Investment Pieces

Five intricately wrought items worth their considerable price tags


Proenza Schouler dress

The silk cloqué fabric was first pleated, then garment-dyed in metallic colors for a foil-printed effect. Wear with care, though—the delicate dye makes cleaning a bit tricky.

Price: $2,950.

Courtesy of the designer.


Dries Van Noten dress

Forty-six meters of fabric and much trial and error went into creating this piece, which was made in Italy using a flurry of ruffles crafted in Belgium.

Price: $2,660.

Courtesy of CNP Montrose.


Valentino cape

What looks like coral and turquoise beading is actually colored wool, hand-embroidered in a 1930s motif onto suede. A wool trim was also hand-sewn at the hem to create a furlike effect.

Price: $19,500.

Courtesy of the designer.


Louis Vuitton jeans

The denim first underwent a rinsing process to achieve the proper blue wash. Then the pants were sent to the embroiderer for the tribal patches. Finally, hand-embroidered ribbons were sewn to the cuffs—and jeweled ribbons to the back pockets.

Time involved: 12 days.

Price: $2,000.

Courtesy of the designer.


Calvin Klein suit

It took two people approximately 80 hours to make this leather jacket alone, which, inspired by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, features multicolor threads handwoven for a fringe effect. The same threads were used to create the stitched pleating of the punched-felt skirt.

Price: Jacket, $24,500; skirt, $4,995.

Courtesy of the designer.