In a rush to draw a link between Melania Trump’s pale blue Ralph Lauren ensemble and the coat Jackie Kennedy wore during her own husband’s inauguration in 1961, netizens got it horribly wrong. They uploaded a photo of Melania Trump next to a photo of Katie Holmes in costume for her role in the 2011 Reelz miniseries The Kennedys.
To be fair, this particular photo of Katie Holmes is as close as any actress has come to looking like Jackie Kennedy, which is a difficult thing to do. Nine actresses have portrayed the role of Jackie O on the celluloid till date and Katie came closest in ‘looks’ as the iconic former First Lady. Natalie Portman was probably the worst choice ever made to portray Mrs. Kennedy.
The new First Lady of the USA, Melania Trump was vocal about Jackie O being her role-model and she decided to follow her from the word go – opting for a pale blue dress for the inauguration ceremony of Donald Trump as the 45th President of USA just like Jackie did when John Kennedy was elected president in 1961. Jackie Kennedy wore a classic Chanel coat and Melania wore Ralph Lauren.
Chanel is coming under fire for allegedly copying garments that were shown as part of its 2015 Metiers d’Art collection. The Paris-based design house showed the collection, which is meant to showcase and “honor the fine craftsmanship that its artisan partners bring to the house’s collections,” on location in Rome last week. Among the roughly one hundred looks, Fair Isle, Scotland-based knitwear designer Mati Ventrillon, says a number were copied from ones that Chanel’s research team purchased from her this past summer. The garments at issue take the form of women’s and men’s sweaters – such as the one shown in the pictures.
Mati Ventrillon took to her Facebook & Instagram account to write the following: “Earlier this summer two Chanel staff visited Fair Isle and bought some of my stock garments with the understanding that the garments were for research. I specifically said that I was going to sell it to them because of the reputation of Chanel house and because I would not expect them to copy my designs.” Distinguishing between “traditional Fair Isle patterns” and designs that are original to her, Ventrillon said: “The black and white design and the pattern arrangement is my design. I designed that garment for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in 2012 as part of Oxford Street Fashion Flags Campaign.”
Ventrillon is not the only one who is outraged. Gary Robinson, Political Leader of Shetland Islands Council, called Chanel’s behavior “shameful copying.” Additionally, he reached out to Chanel via Twitter, inviting creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, to discuss the matter with him. Robinson suggests that Fair Isle knitwear company should seek legal protection for its name, like Harris Tweed, which is the only fabric in the world to enjoy legal protection stemming from its geographical status. Chanel is absolutely mum on the matter but from the photographs, it is evident that Chanel just blindly copied Ventrillon’s knitwear pattern.
The phenomenon of counterfeiting is as old as couture itself. In the early 1900s, fashion forgers often sketched designs they saw in Paris shows and sold reproductions in France and overseas. By 1914, more than two million fake couture labels had been sewn into garments, several of which are currently on view in New York City at the Museum at FIT’s exhibition, “Faking It: Originals, Copies and Counterfeits.” Authenticity and copyright protection against knock offs are two of the most debated topics in fashion today. Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits investigates the history of both authorized and unauthorized copying, as well as the various factors that have led to grey areas in authenticity.
The Exhibition is on at the Fashion & Textile History Gallery since December 2, 2014 until April 25, 2015. I recommend our designers to visit the exhibition!
Couturiers such as Madeleine Vionnet implemented various initiatives to stop knock offs of her designs, such as marking her label with her thumbprint in order to authenticate each creation. Unfortunately, this did not entirely discourage copying, as can be seen in an unauthorized reproduction of her “Little Horses” dress from 1924. Likewise, in an effort to battle unauthorized copying during the 1930s, the Fashion Originators’ Guild of America registered fashion designers’ work. An example of a black fringe evening dress with the registered label and sketch is included in Faking It. From its inception, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture struggled with maintaining the exclusivity of haute couture, while promoting it through press coverage and licensed copies. When the couture industry began to re-stabilize after World War II, the struggle intensified. The high demand for Christian Dior’s famed 1947 collection led to many unauthorized copies of his silhouette. Faking It uses a Nettie Rosenstein dress from that same year to illustrate such copying.
Chanel once said, “Fashion should slip out of your hands. The very idea of protecting the seasonal arts is childish. One should not bother to protect that which dies the minute it is born.” Chanel’s tweed suits were so recognizable, she saw copies of her designs as a form of publicity. A selection of six Chanel originals and copies from the 1960s to the 1980s will be featured. The 1990s ushered in the era of logo mania and the mass production of counterfeit goods. A special display case in Faking It places authentic designer bags next to their corresponding counterfeits.
At his fall 2007 runway show, Yohji Yamamoto debuted a newly created “YY” logo that was featured prominently on a number of garments and pieces of luggage. The logo was remarkably identical to the familiar Louis Vuitton monogram, and some audience members thought it was referencing Vuitton’s origins as a designer of luxury luggage. Was Yamamoto mocking the French brand? Was he making a comment about consumerism? Or was he applauding the power of a venerable luxury brand? No lawsuits resulted from Yohji Yamamoto’s new logo, but it did flirt with crossing the line of trademark infringement. More recently, Los Angeles designer Brian Lichtenberg created a witty interpretation of the Hermes logo with his “Homies” collection (an entire “Homies” ensemble is featured in Faking It). Fashion lawyers are still debating whether this is a case of trademark infringement or protected speech as legitimate parody.
As if we in India didn’t have enough ‘Fashion Weeks’, now we have ‘Sports International Fashion Week’ this November. The promo reads – “Sports, Fashion, Lifestyle” and has a picture of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This leaves no doubt in my mind that the organizers of this unique ‘Sports International Fashion Week’ have no clue of what Sportswear Fashion is and have taken the literal interpretation of it. Nowhere in the world have I heard of sports fashion week. This nautanki can happen only in India!
The term – Sportswear – started out as a fashion industry term describing informal and interchangeable separates (i.e., blouses, shirts, skirts and shorts). Since early 20th century Sportswear became a popular descriptive term for relaxed, casual wear typically worn for fashion that demonstrate relaxed approach. Coco Chanel promoted her own active, financially independent lifestyle through her relaxed jersey suits and uncluttered dresses, which were classified as sportswear.
In India we have very few designers doing sportswear in fashion terms. Whoever does it, they showcase it in their ready-to-wear pret collections at RTW Fashion Weeks, which is the norm worldwide. A dedicated Sports Fashion Week doesn’t make sense and contributes nothing to the industry and the designers. Yes it sure will get the duped sponsors some editorial space and tele-time and big moolah to guys like Dhoni and gang. What next? Kurta-Pajama Fashion Week???
Designer Karl Lagerfeld is undoubtedly one of the most respected names in the global fashion fraternity. But even he has succumbed to the ills of plagiarism. Sport shoe brand – New Balance has filed a lawsuit against Karl Lagerfeld under Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on the 3rd of June for knocking off their signature sneakers. New Balance claims Lagerfeld is using a block capital letter “K” on an otherwise identical shoe design. The photographs are clearly evident that it’s a blatant knock-off.
New Balance_Karl Lagerfeld_Copy
Karl Lagerfeld showcased Couture Sneakers at Chanel’s Couture show and yes Couture Sneakers are a style statement and a must-have for the stylistas. Lagerfeld wanted to encash on this fashion sneaker trend and launched them under his namesake label that retails for as much as $360.
Wish Czar of fashion – Karl Lagerfeld would had done some research and created his unique fashion sneakers. New Balance has been using this “K” emblem design since the ’70s.