11 April 2013

In a recent couple of days, blogspehere is full of discussion about a phenomenon of copycat, world renown designers knocking-off being inspired by and paying tribute to other designers in the past. Guess right? Yes, Prada and Moschino Cheap and Chic vs. André Courrèges, Céline vs. Geoffrey Beene, and Dior by Raff Simons vs. Edith Head.

André Courrèges vs. Prada

André Courrèges vs.Moschino Cheap and Chic

 Geoffrey Beene vs. Céline

Edith Head vs. Dior by Raff Simons

I always feel itchy in my butt every time I see knock-off or inspired-by, or simply, copy. And since it's not a new topic in fashion world, I always try to justify it. But you know, you can lie to people, but not yourself. It resulted a conversation between me and, umm, another me (like a little voice inside my head, hiding somewhere in my brain). It sounded like a lawyer, with an ability to think both sides. But in the end, the jury will judge. And in fashion world, there's no better jury than time.

To simplify it, I name my other self as SignoreFandi. You know, like Sasha Fierce for Beyoncé or Jo Calderone for Lady Gaga.

Me: I think that those people who copycat other designers don't deserve our prayer in the morning anymore. I pray for them for their creativity, not laziness.

SF: They're not copycating. They're inspired by. They're paying tribute.

Me: Well, creative world is limitless and borderless. Anybody can just bump up to a floating idea. Why not creating something new?

SF: Maybe it's just a coincidence. Like you said, creative world is limitless.

Me: So what about the real fake. I mean, like those Made-In-China bags or Hong Kong Louboutin. Don't you think that those counterfeiters would say, "Well, It's okay to fake Dior. They fake others too!". What an encouragement.

SF: They use the real designers' names for the items those designers not created. It's a crime.

Me: Ok. So what if they put their own brand on it, like Zara? People call stuff from Zara is knock-off, but inspired-by-Courrèges Prada is holy grail. How unfair!

SF: Well, it's because Prada has their own designer, Miuccia, who sometimes does wonderful works. Zara is always creating knock-offs. 

Me: Zara has an entire office of designers. And some Zara stuff is things I've never seen before. It's just because Miuccia has been doing it longer, is it not? Like seniority-juniority concept. Like in colonialism era. Rule #1: Oldies never go wrong. Rule #2: If oldies do wrong, read rule #1. What would they teach young designers? Isn't luxury supposed to be resulted from uniqueness and exclusivity and hard work?

SF: That's it. Both Celine and Beene paid their workers well, using good quality materials. Like Pink Chanel suit of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, using line-for-line technique. Even though it was not sewn in Paris and not made by Chanel, the materials were provided by Chanel. And it was approved by Chanel. So the quality was guaranteed. Those fakes not. Neither Zara, which I heard enslaves kids from third-world countries like yours, pushing them working hours and hours a day for mere few dollars. So you can not call them luxury. Left alone art.

Me: Don't forget that many luxury and high-end brands got their bags made in my (our!) country and got them labelled in Paris. Remember the LV factory in Jogjakarta which now closed? And a carton box I bought to store unused stuff with Michael Kors' address printed on it, which I suspect the same case. So it's basically the same then.


So that's a little part of my endless discussion with myself. What do you think? E-mail me! ^_^

Signorefandi, I should not be blogger. Be lawyer instead...