Thakoon rips off Thakoon


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Now that New York fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul’s star is rising, thanks in part to Michelle Obama wearing his flowery frocks, everyone is eagerly awaiting his Target line, which arrives in stores Dec. 28. I recently got my hands on a few of the samples and they are adorable, but shockingly similar to his Spring 2008 collection — the blue and white shibori shirtdress, the “cyber floral” print circle skirt that ties at the waist, the preppy navy-and-green striped dress, they are all there, albeit with higher, junior-ified hemlines.

Thakoon ripped off Thakoon.

Which isn’t such a big deal, except for those of us who spent money on the real thing. I bought two skirts from the runway collection. And for what I paid for them, well, I could have bought the whole Thakoon for Target collection, with pieces from $16.99 to $44.99. So I’m not so sure how I am going to feel when I see watered-down versions of my skirts walking down the street in a few months.


Of course, the shibori skirt that I bought at Neiman Marcus was hand-dyed, instead of being printed, is constructed of one piece of fabric instead of two, and is lined. But who knows the difference? Like my skirts, the Target versions are hefty cotton, nicely finished, and the buttons are virtually indistinguishable. I know the difference and I guess that should matter. But really, I feel rooked.

But it’s a good lesson. Because I’ve realized that the skirts I bought were too expensive in the first place. A cotton skirt shouldn’t cost $800, it just shouldn’t. I was on a spending binge like the rest of the world, and that mind set is partly to blame for the sorry shape we’re in now.

Does that mean I won’t be going to Target on Dec. 28? Not a chance. The $29.99 yellow pleated front blouse is going to look amazing with my shibori skirt. High-low dressing indeed.

-- Booth Moore

Photos: On left, $1,350 shibori shirtdress from Thakoon’s Spring 2008 runway collection. Credit: Fernanda Calfat / Getty Images

On right, $39.99 shibori shirtdress from Thakoon for Target collection. Credit: Target