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.