Considering that I used to work in higher-end clothing retail, I don't know all that much about business. I do know that in order to become successful one needs to sell large volumes. Big business means there are compromises that will be made. Polyester and other man-made fabrics have become more and more common even in designer clothing. Invisible seams have become serged ones, and the production moves from Italy and France to Romania, Bulgaria and China. Hand-stitched buttons have more or less become history. In order to stay in business, you have to push more and more products out there for people to buy, and you essentially have to stop encouraging people from investing in pieces they can wear for years to come. Even if the production stays in a country known for its high-quality tailoring, the imported employees might work in sweatshop-like conditions. Clothing is assembled on a production-line rather than individual tailors working on a piece from start to finish. So how are you supposed to know what the real production costs of high-end designer goods are? And who wants to put their money in a big "I don't know"? No matter how passionate a designer might be about his or her vision, once they get big, the jungle of production is a completely different beast. We don't know unless they tell us, unless they show us.
This is not to say that all designer labels make compromises like the ones I have encountered, but I have heard several times, for example, that newly made designer handbags don't last the way they used to. I have heard this about Chanel and Louis Vuitton, but I don't have first-hand experience so I don't really know what the truth is. The fact that I don't know, that I can't trust, really disturbs me. But I do know that I can trust designers like Lynn. I know her personally, so that helps, but even if I didn't, she'd be perfectly open about her work process. She has nothing to hide, and her passion is visible. It is that type of openness that I feel I need in order to feel comfortable spending more money on something. That kind of openness is pretty hard to come by these days. My two cents: keep it small, get to know what you buy, demand openness.
Dress: second hand / Salvation Army