THERE’S a little known secret in fashion Press circles – editors and stylists may be swanning around in Christian Louboutin heels or showing off the latest Alexander Wang IT bag, but the likelihood is they don’t own them.
Just like Amanda in Ugly Betty, the style set borrow their designer booty from fashion cupboards crammed with next season’s hot property.
Celebrities also have the borrowing option. Designers fall over themselves to loan out dresses, diamonds and accessories in exchange for the ultimate publicity - the red carpet.
Actress Keira Knightley admits she’s managed to kick her shoe buying habit via renting: “I haven’t bought any in quite a while. Now I just rent them for the day.”
For those of us who don’t have the world’s fashion houses falling at our feet or £1m in the bank, there is a host of new firms willing to loan us designer threads for the day.
Joanna Doniger of eveningwear rental company One Night Stand says: “Stars have always relied on borrowed frocks to give them the edge on the red carpet.
“Now a new breed of high-end rental companies is making it easier for the rest of us to dress up in style without making a long-term commitment to a gown …”
Here’s a guide.
TRY: My Celebrity Dress (www.mycelebritydress.com)
With the return of X Factor, Cheryl Cole style fever beckons. But forget cheap designer copies – you can rent the real togs as worn by Cheryl and other stars at My Celebrity Dress. It’s like borrowing from the wardrobe of your favourite celeb.
HOT PROPERTY: 3.1 Phillip Lim playsuit as worn by Cheryl in the X Factor campaigns (from £94.99 for three days); Herve Leger teal beaded dress as worn by Cheryl Cole (from £145 for three days) and Preen Power bandage dress as worn by Gwyneth Paltrow (from £95 for three days).
WHAT’S THE CATCH? No membership or deposits required but there’s a non-refundable 15% charge on the dress hire cost to reserve your
favourite frock in advance.
TRY: Fashion Hire (www.fashionhire.co.uk)
From clutches through to giant totes, Fashion Hire has every It bag
imaginable, listed by designer, colour, or bag type. Plan ahead if you have a show-off occasion in the calendar, the lust-have classics have lengthy waiting lists.
HOT PROPERTY: Chanel Classic Quilted handbag (£70 a month); Mulberry Bayswater (£65 a month); Chloe Classic Paddington (£110 a month).
WHAT’S THE CATCH? Membership is required with a minimum initial commitment of three months, from £9.95 a month pay-as-you-go. Some pricier bags also require a deposit, refundable when the bag is returned.
ALSO TRY: Designer Handbag Hire (www.designerhandbaghire.com), or
Handbag Hire HQ (www.handbaghirehq.co.uk).
TRY: Rent Your Rocks (www.rentyourrocks.com)
When you really want to sparkle, raid this ultimate jewellery box of pieces worth thousands. Rent matching items and the cheapest piece is discounted by 50%.
HOT PROPERTY: Kaleidoscope gemstone cocktail ring (£145 a week); Loveheart freshwater pearl earrings (£50 a week); Infinity diamond
pendant (£200 a week).
WHAT’S THE CATCH? The slightly scary prospect of accepting liability for the replacement value if loss, theft or damage occurs.
TRY: Cinderella Me (www.cinderella-me.co.uk)
Hot foot it to Cinderella Me to find your fairy godmother of designer labels.
HOT PROPERTY: Christian Louboutin Very Prive Glittart peep-toes (£70 a week); Jimmy Choo Etta sandals (£60 a week); Giuseppe Zanotti Stingray courts (£50 a week); Chanel Raffia sandals (£45 a week).
WHAT’S THE CATCH? Members pay £9.95 a month.
ALSO TRY: No other shoe hire firms.