Thursday, April 28, 2011

Copycatting Sequins and Frills

Although I do a lot most of my clothes shopping online, I still would like to support local designers.   And I do, as much as possible.   And I, like anyone, love the convenience of visiting a local boutique and picking up a lovely knitted top or some such.   (My husband jokes that I have enough 'little knitted tops' to stock a whole store and that lots of $79 tops do add up to quite a sum over the years) 

I popped into Witchery yesterday to be confronted by a sea of biscuit, buff, beige, dark caramel, mushroom, sand, taupe, umber, ochre and khaki.    It was really quite frightening.   

In fact I think what has happened is that Witchery and Country Road have hired a colour consultant from the Australian Defence Force, who has bulk dipped all the new seasons range of clothes into big vats of their uniform dyes.   Who wants to get around looking like an army off cast?   Or as if you have stepped off the set of a Bruce Willis action thriller set in Iraq?  I don't.   

The only people who can wear these kinds of clothes are lithe olive skinned Eve Mendes types.  Not me.

But the fact that Witchery looks like an army disposals store wasn't the most alarming thing about my visit. The most alarming thing was this:



(Witchery new season) 


(J Crew last season and also still available in slightly new design new season)


(J Crew Last season - Witchery also have something like this but I have no image for it) 


Then I went into the new Kids section and found these:



(Witchery new season girls tulle skirt)


(J Crew girls tulle skirt)



 (Witchery girls zip through top)

(J Crew girls wave cardigan)

Let me be clear: I know that there are very few new ideas in fashion. I am sure it is a hard slog churning out a range four or five times a year, and these hard working designers need to source their inspiration in lots of different places.  And that may include a High Street retailer from the US.  I also know very well there is no copyright in an idea, and ideas are everywhere, just waiting to be adapted and changed.   And people ripping off J Crew is not a new controversy - see here for example.

And of course no doubt the original idea for a sequiny T shirt came not from J Crew but from the Lanvin catwalk or some such. I guess I just feel oh so slightly affronted. I want to support these Australian businesses.   But when there is no longer any style differentiation between these brands and the cheaper (often better made) US ones then the decision kind of makes itself doesn't it? 

It may just be me. I could blame the chemo for making my brain really annoyed by obvious creativity bypasses.  Or do you agree? 

Weird Chemo Side Effect no 2: my hair has started growing back!! Only half way through chemo too.  It may yet fall out again, but it is kind of exciting. 

16 comments:

Janette said...

Rat sort of thing really annoys me too Jane, it's not the chemo talking :) that is really exciting re your hair, I hope it's all going ok.
Jxx

scribeswindow said...

Ok I'm going to just put my hand up and quietly admit to liking the tulle skirt for girls. Especially as my almost two year old is a very girly girl. With leggings of course. I haven't been out shopping for months and months. Also quality check for my wardrobe at present is can it be worn in the sandpit? I doubt sequins will go down well. :)

little augury said...

Me too- MOST online and I love the sequin tanks. pgt

Make mine Mid-Century said...

Hello Hair! Great news!

Jane, these clothing stores aren't about creativity and fashion, they're about treating women like fools who are silly enough to follow whatever the stores say is fashionable, so we all spend ridiculous amounts of money looking like everyone else. Country Road has such a high turnover of clothing lines, within one season, it's ludicrous.

I was finding myself, at one point, buying three children an entire season's ensemble at a store like Seed, only to discover the minute I got home there was a new range of clothes out to replace what I'd bought. Fashion's not that fickle!

Raina Cox said...

YAY for Jane's hair!

BOO for copycats.

Sarah B said...

As soon as you mentioned the brown, mustardy colours at Witchery I was thinking about Country Road. Awful. I usually like a CR cardi for winter, or whenever really, I must have about 20, but have decided that this winter I will save money as there's no nice coloured clothes to buy!

24 Corners said...

I've been so out of 'fashion' and focused on house stuff the past couple of years that I wouldn't know who's copying whom, but I think it's a poor idea to do that either way! I did try to shop last week and was so disheartened by what was out there, J.Crew and all, that I came out with only a black tank and a gray t-shirt from the Gap...I'm doomed!
Sidenote - when I was in Australia last I bought a skirt at Witchery and it's still one of my summer favorites..,oh, and it's gray!

Love that your hair is coming back...even if it's just for a quick visit. I wonder if it will be curly or something when it truly returns...wouldn't that be something!
Best Jane...
xo J~

Maxabella said...

Go hair, go!

The J Crew stuff is probably a rip-off of Gap... there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to fash. x

Amanda said...

Quite possibly all made in the same factory too, with a different label sewn in.
Great news about the hair! xx

Thisisme. said...

I agree with Amanda. They're probably all made in the same place, with different labels being sewn in. I think it's really sad. Hey, great news about the hair though. Let's hope that it will keep growing and not disappear again. Lovely to see you on my blog list today. Keep strong.

mise said...

Fashion is hugely annoying - keeps getting more breakneck, more copycat and lower quality. I've given up on it - I don't buy anything trendy, just occasional classic and pretty garments that I like and that no one bothers to rip off as they are not this season's signature look. Does Australia have Monsoon - they have simple, well-made clothes (for girls too) that aren't very expensive. And hurrah for the hair-growth!

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

what a fashion detective you are darl, seems all too similar to me! bloody corner cutters.

and yay for hair - is there going to be a chuck abandon to the wind colour go in it??? hope you had a lovely easter xx

Elsa May said...

I don't think it's anything to do with chemo - it annoys me too. Often to the point of disregarding the perpetrating brand when it comes to future purchases. In an era when there is so much sameness, cultivating your own unique style/brand is a far better option - surely?
Exciting that your hair is growing back - fingers crossed it stays. And think of all the cropped styles you can try as it grows back to how you want it.
Hope you're doing well overall and that Spring has arrived in your neck of the woods. x

lesley said...

I agree with the colour choice at Witchery not everyone, especially those with grey hair, can wear those colours. Lesley

Jane said...

Brilliant news about the hair, Jane - fingers crossed it stays put.

And as for the copycats, it is tiresome and boring and no doubt some of our legal colleagues will make gazillions suing the pants off each other. J x

Posie Patchwork said...

Can i offer you an extra military colour or two - they like to call their classified manilla folders "buff" & they refer to the colour of granades as "olive drab". I now what you mean about Witchery, all a but blah right now. Love Posie

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