The Fine Art of Copying

I thought it was interesting that New York Times fashion writer, Guy Trebay’s column on fashion forgery, “Imitation Is the Mother of Invention”, showed up – not in the ‘Style’ section – but was somewhat buried in ‘Ideas & Trends’ in ‘The Week in Review’. Of course, this is not the first time that the paper’s style scribes have dealt with the subject of fashion designers copying other fashion designers. We all know that almost everything can be traced back to something else…especially if you dig deep enough. The best quote was made by the photographer Pavesi, who described how Miuccia Prada loved a vintage Balenciaga coat she found at Didier Ludot in Paris so much, that she “took it and copied it. But I mean copied it exactly. And this is Miuccia’s genius – to copy exactly.”

Miuccia is not the only designer who has raised copying to an ‘art’ (which is why seeing pictures of Yohji Yamamoto’s always inventive ready to wear collection, shown during Paris couture week, is so refreshing). Perhaps the CFDA should add ‘perfect copying’ to their list of annual awards.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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