Where does "homage" or "inspiration" stop and outright copying begin? Why is it that when the Chinese copy a Louis Vuitton or Gucci bag, we call it "counterfeiting" and lobby for tougher sanctions but when one designer sends a coat down the runway that looks an awful lot like another designer's coat, we're too polite to do anything other than to note a "resemblance"?
To be fair, the trompe l'oeil coat Phoebe Philo included in her Fall/Winter 2013-14 collection a few weeks ago is not identical to the 2004 Geoffrey Beene coat pictured on Garmento. Moreover, fashion designers have been referencing the past probably since the first caveman donned a dried animal skin for warmth and protection. Yet, there is something about the close similarities between the two designs that disturbs many people. What disturbs me is that we clearly have a different policy stance for fashion design than we do for for tech or luxury goods but we have yet to articulate a persuasive justification for it.
The Luxe Chronicles