Is all fashion just copying?

I watched this very interesting video – a presentation by Johanna Blakley: Lessons from fashion's free culture.  In it is discussed the lack of copyright on fashion and apparel and how trends are just everyone copying from one another at the same time until everything looks like a variation on the same theme.  (She puts it much better.)  For example, peplums coming ‘back into fashion'.  Black and white seems to be predicted as popular for this year.

Also discussed is the collaboration between fashion designers and large retail stores to bring those expensive fashions into the reach of us regular folks.  And how they realise that having their designs copied makes little to no impact on their sales because the customers who buy the copies could NEVER afford to buy the originals anyway.

She shares her perspective on how the lack of copyright protection means that designers are forever striving to create and achieve greater things, a unique product, or a style which can be immediately recognized as their own.



This was an interesting subject for me because I had recently been considering signing up for the new Craftsy course – Pattern Drafting from Ready to Wear.  I have some favorite clothes, we all do, where they have been worn to death but fit just so, and are so right and comfy that we cannot bear to part with them.  So the Pattern Drafting from Ready to Wear seems like the ideal way to copy your favorites and improve upon them, add variations etc.  And at least I know I won't get into any trouble if I copy something !

But what if I copied something I owned, and then offered the pattern to readers to sew?  I guess that would be OK too – especially if I included my own variation.  Strange to think of it being so easy.  So why do we all buy commercial patterns – can someone just copy a pattern and sell it themselves – or is that taking the subject too far?

However I am getting ahead of myself.  Before I even think about this pattern drafting course, I already need to finish –

What do you think – are you happy to buy a designer knock off?


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