Friday, January 8, 2010

Deja Vu

Most bloggers and other netizens took a well-deserved break this holiday season, leaving my RSS reader quite lonely. What did your resourceful little ShoeGeek do? I took to my app and starting surfing really old collections. And then I discovered that it's true when they say what goes around comes around.'s couture documentation started in with Spring 2001, and the first collection featured in the alphabetical list was Balmain. Whoa, was 2001 a different time. Forget the disco dresses and rugged sequined confections that have brought Balmania to hysteric levels in the past couple of years -- this was Balmain under the luxe hand of Oscar de la Renta. It was definitely a different era.

Or.... was it? As I flipped through the images, I began getting that feeling of deja vu, like these archival pieces weren't so much relics of the past, but instead historical references that today's designers are using as inspiration... or perhaps just downright copying. I'm watching Project Runway season 6 right now, and I'm up to the episode wear Althea complains that Logan "stole" her zipper collar idea, and then Irena tells the judges that Althea "borrowed" her oversized sweater idea. The theory is brought up that influences can be conscious or unconscious, but where do we draw the line between "inspired by" and "a copy of"?

You have to admit, in many cases, the resemblance is pretty uncanny...

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  1. Nice article!

    Just want to share a short video on the french pronounciation of Balmain!

  2. That Marchesa Fall dress is to die for. I love the colour and the beautiful full skirt to it!