5.12.07

Jack The Ripper-Off




















(on top)Prashant Verma, India Fashion Week, September '07
(to the right) Lanvin, SS07 (Paris FW, Oct.'06)


There is just no other way to put it....I am so disappointed in the man (that's him in the picture). The clothes he presented at Fashion Week were of much more interest to me than the usual ethnic fluff, the training under John Galliano and Alexander McQueen was put to at least some good use, but this is a bit of a letdown. No, major letdown. And still a ripoff, even if Mr Verma chose to splash his own face across his dresses instead of whoever Alber Elbaz picked (the shiny plastic effect and distortion makes it imposible for me to recognise the woman). And even the styling is the same- who is he trying to fool?

30 comments:

Allure said...

uh...it's so obvious, it almost hurts.

riz said...

I don't know that much about Indian designers...
Thanx for all the insightful comments you leave on my blog. They really push me to think!
Let's link up...

WendyB said...

Don't let this guy see my jewelry!
:-O

Elisabeth said...

How terrible, and how blatant can you get!? The cheek of him...

Rollergirl said...

BFH, are you Indian? I can't remember if I've read on here before but I know you post about Indian fashion a lot - what's the connection? Is there one?

Rollergirl said...

BFH, are you Indian? I can't remember if I've read on here before but I know you post about Indian fashion a lot - what's the connection? Is there one?

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Allure: What galled me is that no one seems to have caught on to it- all the reviews I read praised him for being 'innovative'.
Riz: thanks!
Wendy: I think he sticks to clothing design, so you should be safe :)
Elisabeth: what I find most strange is the fact that no one recognises the dress- despite the Lanvin original having ended up on the cover of Vogue Paris. I'm sure other designers cheat, too, but this one just stood out because it was so obvious.
rollergirl: I'm Indian, all right. I suppose that would be the connection..

indi said...

you know even i don't get how they are so blatant about copying designs. there's almost a smugness- like i thought of reproducing lanvin's hitdress first! i wonder what international buyers think of it? oh and they do rip off accessories too.

Varun said...

Dear Blue Floppy Hat,

It's all very well to sit comfortably behind the anonymity of your blog and rip the so-called rippers. However, allow me to ask you just one question - did you visit Prashant's stall at the fashion week? If you did, did you meet him? Do you know that international fashion journalists, before drawing meaningless tangents where they don't exist, check each reference? Ditto all serious designers.

Sadly, dear Floppy, you don't seem to have understood the meaning of the aesthetic exercise that fashion is. You give too much importance to what you see, depriving the faculties of your brain of their natural functions of logical inferencing.

However, coming back to the comparison you so happily have discovered and publicised, I'd like to tell you that this fact was already known to the designer when he decided to put his face on that dress. He chose to go ahead with it because his aspiration demanded it of him - a fact I'm sure you were unaware of, because even if your research is strong, your logic is not.

Therefore, dear Floppy, before you try and sensationalise anything creative again, make sure you look deep into the matter. There are those who know better, and then, there are those who just know.

My best,
Varun Rana,
Features Editor,
'&' Andpersand Magazine

Rollergirl said...

Re the above comment. Yikes! Well Floppy, it's brave of you to publish the comment and you asked for my input. I must confess, I would probably have done the same as you. I think if designers are going to give ironic nods to their fellow designers they can't always expect us to get it, unless we know them (the designer) well. Remember when Nicholas Ghesquiere got flamed for copying -almost exactly- a dress by another designer a few years ago? It was a blatant copy and I'm sure he admitted it. Didn't he even have to pay a fine? So I dunno about all this checking references business, I certainly don't but each to their own I guess...

Varun said...

