Thursday, 21 January 2010
You might remember the post in which I compared clothes from Topshop and missguided.co.uk. They were identical. Missguided.co.uk, the online boutique, does not design fashion - it simply makes convincing replicas of designs previously made. And why should it? I'm sure it makes a perfectly acceptable profit by ripping off half of Topshop's stock, and I doubt anyone is complaining that they can get a £50 dress for £25.
What about Topshop itself, and any other high street shop for that matter? Arguably, they don't design fashion either. With the exception of Topshop Unique, they are doing exactly what missguided.co.uk are. For example: observe this rather dashing Luella Maggie dress.
It may be £625, but never fear: French Connection have produced a remarkably similar dress for £75.
Admittedly, it differs far more than the dresses from the host of cheap online 'boutiques.' But invariably, this dress has been influenced by the Luella. This is only to be expected: the job of high street stores is to provide a means for the everyday human to wear the Herve Leger dress or the Balmain jeans, obviously with some of the detail and quality lost in translation.
I said that Topshop Unique was an exception to this. Why? Well, because it's a designer, just like Chloe or Versace. But do real 'designers' really design anything new? I would say no: it is rare or even impossible to see a completely new concept and creation. Every dress or top designed is simply an alteration on the general theme. Whether it's the quality of fabric used in the translation from Topshop to missguided, or an adjustment on colour or shape from Luella to French Connection, the majority of design stays the same, with a slight alteration along the way. The further you go up the class system of the fashion design industry, the greater these alterations become.