Inspiration vs. Imitation – Designer Jessica Hische’s Amazing Words

The art of DIY is something I believe, to be enjoyed for oneself, shared with others as means of inspiration and encouragement, but not something that should be applied to creating exact replicas or knockoffs to make a profit on sales of such items.  Inspired by, but not replicated if there are sales involved.  I get so many requests (even now!) for me to make a custom knockoff pair of those Christian Louboutin for Rodarte Super-Spiked Heels I DIY’d nearly 3 years ago, that sometimes I feel my intentions in sharing these how-tos and ideas on my blog are being misconstrued entirely.

Sometimes I wonder if I should only be sharing tutorials for items quite different from, but still inspired by, designer pieces.  It’s a tough call.

But for all of us out there who craft, who create, and who produce art, there is always the question of inspiration vs. imitation.  Though in her eloquent post designer Jessica Hische is writing about art in general, I believe her great analysis of the art of copying (and how to avoid straight-out mimicry) is a great read and utterly applicable to everything creative in life (including DIY!).

And especially DIY, and making your own projects for yourself, as well as to share with others.  Ideas are everywhere, and what you choose to appropriate, re-appropriate, and re-mix becomes art the further away it gets from its original inspiration.  I re-read this blog post all the time because it’s such a great one (and Ms. Hische is an amazing logotype and branding designer too!)

Read Inspiration vs. Imitation by Jessica Hische

Just some food for thought on this late, late evening.:-)


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Is Fashion Racist? Chictopia Article: The Rise of the Asian Supermodel

A great and insightful article posted on Chictopia about racism (mostly regarding the use of Asian models) in fashion.  As someone who spent my formative years in Japan (and getting used to the types of models used in fashion and the media over there ), I found it an interesting discussion about the models used in the West.  To me, whenever I come back to the U.S. from spending some time in Japan, I always have this period of reverse culture-shock, where I watch TV or flip through magazines, and am wondering “Where are all the Japanese and half-Japanese models?”  Then after awhile I get used to it and even stop noticing that Asian faces permeate the media far more infrequently than over there.

Sometimes I wonder why companies, who want to be PC, don’t just split their model usage according to the population demographics of the country they’re targeting.  (For the U.S.: 60% White, 13% Black, 15% Hispanic, 4.4% Asian, 2.3% Multiracial, 0.8% Native Americans/Alaskan native, 0.14% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 5% “some other race”, mostly being of Latino origin. Source)  Or split the demographics according to world population.  Would that not be the most fair?  Or would people be more in favor of using models that reflect the demographics of the market their targeting (i.e., their customers)?  Or, since fashion is essentially aspirational and idealized, should race be allowed to be a component of that?  Or does it inherently become part of that aspirational quality?

What do all of you think?

Read the Full Article Here



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Inspired Alert! Find out Where, by Whom, and When…at INTO THE FASHION

Though I sometimes post a big-name brands piece that I feel was “inspired” somewhere else in my Inspired Alert! posts…this is an entire blog filled with that – straight from the runways.

I’m utterly inspired in turn…and in awe of how much time is put into all of this, as well as the blogger’s fantastic eye for similarities.  Author Diana Marian Murek is a German fashion designer who now lives in Milan and writes for Italian Grazia, and her comparisons of newer runway looks and advertisements with looks and ads from the past is mind-boggling.


For tons more whoa!-like moments and interesting similarities that make you go “hmmmmm…..,” check out


Just amazing!


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Proenza Schouler Complains Target Copied their PS1 Bag

Proenza Schouler PS1 bag on top; Target’s Messenger Bag in Olive on the bottom.  Img source

As you may or may not have heard, Proenza Schouler recently expressed disappointment that Target had begun selling a bag that was similar to their PS1 bag.  From the New York Times blog: “[Proenza Schouler designer Jack] McCollough can understand that people love bargains and knockoffs, but variations, clever or not, rob companies, small companies like Proenza, of opportunities. Reading the post, he remarked, “Yeah, why save up and buy ours when you can buy theirs right away?”

Well, whom is knocking off whom?  And is it correct of McCollough to assume that theirs is the original, and that the Target bag is directly derived from Proenza Schouler’s re-imagining of the standard messenger satchel?

Mulberry Oversized Alexa Bag

Fossil Vintage Re-Issue Flap, $108

Express Top Handle Satchel, $59.90

Aldo Kreisher Bag, $50

TopShop the Mimi Bag by Marc B**, $84

Oryany Flap Satchel, $398

Marc by Marc Jacobs Saddlery Sophie, $478

ASOS Clean Line Double Buckle Satchel, $44

Pathfinder Laptop Messenger Bag, $49.95

Vintage B-15 Pilot Messenger Bag, $31.99

And add all of those to Refinery 29‘s recent exhaustive list of PS1 doppelgangers

And these are just the bags that are currently available for sale on the Internet…not including the messenger bags used by the U.S. army throughout the decades…schoolboys in Europe in the 1940’s and 50’s…oh, and all satchels ever existing in the history of Time.

What do you guys think? Does Proenza Scholer have the right to be issuing statements about design infringement towards Target?  Do you think the designer for this bag for Target intentionally copied the PS1…or just designed a messenger bag with a few similarities?  Which came first – the chicken or the egg…or, in this case: the PS1 or the iconic messenger-bag-style design?

Though the Mossimo bag ($34.99) is out of stock online, I spied it the other day at my local Target store.  And if you’d like to worship and purchase the original PS1 in all its original glory, it’s available here for $1,995.



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Guilt-Free Fur?

source unknown (Google images)

As many of you may have read, the New York Times posted an article online last month about nutria fur currently being marketed as the new “guilt-free fur.”  The argument is that since the nutria (giant swamp-rodents) are a threat to Louisana swampland and are being killed anyway in order to protect this fragile ecosystem, then instead of thoughtlessly discarding the carcasses it’s better to utilize the fur.  …And make it into fashion.

Found on Flicker

A designer makes necklaces out of the teeth, Etsyans craft merkin panties and jewelry out of the fur…oh, and Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta also incorporated nutria fur into trims and linings in their recent collections.  Saks is currently the largest retailer in the United States that carries nutria fur items (check out this Nutria Fur Jacket from Maison Martin Margiela!).

Remember Elaine’s “rat hat” from that episode of Seinfeld?  That Russian “sable-esque” hat was supposedly nutria, according to the storyline.  And maligned as “not even a good rat-hat.”

Img Source

So what do you guys think?  Is real fur in fashion items okay if the animal is killed as a pest anyway?  Is it right to attempt to wipe out a species if it threatens a long-established ecosystem?  Will people begin to embrace nutria and being to rank it on par with fur in general – or is the “ick” factor too strong?

What are your thoughts?  And would you ever buy or wear nutria?


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