Hi Rollergirl,

Re. to your comment on my post - the whole 'checking reference thing' that I'm talking about has nothing to do with knowing the designer well. It's just about going that extra mile and trying to find out why the designer did what he did, and if you think you can believe him/her and their reasons. That's all. You know, google for contact details, pick up the pone or send an e-mail...as simple as that. It's very easy to pan someone's work since it's not your effort - but some respect for that effort shown will only add to your perception. And that holds true for almost anything, unless you're hell bent on being obtuse and cannot allow opinions (other than your own) their due.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I sent an email to the address on the designer's site.
And implying that I, or anyone else, can't 'pan' someone's work because we're not involved in the field is a bit odd. Does that effectively mean we can't ever say a movie is awful because none of us is a filmmaker? Do we surrender our right to comment or criticise by the very fact of our 'outsider'/'plebian' status? If I followed your line of reasoning, that would be the case.

As for respecting the effort shown, I believe I clearly stated, among other things, that Prashant Verma made clothes that were interesting and showed his training to good effect. But if the 'respect' that you speak of is something that prevents me from forming an unbiased opinion of things, then I must admit that I have none. And whilst I have no objections to hearing whatever you have to say on the subject, allowing another person's opinion its due is not the same as agreeing with it.

Varun said...

Floppy,
I don't think you get my point here. What we, including anyone who writes on any issue, have a responsibility towards our readers. Since we are exploiting a platform of public expression, we are effectively putting ourselves in a position to inform - and therefore, are assuming a higher role in our society, local or global.

With that in mind, when you, or even I, go out there and make judgments based on immature opinion, we render ourselves vulnerable to stand being corrected - as it turned out in this case.

I'm happy that you e-mailed the designer, but don't you think it would have been better if you'd tried to mail him before you wrote that article? Maybe you could have stubbled across something interesting to write about? You never know.

Allowing another person's opinion its due may not be the same as agreeing with it, but is simply the mark of an open mind.

And no, you don't have to be a filmmaker to judge it or call it awful. Most journalists write about things they're not involved with. They're journalists - it's their job! And I'm sure you know the difference between a good journalist and a bad one. Which type you choose to be rests completely on you.

X & Y said...

As has been pointed out (correctly, in my opinion) by a number of other visitors to this blog, Rana's post is high on rhetoric, but incredibly low on content. It also betrays a profound ignorance of the law of intellectual property, which is a serious failing on the part of a supposedly well-regarded 'editor'.

Rana's only line of defence seems to be that he knows more, being in the so-called 'line', than Floppy. And the only thing he can say in favour of the designer in question is that this act is something that his 'aspiration' dictated, and is therefore completely justified. That's the essence of what he's trying to say. While such a spurious argument should usually not even merit a response, I feel that it is called for in the case at hand, given the degrees of verbosity and self-righteousness Rana has such an unfortunate partiality towards.

I do not know much about the fashion industry, Mr. Rana. I do not know the designer in question, or even your esteemed self, for that matter. One thing I do know about, however, is intellectual property law; that is, the law that protects creativity and people who create. In short: a copy is a copy is a copy. The motivations (or, indeed, 'aspirations', as you so intriguingly put it) of the person is question are wholly irrelevant. As one person on these pages so colourfully put it, could Anu Malik absolve himself by citing his arcane 'aspirations', 'inspirations' or 'perspirations' each time he copied a song? Common sense replies with a loud, resounding 'no'. So does the law.

Since a copy is a copy is a copy, the only real defence would be that of completely independent creation; and since we know that the designer in question was aware of the previous design, that is hardly the case here.

To show you how profoundly meaningless your argument based on 'aspirations' is, consider the following examples. In the 1970s, George Harrison successfully demonstrated in court that his song 'My Sweet Lord' was UNKNOWINGLY and SUBCONSCIOUSLY copied from the Chiffons' earlier song, 'He's So Fine'. The court didn't take a particularly charitable view of this, and he had to fork out a lot of money. Ditto with The Verve, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and 'Bitter Sweet Symphony'. Ditto with Kaavya Viswanathan, Megan McCafferty, and the Opal Mehta book. The point is, *justifying* copying on the basis of arcane 'aspirations' is as ridiculous as not sending a thief to prison because he says he was 'inspired' to steal. And, as Floppy has correctly pointed out, whatever other justifications or reasons for copying there may be, ATTRIBUTION is an absolute minimum, and is non-negotiable. Even open-content licenses or contracts insist on attribution. Therefore, in the absence of attribution, you would be foolish not to expect a few raised eyebrows, to put it most politely.

