At a time when we are constantly being bombarded with visual cues and Insta-consumption is the order of the day, it’s becoming nearly impossible for labels and designers to create their own unique signature style. There is just so much content up for grabs on the Internet that the creative process is prone to imitation by accident. Unless designers lock themselves up in total isolation from the outside world there is every possibility that some amount of ‘inspired work’ will dilute their originality.
It can be argued that while accidental tampering of distinct ideas is a by-product of millions of images viewed by any designer, there are also cases of blatant plagiarism that are difficult to pass off as mere inspirations. It’s rather upsetting that many exceedingly talented Indian designers still feel the need to reference more established names but don’t understand how to interpret their work and make it their own.
The recently concluded Amazon India Fashion Week saw a spate of copycat designer creations in terms of styling, cuts, prints, embroideries and silhouettes. Mostly copied from previous collections of more prominent fashion houses and labels, these overly inspirational pieces are replicas that demonstrate glaring errors of judgement on the part of the newer designers.
The white corseted belts from Hemant & Nandita’s Fall Collection at Amazon India Fashion Week were near duplicates of Prada’s Fall 2016 outing. Prada designer Miuccia went with a global nomad themed show even accessorising some pieces with sailor hats. While Prada’s belts were more seamless, Hemant & Nandita added bold silver rivets to their own version. Unfortunately that small differentiation couldn’t take away from the fact that the design was totally copied from Prada’s version pulling down an otherwise noteworthy collection.
The Good Earth show at the Amazon India Fashion Week showcased a double-breasted jacket with exaggerated shoulders and horizontal stripes. Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia had created the exact silhouette for their Spring Summer 2017 menswear collection. The difference in gender aside, Good Earth’s version embodies the same principles of structure and construction making the jacket a copy rather than a reference to the original.
Huenm presented some more Balenciaga imitations at the Amazon India Fashion Week. Two of their looks were a cross between Balenciaga’s Fall 2016 womenswear and Spring Summer 2017 menswear designs. Namely the red puffer jacket and the same 80s suit inspired power shoulder that was also replicated by Good Earth. The cloned styling of the silver metallic bomber jacket from Huemn’s show and Balenciaga’s red puffer jacket makes it an unmistakable copy. Similarly the boxy shoulders and quilted styling of Huemn’s coral jacket are a combination of Balenciaga’s two jacket versions.
Designers were not limited to creating copies only from international fashion houses as proven by Jakarta’s show. The matching hued cutwork style foliage designs from Jakarta’s creations were reminiscent of Nachiket Barve’s Spring 2014 tryst with the same technique. Jakarta’s version had slightly tweaked motifs but the almost non-existent difference wasn’t enough to avoid the copycat tag.
Designers Pankaj & Nidhi commit the cardinal sin of assuming that slightly changing the length and dimensions of an original design are enough to pass it off as a reference. The sheer black overlay with embroidered floral appliques worn over a multi-layered white shirt is an ensemble that is completely copied from Dhruv Kapoor’s Gen Next collection. The designer duo tried to salvage the situation by pairing their own shorter version with a monochrome skirt but the similarities are too glaring to be overlooked.
Sources: Twitter.com, Elle.in, Livingly.com, Wespeakwhatyoulove.files.wordpress.com, Businessoffashion.com, Cosmopolitan.in, Amazonindiafashionweek.com, Vainstylemag.com, Shilpaahuja.com, Ispeakwhatyoulove.com, Newstrackindia.com