It all started an year ago,when a designer friend of mine posted a photo link on Facebook wall that depicted a local sought-after clothing brand Sana Safinaz ripping off another well known foreign brand called Pucci by Peter Dundas.What was really deplorable was the fact that they hadn’t even copied a vintage long forgotten design but a design from the same season which was probably showed only 7-8 months prior on runways in Paris.So it received the obligatory hoo and haas of utter shock from small group of people, and then it died down.Probably the PR team of the said brand believed in burying the corpse as soon as possible.Later on when it got considerable attention (i.e. virality) nobody from the brand stood up or tried to give their point of view.Sadly some people of fashion fraternity sided with them and said it is not copy they are just inspired by it (a happy coincidence to say).
Time passed gazillions of lawns came in and disappeared into oblivion,and then about two months ago on a really fine day I happened to notice a peculiar photo in my Facebook newsfeed.It was a womenswear brand named Origins Ready to Wear updating about their new collection, I had seen it somewhere but couldn’t really put my finger on that.So I ended up youtubing a few shows and to my utter shock there it was.It was a blatant copy of an ensemble by Chanel‘s Bombay Collection showcased in December 2011. Saying I was really put-off would be an understatement.
And then suddenly out of nowhere while strolling down a shopping mall the other day, I saw something which just caught my attention like elephant in the room, my jaw dropped and yeah there it was.This time it was one of the biggest textile brands in Pakistan GulAhmed having a garment that was paying not so subtle homage to the famous YSL Mondrian dress from 1965.And then a multi award brand Khaadi also had its say by imitating signature pattern of Italian brand Missoni.I guess if I had been attentive enough I could have found numerous examples.Really don’t what these so called design houses are up to.
Now I am seeing a whole trend to all of this, probably almost all popular ones are doing it and nobody knows.But the question is having such a vibrant and diverse indigenous visual identity, do we as Pakistanis really need to resort to such low life practices? What are our ‘prestigious’ fashion and art schools teaching then, ripping off in the name of inspiration?
P.S My objective isn’t to demean the good ones, the ones doing authentically creative work.I have not been paid by any of the above mentioned brands’ competitors although I would really love to. 😀