However, I am not here to sit in judgment over whether this is a case of plagiarism or not. I am here to demonstrate the dubious quality of your argument, and also to discourage you from taking such self-righteous swipes at people in the future. The fact that you are an industry 'insider', or indeed the designer's friend, does not give you the final word. You claim to be a renowned editor (although your grammar, spelling, and the overall linguistic quality of your various posts do little to support that claim); therefore, does it not also fall upon you to have an open mind towards other people's views and opinions? Being a media person and not a lawyer, your ignorance of the law is excusable. The laughable quality of your argument and your wholly unwarranted self-righteousness, on the other hand, are not.

Best,

Y.

Varun said...

Dear Y,

I suggest you proofread your response before accusing me of taking personal swipes based on my supposedly shallow content. I have nothing more to say.

Best,
Varun

Varun said...

Oh, and one more thing. I think the name of this blog is self-explanatory. QED.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

^ as a member of the editorial board of an academic journal, Y's response seems perfectly all right to me, especially considering the fact that this is blog commentspace.

You may say whatever you like about my blog. However, as I have stated in the past, I am free to disregard it. And coming here and flaming me or my readers isn't going to change anyone's opinion of the matter.

X & Y said...

Dear Rana,

You asked for what's coming. Read on.

The 'features editor' of '&' Magazine, that beacon of hard-hitting and serious journalism, is telling ME to proofread my post. Of course, he can say nothing in response to my demolition of his 'argument'. So all he can do is post a juvenile 'look at yourself' post!

Dear Rana, I do not need you to tell me to proofread anything. I am associated with a publication of actual standing, unlike yourself. Of course, one would not expect high academic standards from you, being an empty-headed NIFT himbo who writes despicably bad poetry. Look at yourself. Look at your own lack of skill with the English language, a failing that has already been well-documented publicly (see http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050820/saturday/main2.htm). Look at your deplorable editing skills. Look at the joke of a publication you work for. Really, what reason have you to get out of bed in the morning and look at your (decidedly ugly) face in the mirror? How, indeed, do you sleep at night? It's not much of a life, is it? Not being talented enough yourself, you end up living off those who are by writing substandard articles in a half-rate rag of a magazine, and yet you're still such a self-righteous pighead (and if you think I'm being needlessly nasty by calling him ugly, please examine the link above).

And my previous post obviously flew straight over your head. I can't hold that against you, given your social and educational background, but let me clarify; I took issue with your self-righteousness, as did a vast majority of the other commentators on this blog. Personal swipes; now that's a different ballgame! I've got no problem with those, especially given your long list of shortcomings and disqualifications (see above). Little wonder you haven't 'suicided' in shame. Did the rain of realization fall on you 'tomorrow'? (sic)

In short, Rana, even though you don't seem to have realized it yourself, you're not welcome here anymore. Of course, it IS a little surprising to see the busy 'features editor' of '&' Magazine (!) quite so idle as to be commenting on supposedly badly-researched-and-written blogs willy-nilly! On the other hand, it DOES say a lot about the quality of your magazine and its editorial staff.

So leave this blog alone, lick your wounds and get out while you still have a tiny scrap of dignity remaining. Go lock yourself up with your designer friend, and do whatever it is that you do with him. You came here to decry the author's post and criticize her 'research'. To that end, YOU HAVE FAILED COMPLETELY AND SPECTACULARLY. We argued with you, and you had nothing to say, even though you are (by your own admission) an all-knowing industry insider. Nothing to say. We're all now well-aware of the unfortunate quality of the life you lead. But please, get out of here and stop reminding us that individuals as laughable as yourself exist.

