Fashion imitations are nothing new. Sometimes, however, similarities are too much to be ignored, from the set to the styling and to the overall realisation.
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Last year, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel, had blasted Saint Laurent for featuring tweed suits similar to classic Chanel styles in its fall 2021 collection. Interestingly, earlier this year both the design houses sent out a joint ad in WWD, pledging their commitment to protecting the intellectual property of French luxury brands.
Two years ago, Walter Van Beirendonck, a veteran Belgian designer, had accused the late Virgil Abloh of copying his work for his Louis Vuitton men’s collection, showcased live in Shanghai. Beirendonck posted an image of one of his own designs, a shirt with the words “I HATE FASHION COPYCATS” appliquéd on the front. The next day, he posted an image on Instagram of a look from the Louis Vuitton men’s show next to another of his designs, from a 2016 collection.
Cut to the present. The recently unveiled Gucci Exquisite campaign inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey brought to mind Falguni Shane Peacock campaign Earthbound released in March this year, which was also inspired by Kubrick's seminal work.
The two campaigns have a lot in common, from the movie inspiration to the set to the overall styling. While Gucci's imagery features a ruffled gown in a dystopian backdrop, Falguni Shane Peacock's celebrates the glamorous wave of maximal fashion that appears straight from the 1980s, with Ananya Panday sparkling in a pink beaded dress. Besides the Bollywood actor, the campaign also featured an array of models in exaggerated, ruffled and feathered looks from the brand.
Both Gucci and Falguni Shane Peacock refused to comment on the issue when Lounge contacted them.
There are several similar examples. Earlier this year, Valentino featured an identical nostril shaped neckline easily reminiscent of Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. American model Kristen McMenamy wore an LBD from Maison Valentino's Spring 2022 couture runway, which had a bold, risque and angular neckline, which looked like a replica of a strapless top with an inverted heart-shape neckline from Saint Laurent's Spring/Summer 2020 runway. Red carpet favourites like Olivia Rodrigo and Hailey Bieber have sported this neckline from Saint Laurent on different occasions.
In fashion, the line between seeking inspiration and lifting straight ideas is quite thin, and it seems the line is getting more blurry by the day.