Real vs. Steal – Balmain Studded Vest

by Irina on January 9, 2010

I noticed I haven’t featured anything Balmain for quite some time. The Balmain craze has calmed down a bit by now though I’m sure there’ll be plenty of knockoffs filling the racks of fast-fashion retailers just in time for spring again. I’m usually not a big fan of vests simply because I don’t think they are overly flattering on a woman’s body. I can’t remember if I have ever bought or even worn a vest in my life yet. The studded vest below however could very well change my attitude towards vests altogether.

Balmain Studded Vest in white

Balmain Studded Vest
($6.064, SOLD OUT)

Beyoncé Knowles Loves Balmain

Beyoncé Knowles wearing a white Balmain Studded Vest

Madison Marcus Endeavor Vest

If you’re a fan of Balmain or studded vests in general, but don’t have $6.000 cash to spare, you might want to give this studded alternative by Madison Marcus a try. While the color is grey and the stud pattern differs slightly, the Balmain inspiration is still pretty evident in this vest. The price of $285 isn’t exactly budget-friendly either, but compared to the real deal a total bargain.

Madison Marcus Endeavor Vest in grey (Balmain knockoff)

Madison Marcus Endeavor Vestcj
($285, Shopbop)


Update: This post has been updated on January 03, 2010. Scroll down to see the new add.

So, did you catch the zippers and buckles trend for this season? This is majorly thanks to Balmain and Giuseppe Zanotti who presented this trend at their wonderful Fall 2009 collection. Take these suede zipper boots here for example. They are absolutely gorgeous and I would LOVE to rock them, but at $1.975 a pair this isn’t going to happen… sad, but true.

Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain Suede Zipped Boots in black

Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain Zipper Bootscj
($1.975, Shopbop)

P.S.: Also available at NET-A-PORTERls, farfetchls & YOOXls.

Celebrities Love Balmain

Khloe Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan wearing black suede Balmain Zipper Boots

Who wore Balmain better?

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Hypnotic “Wilder” Zipper Boots

UPDATE (01/03/2010): Here’s yet another great and budget-friendly Balmain zipper boot look-a-like version by Hypnotic. Available in black, grey and rust suede.

Hypnotic "Wilder" Zipper Boots in black suede (Balmain knockoffs)

Hypnotic “Wilder” Zipper Bootsamazon
($45.95, Amazon)

Dollhouse “Lupo” Zipper Booties

UPDATE (11/05/2009): Found another budget-friendly Balmain zipper boot knockoff by Dollhouse. Available in black or blue.

Dollhouse "Lupo" Zipper Ankle Boots in black (Balmain Fall 2009 knockoffs)

Dollhouse “Lupo” Zipper Bootiesamazon
($66.95, Amazon)

Anne Michelle “Just Zip It” Boots

I nearly fell off my chair when I saw these hot babies by Anne Michelle popping up on LuLu*s “What’s New“-section. They look so close to the originals and are sooooo affordable at the same time. Major excitement! Yes, they are faux-suede, but it’s almost impossible to get real suede at such a cheap price, so don’t complain.

Anne Michelle Addiction 53 Just Zip it Boots in black faux suede (Balmain Fall 2009 knockoffs)

Anne Michelle Addiction 53 Just Zip It Boots
($53, LuLu*s)

N.Y.L.A. “Zipit” Ankle Boots

We all have different kinds of budgets and since I know a lot of you aren’t into faux suede, I wanted to provide an additional great Balmain alternative to lust after. These zippered boots by N.Y.L.A. are significantly pricier than the Anne Michelle boots, but the quality you’ll get will be accordingly better. Available in black, brown, natural or red suede.

N.Y.L.A. Zipit Ankle Boots in black suede (Balmain Fall 2009 knockoffs)

N.Y.L.A. “Zipit” Ankle Bootsamazon
($144.95, Amazon)

P.S.: Also available at Heels.comcj, REVOLVEClothingcj & NORDSTROMls.


Today we have yet another Balmain find. I know you’re probably totally bored by all the Balmain knockoffs, but I just had to post this dress as I’m absolutely mesmerized by it. The crystal embellishments and the woven mesh effect of the dress are just to-die-for. I already picture myself wearing this LBD with a cropped leather jacket to toughen up the cuteness of the dress.

Balmain Spring 2009 strapless crystal embellished mini mesh dress black

Balmain Spring 2009 Strapless Embellished Dress
(Price Unknown, N/A)

Alice + Olivia Strapless Mesh Party Dress

Alice + Olivia isn’t exactly a budget-friendly brand, but if you consider that the original Balmain dress would set you back about 8k-10k, spending $550 on a close high quality knockoff seems like a pretty good move, don’t you agree? This dress is not an exact rip-off because it misses the bottom embellishment on the skirt, but overall it’s still a great option if you are looking for a cheaper Balmain alternative.

Alice + Olivia Strapless Mesh Party Dress (Balmain Spring 2009 knockoff)

Alice + Olivia Strapless Mesh Party Dresscj
($550, Shopbop)

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Judging by all the Balmain look-a-likes coming from the high street, Balmain is still the hottest brand in town. I seriously lost count on how many Balmain knockoffs I’ve already seen this year. While most designers moved on to “interpret” the Fall 2009 collection, you can still find an occasional homage to the rock’n’roll chick collection aka Fall 2008. The majority of this collection consisted of ultra-sexy mini dresses and I adored ALL of them, especially the LWD below.

Balmain Fall 2008 Asymmetrical Embellished Mini Dress in white

Balmain Fall 2008 Embellished One-Shoulder Mini Dress
(Price Unknown, N/A)

Allen Schwartz White Draped Cocktail Dress

Thanks to Allen Schwartz you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the same sexy look à la Balmain. This white draped cocktail dress below which was exclusively designed by Allen Schwartz for looks downright identical compared to the Balmain LWD and it can be yours for $290. If you prefer a different color, the dress comes also in black..

Allen Schwartz for White Draped Cocktail Dress

Allen Schwartz White Draped Cocktail Dress
($290, Chickdowntown)


Back to Balmain, huh? It’s almost unbelievable to see how much Balmain gets copied these days when just 2 years ago almost no one knew this brand and now they’re selling $10k dresses like crazy. That’s how the fashion world spins sometimes.

Balmain Fall 2009 futuristic silver sculpted strapless dress

Balmain Fall 2009 Futuristic Sculpted Mini Dress
(Price Unknown, N/A)

Lipsy Futuristic Metallic Mini Dress

Balmain fans in the UK/Europe, you are lucky because Lipsy have a nearly identical knockoff of the silver Balmain strapless dress. It does not even come close to the delicate quality of an authentic Balmain dress, but it also doesn’t cost you like $7.000 but only £90 instead! The cut and look are a 100% match, so if you covet the Balmain dress, this is your chance to grab a budget-friendly alternative.

Lipsy Futuristic Metallic Mini Dress in silver (Balmain Fall 2009 knockoff)

Lipsy Futuristic Metallic Mini Dressls
(£90, Lipsy)


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