Love,

- Y.

X & Y said...

Dear bluefloppyhat,

I seriously think you should bring this matter to the attention of the original designer, as a matter of civic responsibility. I doubt they'd take nearly as sympathetic a view of Verma's 'aspirations' as Rana does. These two have few qualms about bullying the author of a blog. But a big fat infringement action (and the resulting insolvency and loss of reputation) will certainly teach them a thing or two about copying other people's ideas. Remember: COPYING IS THEFT.

Best,

- Y.

Anonymous said...

I know Prashant personally.
He did internship just one month at galliano and mcqueene.Total 2 months.
He interesting catwalk but not the cloth-itself.
Seems he looking for the bubbles.
What a shame...

Anupama said...

Dear All,

Just stumbled on this blog and found all your arguments very interesting. As some one trained in both fashion & Journalism I would like to point out a few facts.

1. Floppy - Mr. Rana is right. As a good Journalist you have to speak to the person who is the principal character of your article. They have a right to reply. Based solely on this blog Verma can sue you for Libel.

2. Y - Intellectual Property - In fashion if 6 things are different then the design cannot be considered a copy. I have seen both dresses and it is painfully clear even in the picture that there are enough differences to keep Verma in the clear.

It is advisable that you read and research instead of generally defaming people, it makes a difference between a good writer & an opinionated personn!!

X & Y said...

To 'Anupama',

'If 6 things are different' is the most LAUGHABLE thing I've ever heard. You're speaking to LAWYERS, who actually know a thing or two about intellectual property. There are established LEGAL TESTS to determine whether something is a copy or not. Something as ridiculously off-the-street and simplistic as 'if there are 6 things' is a test that may be of use to you, but no-one else. The law is only concerned with substantial similarity and 'look and feel', and so the only thing that is painfully obvious around here is that you're a flunky to these losers, and need to get out of here. Join Verma and Rana, and get back to your dead-end life. By the way, the quality of your writing is, in itself, a telling indicator of how seriously your advice on journalism is to be taken.

Cheers from Manchester,

Y.

Varun said...

Dear Y,

I wonder what filled you with such venom. I only hope you enjoy it as much as I pity it.

Varun Rana

PS: Thanks for telling you're in Manchester. That's about the only piece of information you're dared to disclose about yourself. I'm really impressed.

Anupama said...

Dear Y,

Is it impossible for you to maintain some semblance of decency in an discussion. Getting personal is very easy and possibly your only argument when you have none!!!

The fact is that Verma did not copy the dress. Putting his face on his dress was an essesntial part of the story of the collection. I saw it. I know how and where he used it. Also the designer who made the first dress is not the first person to use the concept of a face on a dress. The cut, fabric, usage is all different!!! You are speaking from a stand point of ignorance. You are publishing lies about an individual, defaming him and his belittling his work and you don't even have the courage to reveal your identity or the grace to allow someone to defend him.

You are the LOSER!!! You disgust me and are a disgrace to Lawyers (if you are one)!! The law is very clear matters of intellectual property, and i am fully aware of what it states. And i have studied Verma's work over the last year and i know the thought behind this concept. His interpretation is completely different. If you bothered to speak to him you would know you are wrong!!!!!!!!!!

X & Y said...

Dear Rana,

What locus have you to pity others when you've got a shit job, no prospects, and don't know the difference between 'yesterday' and 'tomorrow'? Your magazine is diabolically trite, and the only people I know who've actually heard of it only read it to laugh at its vapid contents.

What locus have you to pity others when all you are is a flunky to a half-assed fashion designer who can't even do what his job description says, i.e. design, and not copy?

