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Perhaps it was a sign when Gap sponsored this year’s Costume Institute gala: Affordability is back in fashion.

 

This story first appeared in the August 17, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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Take the Rodarte for Target frock Natalie Portman wore to a recent party in New York: At $39.99, it amounted to the same price as two movie tickets plus refreshments. Likewise, Dree Hemingway’s American Apparel getup at a Cinema Society screening of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” earlier this summer; it probably cost as much as just one of the metallic swirls on Kristen Stewart’s RM by Roland Mouret number.

 

And don’t forget Samantha Cameron and Michelle Obama. In an effort to appear accessible to their constituents, the first ladies are often found in finds from wallet-friendly labels such as Zara, H&M and Talbots. But, they give equal play to luxury brands such as Jaeger, Jason Wu and Thakoon. They’ve got to be diplomatic, after all.

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