Sally Pearson allegedly wore ‘fake’ Oscar de la Renta dress at Magic Millions Gold Coast

A dress worn by an Australian Olympic champion at a prestigious sporting event has been accused of being fake by the artist who helped design the $4000 gown.

Sally Pearson, a retired sprinter who won gold at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, attended the Magic Millions on the weekend wearing what appeared to be a highly sought after Oscar de la Renta dress.

Ms Pearson, 37, attended as part of her role as sports presenter for 7News, performing a number of on-screen duties while at the Gold Coast Turf Club.

As a result, her striking dress captured a lot of attention, including that of Australian artist Melanie Vugich, who painted the unique print adorned on the sold out blue Oscar de la Renta gown.

“I was horrified when I saw Sally Pearson’s post on Instagram,” Ms Vugich told the Courier Mail.

“My work had more green stems on the strawberries, and the jug above it looks wrong – I know my own hand.

“I have a very good reputation and I never on-sell my work to a cheap manufacturer.”

Ms Vugich described the gown, which originally retailed for $3825 as part of the brand’s spring 2022 collection, as a “botched copy” adding she was “very unimpressed”.

Pearson said she obtained the dress from a styling and retail business called Life Is A Party: Dress For It, and was “not aware at the time that the dress was a copy”.

“Sending a TV personality out to an event in a fake dress is just a terrible thing to do,”

Ms Vugich’s manager Lisa Doust said.

“It is such a distinctive dress – you’d think it would be a stylist’s nightmare.”

Josephine Dewe, owner of Life Is A Party: Dress For It, told the Courier Mail “we were unaware of any issue until recently” but the dress had been removed from its collection.

“We are reviewing our processes, especially regarding items sourced from third-party suppliers,” she added.

The manufacturer of the dress has not been identified.

News.com.au has contacted Ms Dewe and Ms Vugich for comment.

Ms Pearson has since removed a photo shared to her Instagram account wearing the controversial dress – but not before the image began circulating online.

Many stated the furore was over nothing as the Olympic champ looked “great”, while others claimed they’d seen “knock offs” of the design being sold by well-known Chinese e-tailers.

“Does anyone really care! Sally looks nice and appears happy,” one said.

“Its one thing to be influenced by a designer, its another thing to rip off their work,” another raged.

As one concluded: “Does it really matter? She looks great.”

Oscar de la Renta is a US designer who gained fame in the 1960s for dressing Jackie Kennedy.

The brand is now a firm favourite among a slew of celebrities including Taylor Swift, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman.

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