up Ankle Bootspjx, $34.99
  13. Juicy Couture Military Shirt Jacketcj, $198
  14. ASOS Leather Power Shoulder Blazer, $102.56
  15. Wet Seal Military Crop Jacket, $26.50


Diane Kruger always looks amazing. She is one of my very favorite celebs-with-style, because she takes risks, but never takes a look to far. She knows how to push the sartorial envelope and still look sensational instead of like the clothes are wearing her. And the photo below is a fine example. Her LBD is no simple shift, but see how her spiked Louboutins cut the sweetness of that sweetheart neckline and ruffles? That is fashion brilliance.

Diane Kruger wearing a black strapless Balmain Fall 2009 suede dress and black studded Christian Louboutin pumps

Our Rating: ★★★★½

Who? Diane Kruger
Where? Inglourious Basterds UK premiere, London
When? July 23, 2009
What? Balmain Fall 2009 Suede Peplum Dress, Christian Louboutin Very Privé Peep-Toe Pumps

Lipsy Chain Belt Velvet Cocktail Dress

You can recreate Diane’s look with the Lipsy Chain Belt Velvet Cocktail Dress – for less than $100, mind you. The Lipsy dress has all the details of the Balmain frock: sweetheart neckline, ruffles, chain belt. At that price, why not give it a go?

Lipsy Chain Belt Velvet Cocktail Dress in black (Balmain Fall 2009 knockoff)

Lipsy Chain Belt Velvet Cocktail Dressls
($59.49, ASOS)

Lovely People “Aziza” Studded Pumps

OK, we all die for those spiky Loubs. They are almost unrivaled in their creativity and wow-factor. But since a pair of Louboutins is about the cost of a mortgage payment, maybe consider these Lovely People “Aziza” Studded Pumps instead. There are no spikes, but the hardware ensures this pair has the same maybe-I’m-a-good-girl-maybe-I’m-not feeling.

Lovely People "Aziza" Studded Pumps in black (Christian Louboutin Very Privé knockoffs)

Lovely People “Aziza” Studded Pumpsamazon
($81.55, Amazon)


Update: This post has been updated on January 27, 2010. Scroll down to see the new add.

I love Balmain and their jeans sure look amazing, but let’s be serious for a moment: who could justify spending more than $1.000 on a pair of jeans (celebrities and oil sheikh family members excluded)? I know I couldn’t.

Balmain Spring 2009 Padded Knee Skinny Jean

Balmain Blue Faded Reinforced Biker Jeansls
($1.350, Net-A-Porter)

Alloy Indigo Saints Motorcross Stretch Skinny Jean

Update (01/27/2010): Reader Slim_Goodie informed us of this great and budget-friendly Balmain jeans look-a-like by Alloy. Thank you!

Alloy Indigo Saints Motorcross Stretch Skinny Jean (Balmain knockoff)

Alloy Indigo Saints Motorcross Stretch Skinny Jean
($45.90, Nordstrom Rack)

LuLu*s Mad Max Boot Cut Machine Jean

Update (01/27/2010): Found these black Balmain inspired jeans while surfing LuLu*s New Arrivals section. And they cost only $37. Yay!

LuLu*s Mad Max Boot Cut Machine Jean in black (Balmain knockoff)

LuLu*s Mad Max Boot Cut Machine Jean
($37, LuLu*s)

Topshop Bleach Bike Skinny Jeans

Update (01/18/2010): Stumbled upon this great Balmain jeans knockoff by Topshop.

Topshop Bleach Bike Skinny Jeans (Balmain knockoff)

Topshop Bleach Bike Skinny Jeans
($100, Topshop)

Blank Denim Motorcycle Skinny Jeans

Update (09/19/2009): Here’s another fabulous Balmain jeans knockoff by Blank Denim. (Thanks to our reader Bunnae!)

Blank Denim Motorcycle Skinny Jeans in acid wash (Balmain knockoff)

Blank Denim Motorcycle Skinny Jeansls
($82, Shopbop)

Vintage1 Serena Motorcycle Zipper Skinny Jean

If you can’t or don’t want to spend so much $$$ on denim, but still crave the Balmain rock chick jeans, you can buy this Balmain inspired version by Vintage1 which will save you more than 90% of the original’s price (and still they’re around $200 which is not that cheap for most of us). Celebrities like Rihanna and Cameron Diaz have been spotted wearing these Balmain look-a-like jeans.

Vintage1 Serena Motorcycle Zipper Skinny Jean (Balmain Spring 2009 knockoff)

Vintage1 Motorcycle Zipper Skinny Jean
($198, Free People)

Rockstar Denim Ripped Biker Zip Bottom Jean

If you’re willing to spend a bit more to get a closer Balmain look, you might consider these jeans by Rockstar Denim to be a good alternative. As you can see, the stitching detail on the knees is almost identical though this version has a distressed, ripped look which the Balmain jeans don’t have.

Rockstar Denim Ripped Biker Zip Bottom Jean (Balmain Spring 2009 knockoff)

Rockstar Denim Ripped Biker Zip Bottom Jean
($229, Nordstrom Rack)

Image source(s): Style, Alloy, LuLu*s, Topshop, Karmaloop, Singer22


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