Left: Diane Von Furstenburg [Spring 20089], Right: Mercy [Spring 2008]. Photo Source
On August 5th, Senator Charles E. Schumer proposed the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA) which aims to protect American fashion designers from uncanny knock-offs for three years. In an industry driven by trends, which quite often lead to countless copies of original designs, this plucky little bill is aimed to specifically protect innovative and original garments and is actually expected to pass this fall.
The IDPPPA places the onus on fashion designers to prove in a legal action that they created “a unique, distinguishable, non-trivial and non-utilitarian variation over prior designs,” worthy of being protected. This presumes of course that the designer becomes aware of the copied apparel, shoes, sunglasses etc. and pursues legal action, instead of relying on a sort of fashion police. The Bill has the support of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
My favourite case of this kind of alleged design theft in Canada was the affair of the bedroom jacket, originally designed by boutique Canadian label Mercy, and then substantively copied by the Diane Von Furtsenburg label [both pictured above]. Nathalie Atkinson of the National Post scooped this story last year after spotting the Mercy jacket in Lucky and the DvF in Teen Vogue. From the shredded silk sash bow, to the inner drawstring and pin tucks on the sleeve, DvF’s jacket was identical to Mercy’s. A bill like this might have made DvF pay up, jurisdiction issues considered.
I’ve never been much for sneakers. I often visit my neighborhood and surrounding area shoe lockers just to yawn at the same design I saw occupying the shelf four years ago, but in a different colour or with some celebrity or athlete’s name on it. I began to see the error in my ways when I picked up Art & Sole, written and designed by Intercity.
Intercity’s “sneakers” are sports shoes originally intended for basketball, skateboarding or just strolling, elevated to their own subculture by the skateboarding and hip-hop style phenomena. This detailed and up-to-date sneaker art history features oodles of Nikes, as well as other famous labels including Vans, New Balance, and Onitsuka Tiger. Lesser-known labels like Madfoot!, JB Classics and The Quiet Life also make an appearance.
The book is divided into halves: Sneakers & Art looks at collaborations and projects, while Art & Sneakers is composed of sneaker art, publications, exhibitions and toys, all sneaker-themed. Among the toys featured were Swiss design collective +41’s mini chocolate kicks crafted to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Air Force 1 and Takara Tomy’s Nike Transformer dolls, oscillating between toy-shoes and toy-toys.
Bonnie English wants to teach you Fashion 101 (minus the student fees and late night study sessions) and she aims to “unravel the complications and contradictions behind stylistic change in order to chart the history of modern fashion.”
A senior lecturer in Art Theory at the Queensland College of Art, English has created a very respectable academic treatment of the last century of fashion. She begins her narrative with Louis XIV, predecessor of metrosexuals everywhere, and extends her analysis into globalized contemporary fashion, with everything from Comme des Garçons to Laura Ashley prints in between. What is most notable about the content of this volume is the way English handles her broad topic; there are some powerful fashion images in this book, but this is no pretty coffee table accessory. English selects unique subjects within fashion for each chapter and zeroes in to prevent a deluge of meaningless and broad historical summaries.
“Swimsuits” by Sonia Delaunay (1928)
My name is Stef and I am a brand spanking new Wornette of the editorial persuasion. I’m pee-my-culottes excited to be working here and hope to goodness that I can keep all you slick fashion types amused. My personal history is one of a fashion vagabond; wandering through art, aesthetic philosophy and theatrical costume, gradually making my merry way to Worn. In the future, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in costume, collect a meaningful wardrobe, and eat lots of cupcakes. Let’s keep it footloose and fancy free, shall we?
Blog Mode at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
A rich, historical academic blog archive that you can still read through. Blog Mode is also part of a more formal exploration of the world of fashion blogs… which seems to be very fashionable right now (see the freshly unveiled fashion blog themed window display at Holt Renfrew, Bloor Street, Toronto). P.S. The Met’s Costume Institute will also help guide you to consider fashion as art, if you don’t already. That’s my agenda and I’m pushing it.
This blog is full of off-the-wall illustrations of ladies wearing imaginative frocks, intermingled with beautiful photos of inspirational clothing… belle, bella, bonita…. This is not a dictatorial fashion blog and that’s the way I like it.
Adventures in Lo-Fi Land
The successor of Fashion, Art and Mess. This blog has a unique dusty pastoral aesthetic. Adventures is less about fashion and trends and more about fashion, art and people. Je l’aime.
Fashion forward finds for the weak of wallet. Relatively realistic fashion shots sprinkled with Cheap and Chic tips. The best of editorial spreads are curated lovingly without.
Vive Notes of Vive Magazine
Vive notes is a blog to look out for in the fall. It is currently at summer camp; however, I thought I should mention it here because the accompanying publication shares Worn’s intelligent approach to fashion. Vive.