What locus have you to pity others when you and your friends think it's alright to bully intelligent, independent bloggers who know what they're talking about with laughable arguments, and claiming journalistic high ground when none of you can even type a blog comment out in proper English?

You have no locus. I suggest that you resign yourself to your sad little lot in life: a sad little nobody working in a sad little magazine, your future determined by hanging on to the talent and celebrity of other people. Cheers, you pathetic little man.

- Y.

P.S. You're better off not knowing who I am. You'd probably die of jealousy knowing that there are people with real lives and lifestyles out there.

X & Y said...

To 'Anupama',

1) Nice to critique my anonymity when you remain anonymous yourself. Let's have your address and phone number on here before we throw stones at other people, shall we?

2) Since you're so enlightened about intellectual property, please tell me: what is the standard of originality in copyright for clothes? I want you to give me statutes, case citations, everything. You claim to know the law, so tell me. By the way, floppy has a thesis in fashion copyright, so I think you've bitten off more than you can chew, judy.

3) If Anu Malik claimed that 'Are Baba' was part of the 'story' of his film score, and had nothing to do with 'Macarena', then it would all be very well, wouldn't it?!?!

Charlatan.

Varun said...

Dear Y,

Look at yourself. You need to assert your fabulous lifestyle to me - a 'pathetic little man' - to justify to yourself how awesome it is.

Enjoy your 'real' life and lifestyle in your cocoon. I'm better off without a life such as yours. At least I don't need to be presumptuously mean to strangers to enjoy mine.

Best,
Varun

Anupama said...

Really Y - you should get some!!! It looks like you need it real bad.

And i doubt Floppy has written a Thesis in fashion copyright. cos if she had, she would not have published this story on her blog. So if what you say is true, prove it!!

Unfortunately i don't have your suave taste in music so i cannot really comment on Anu Malik or Arre Baba.

And if you give me your email i will give you a lesson or 2 in intellectual property law. I have quite a few lawyers in my family, 3 of them IP lawyers. Which law do you want, the Indian one, the american one, the European one or the British one????

And at least i have given my name, which is something you are too scared to do!! Maybe its cos, if we know who you really are, it will confirm the fact that your opinion doesn't count for much!!

like I said, Get laid. It cant be hard in Manchester, unless you're really Ugly or have bad BO. It will make you less obnoxious.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I have had enough of you trolls. I refuse to be dragged down to the level of people who cite family members as evidence of their own knowledge, and if this is some kind of attempt to bully me into bowing my (virtual) head and acknowledging the superiority of your opinion as a fashion journalist with lawyers in the family, it's failing miserably. Also, you're flaming on a ten-month-old entry. Classy.

If you feel Mr Verma needs more defending, please go ahead and speak out- somewhere else. You've had plenty of freedom to say what you pleased on this blog, no one actually stopped you from saying anything- it's just that I'm not going to let you flame here any more. I'm sure you, as a member of of the press, have any number of other outlets available to you to defend him in, but the comments you've made here can remain. I don't have issues with people seeing them- especially considering just what they'd see (very, very articulate, logical things, especially in the comment just above this).

As for the alleged 'defamation', anyone can take anyone to court these days. Whether they'd win, however, is another matter.

Anonymous said...

I must say I have to agree with floppy hat n Y... I aint no lawyers nor am I going to comment on my writing skills but I’m a designer... I believe that it is the mindset of the people that has to change. No one sees that ripping off or putting outsourced creativity and workmanship as their own is BS... it’s disgusting and completely wrong. colleges such as NIFT itself is partly responsible for such an attitude... copying, cheating, getting ones work done for them is not discouraged nor is it punished. The administration is not any better. There is no nurturing of creativity... how can there be...?? Everyone’s copying and seems to think, that’s what designing is all abt... I wonder if there is really anything that can be done.if you have noticed no one really cares... we even have people who will stand up for it… weird n very very sad …. The small mindedness and the lack of awareness makes me mad.
Love
kk

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