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A world of clones

Author: Estel Vilaseca

Section: NOTES

Date: 04.2012

 

BE YOURSELF vs COPY THE STYLE OF…

Un mundo de clones I DressLab.com
Last January 17th, as a result of the following headline on SMODA: “Tell me which celebrity you look like and I’ll tell you how to do yourself up”, artist Joan Morey, posed the following question on Facebook: whatever happened to “Be yourself”?. This motto, a pure symbol of individuality in the eighties and nineties has been replaced nowadays by the stale: “Copy the style of…” And though the boom in social networks and fast fashion seems to have widened our options, there is an overwhelming need to look like someone else.

 

EXACTITUDES

Un mundo de clones I DressLab.com
Photographer Ari Versluis and editor Ellie Uyttenbroek are the creators of the enthralling Exactitudes project that began to take shape in 1994. The name for this series arose by shrinking the words ‘exact’ and ‘attitude’. Here they group subjects with similar styles photographed in the exact same pose and against a neutral backdrop. With a scientific and anthropological perspective, the couple take the contradiction between individuality and uniformity to the extreme.

 

VIRTUAL TRIBES

Un mundo de clones I DressLab.com
Fast fashion brands are the new rock stars. Kids become fans of their Facebook pages, buy their clothes and wear them with pride on the net. Pages such as Lookbook, Chictopia, Chicisimo or Trentation are the virtual meeting places belonging to this new urban tribe that brings the work of Exactitudes to real life. With celebrity poses, they show us their latest acquisitions and proposals for fashion outfits. In the picture: one of this season’s hits, floral print trousers from H&M, a well-made copy of Céline. Far from wanting to be different, “looking like” brings a sense of calm and security.

 

THE ATTACK OF THE CLONES

Un mundo de clones I DressLab.com
What is a clone? In fashion this expression is used to define a copied garment. Usually, the original comes from a luxury label while the clone is the work of a fast fashion firm. Lovers of the latest trends avidly seek out the replicas of their favourite designers. At astronomical prices, the originals orbit outside of their possibilities. To assist in the matter, there are experts on the subject such as Cameron, creator of the blog Devil Wears Zara: a glance at the fashion world through the art of the copy and ‘look-a-likes’. Though in other industries a mere whiff of a copy is rejected by the best part of the status quo, Devil Wears Zara has been lodged for months on Vogue.es.

 

IS THE COPY LEGITIMATE?

Un mundo de clones I DressLab.com
One of the reasons why the issue of plagiarisms and inspirations generates a much more lax attitude in fashion, is because copying is an important part of the creative process. Many designers borrow from vintage patterns to create their new designs. Replicas and revivals appear in many collections. But there are lines that are probably not fair to cross. One of the cases that caused the most surprise was in 2001 when, from Hintmag, the industry’s darling, Nicolas Ghesquiere was found out to be a copycat. The Frenchman had replicated a design by a small-scale designer from San Francisco who had already passed away, called Kaisik Wong for the spring/summer 2002 collection for Balenciaga. Is the copy really part of the creative process? journalist Cathy Horyn asked herself in The New York Times. The fact is that rather than taking inspiration from the archives belonging to the house he represented, Ghesquiere used Wong’s design as a basis for the best part of the collection. This case made it plain that those most vulnerable are small-scale designers. A recent case in Spain is that of Casa Peseta, that saw how Salvador Bachiller copied one of their shoulder bags.

 

JARMUSH. THE DEBATE IS OPEN

Un mundo de clones I DressLab.com
I’d like to finish with this mini-manifesto by Jim Jarmush and a recommended visit to REMAKE: Material for a study on the ORIGINAL and the COPY and Inspiration/Plagiarism: a fine line.
I’d love to hear your opinion.

 

Text_ Estel Vilaseca

 

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  2. La copia como motor del proceso creativo | itfashion.com / 02.06.15

    […] un mundo de clones la copia bien hecha puede ser un mal menor. Para terminar, no podemos dejar de compartir este […]

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