Recent reports indicate that Kate Middleton will not be wearing anything that has not been paid for on her upcoming tour to North America - This is what I like to hear! When you obviously have the $$$ to afford the fabulous clothes, pay accordingly.
High fashion should be treated as it is - an art form. All other art forms are bought and paid for - why should fashion designers have to dish it out for free? Well there's the obvious reason that when a celebrity or media icon is photographed wearing their duds, it provides designers with exposure - the 'donated' clothing pays off in riches for some designers. As a business decision, this is an excellent move for designers trying to make a name for themselves.
My issue stems from the fact that celebrities - some being paid millions of dollars for movies, appearances and the likes - are willing to be treated as 'charity' cases by designers. I know - who wouldn't want to be approached by a designer with a gorgeous gown and asked to wear it, free of charge. I would probably jump at the chance - though the likelihood of my being approached is slim. My thinking is this - if you can afford the clothing - pay for it. Be a true supporter of fashion, don't take hand outs from designers [unless you can't realistically afford it - in which case, I'm willing to make an exception!].
You don't walk in to an art gallery and walk out with a Monet or a Banksy. So, why is it acceptable to walk in to a designer's studio and walk out with designer fashions without paying for its worth?