Red Faced over Red Dress

When Toronto Life singled out Deena Pantalone for its best-dressed list, the 30-something socialite/developer took the opportunity to boast of her recessionista chic.  Asked who designed the little red dress she was wearing at a charity event, she answered:

Well, me, sort of. It's a really old vintage dress I've had lying around the house for years. My cousin is a stylist in New York, so she helped me decide how to alter it, and then I just took it into one of those tiny mom-and-pop seamstress shops on Queen West.
At the same event, the Toronto Star asked Pantalone the same question -- and was informed that the dress was Dior.

Deena_Pantalone_Toronto_Life_5-27-09.jpgAs well over 100 increasingly angry commenters on the Toronto Life website made clear, however, the dress was actually designed by Champagne & Cupcakes boutique owner Caroline Lim, who personally sold the dress to Pantalone in April.  Feelings ran so high before the editors closed comments that at one point a gracious Lim chimed in to thank her supporters and ask them to refrain from further attacks on the mendacious mannequin.  And when Pantalone returned to the store to apologize -- with her mother -- the story made the front page of the Toronto Star.

The moral of the story?  Don't lie about the label -- Canadians are serious about giving credit where credit is due.  Although Canada gives only a little more protection to fashion designs than U.S. law does, which is to say not much, the social sanctions can be severe.  (Note to Mrs. P. and other doting parents:  The time to frog-march your spawn off to apologize for their behavior is ideally well before they hit their 30s.) 

And by the way, being a designer involves more study, talent and skill than ordering a few alterations (or pretending to have done so). 

Like all the best morality tales, this one also has a happy ending.  According to the Toronto Star, orders for the Champagne & Cupcakes dress are "pouring in fast --- and furious."