Outsapop did a great blog post on “Counterfeit Chic” – a blog on fashion and intellectual property run by U.S Law Professor Susan Scafidi (the first law professor to ever offer a course in fashion law!)
She used an example of Project Runway finalist, Kenley Collins who has been challenged for her final collection’s similarity to Balenciaga.
It raises some questions around ethics in the fashion world and when we begin to in dispute a design outcomes originality we begin to interrogate the design process and challenge how fashion trends evolve…
I love street fashion and through my undergraduate studies I found the work of anthropologist Ted Polhemus really inspiring. His research has explored ‘street style’ which he defines as culture having a monopoly on the upper classes when iconic trends bubble up from underground movements. This bubble up effect challenges the dictatorship of high-end fashion.
We are possibly more tuned into street style now than ever before and I think it’s transforming on many levels with blogging playing a pivotal role. Blog’s like The Sartorialist, The Cool Hunter, /streetstyl.es/ (and many, many more!) report on fashion derived from all ends of the spectrum with a focus on how is put together and styled to create a ‘look’.
We can say fashion trends bubble up and trickle down… So once a trend or key look has gone full circle, who has inspired you?
With all that fashion going around it’s difficult not to feel inspired but on what level do we reprocess that inspiration into our own design process and how does the outcome impact what already exists?
I think Outsapop made two interesting points she mentions that designers are trained therefore we are equipped with tools, knowledge and process which should allow us to contribute something more.
Her blog is a fantastic resource for fashion DIY’ers with how to tips and tricks and she has an amazing skill of pulling huge amounts of information together and re-presenting through customisation offerings. Her second point was that fashion DIY’ers are in a different category they are not trained with specialist skills therefore not fully equipped. I think this is a valid point… by using catwalk creations for inspiration they can begin to ask questions and explore how fashion is designed, produced and styled.
I’ll close with the words of the late Coco Chanel
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”