I have blogged about fashion designers copying, being inspired from their western counterparts quite a bit now.Due to which Aamiriat was twice featured in a newspaper (and also misrepresented) as ‘copycat spotting blogger’ and what not. Some affectees took my blogpost & the consequent frenzy quite fairly and moved on while some others took to attacking me personally. After every post I pray that I don’t find another piece but somehow designers themselves continue to have audacity to shamelessly copy foreign designers. Just last week was another tragedy by designer Hira Lari.
There are copies (aka chhapa in Urdu) and then there are inspirations. I would like point it out there is a clear difference: inspiration is more subtle there are certain alterations to the main reference design, whereas a copy on the other hand is in your face. Justifying it by saying that international brands like ZARA, Mango or H&M copy bigger brands or to say that the copyright law permit this or that is just a sorry attempt to serve our own interests(or to maintain our loyalties with those designer friends). Case in point Maheen Karim‘s printed gown might be perceived as inspiration from Roberto Cavalli but its definitely not a copy. As for my latest find, here is how I came across it.
Just flipping through June issue of SHE magazine, I came across a photoshoot of multi label retailer called Feathers featuring popular model Ayaan in a Balmain rip off by the young designer Hira Lari. I am disappointed because if a well learned individuals like her who has studied from the prestigious University of Arts London does it, I guess we should not be ostracizing the tailors who copy from catalogues and cheaper replica lawn makers. Probably one shouldn’t even study fashion then, why not just get a premium account on fashion image library via Internet, a Photoshop person to make prints and a good tailor master. Voila! you are Fashion Designer!
The Balmain piece in question is a baroque inspired hand beaded top from Balmain‘s fall 2012 collection and was designed by its the brand’s young Creative Director Olivier Rousteing .Yes, shown just an year before, I wonder why our designers not bother to take pieces from their archives? And what is with the obsession with french brand Balmain. First it was Amna Aqeel, then Karma and now Hira Lari.
Lastly, I would like to point out that I am not the sole person spotting these copycats.A lot of people know about these (and even more) things but keep mum because they don’t want to ruffle someone’s feathers the wrong way.