Monday, March 23, 2009

The Subject of Fashion Piracy

Ive been obsessed with the subject of fashion piracy of late.

While I don't care if someone is inspired by my muse to make their own costumes, I don't really appreciate taking my work and the work of other amazing artists out there and behaving like this is no big deal..... There is a serious problem with that in this country and we designers don't have a leg to stand on......yet.

The laws may be changing. Maybe not very quickly and they may be hard to enforce. Only the big boys and girls can really sue each other over design issues - and I don't want to go down that road anyway. Almost everything has been tossed into the stew by now, but If someone wants to blatantly copy for their own profit (and I'm not talking about making a one off for a random client or making something for yourself, a Friend, or your troupemates), maybe it means that thier own genious is lame - LOL - see the video above! This always speaks for itself, although it can be very annoying. Especially when you swim in the same pond that you are selling your copied wares in. Well, its just rude. Its stealing. Its undercutting. Its piracy. Is this what we want to pass on to our kids?

There is also the whole collective conciousness thing at play as well. Ideas seem to float about until they get grabbed and someone always seems to get that idea into form at about the same time someone else does. Im not talking about this either. Im talking about copy cats.

So I just spent several hours online looking to see if Ive accidently copied anyone. Ive just seen hundreds of pictures of bloomers, yoga pants, samba pants, pantaloons, and I haven't quite seen my exact designs on anyone. I think I saw my fluffie Rufflie Dance pants on a samba dancer on youtube once - and not out of lace. But to be fair, I dont know if its been done my way or not - Im not copying anyone. And nobody that I know of was making them like I do - until now. Someone must have done it at one point, but I think that by the lucky fluke of being able to get my things onto the right people, trends were started and collaborations happened. I was in the right place at the right time and .........well...........................................................

I dont know that anyone as yet has been able to take hundreds of dancers measurements and combine them down into a basic sizing system that fits most. Perhaps. But they are not making what I make - and I started making these with modern dancers in mind: not victorians.

Often imitated
Never Duplicated

Im very proud of these designs and if I never make another pretty thing that someone adores, Ive been blessed hundreds of times over! Now if I can just get all those blossoming ideas out before someone does it first!

Dancers: Barefoot Bellydance, Salt Lake City, Utah


happycorsetier said...

I absolutely agree; I'm a new designer (about to graduate from design school and starting a company) and I already see so many of my peers blatantly stealing other people's designs, it makes me sick. The point of being a designer is to DESIGN, not copy! These people not only cheapen our hard work, they make it harder to sell our own designs by copying them and selling them for cheaper. While silhouettes are reused throughout history, there's an enormous difference between using an already used silhouette (which is pretty inescapable in the fashion industry) and using somebody else's design. And us smaller designers are most susceptible to our designs being stolen because of our inability to sue! We can only hope that our fellow designers begin to develop morals about this!!

kathleenCrowleyCostumeCouture said...

Amen, Sister!
Thanks for your comment!