Imitation is not always the best form of flattery, particularly for these fashion mishaps.
By Ashima Sethi
Considering how quickly trends evolve, it’s common knowledge that designers look to their competitors for some much-needed inspiration…which unfortunately for everyone, often ends in a case of imitation. But just how bad is the copycat culture in fashion? Well, with popular Instagram accounts like @dietprada and @dietsabya which are quick to call out the who’s who of fashion déjà vus, it has become harder than ever to get away with plagiarism. So let’s add even more fuel to the fi re by revealing our favourite fashion blunders that will make you do a double take!
1. For the cover of Cosmopolitan India’s January 2019 issue, Janhvi Kapoor was photographed in a sequined dress by Mumbai-based label Purple Paisley. At first glance, the look seems all right. It’s bold thanks to the black wig and straight bangs, and the ensemble is dotted in shimmery plastic sequins (and we know Janhvi loves everything plastic)…but look a little closer and you’ll realise that it’s actually identical to a dress from Balmain’s 2018 Fall Collection. A pretty unfortunate mistake for a nationwide publication.
2. Kareena Kapoor Khan dazzles in this B3,000 fringed Topshop jacket complete with colourful appliques…just kidding! The starlet is actually wearing an unreasonably expensive ‘handwoven’ Manish Malhotra creation that just happens to look identical to the famous UK-based brand’s more affordable version. As young Rohan from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) once said, “How tacky!”
3. Let’s not forget the B100,000 Balenciaga tote bag that became the subject of memes across Thailand in 2016, thanks to its similarities to the plastic bags you’d find wholesalers lugging around local markets or bargain malls. Even the Director of Intellectual Property Thailand, Natawan Sakunkarn, poked fun at the comparison by carrying a cheap talad bag to a press conference to address that the designer bag did not actually commit any copyright violations. Safe to say, everyone loves a bit of Sampheng chic.
4. Last November, jewellery designer Riddhima Kapoor Sahni (also known as Ranbir Kapoor’s sister) launched a new collection under her label R Jewelry, but was soon called out for posting a photo of earrings by the legendary Kokichi Mikimoto onto her page. Doesn’t sound too bad? Well, she posted the jewellery as her own creation, which naturally led to a lot of controversy. For future reference, if you’re going to steal a design for a pair of pearl earrings, do not copy them from a man literally known as the ‘King of Pearls.’
5. For a promotional video for the Lux Golden Rose Awards in 2017, Alia Bhatt donned a dark purple gown by couturier Swapnil Shinde and transformed into the epitome of Bollywood beauty. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to cut her Cinderella moment short as the gown is actually a bootleg version of a 2014 Versace creation, down to the three buckles, sequined bodice and literally everything else.
6. The audience at Manish Malhotra’s 2018 Pune fashion show was mesmerised when Radhika Apte walked the ramp as the show stopper in an intricately embroidered white chiffon gown. After the show, the radiant actress opened up about how much the experience meant to her…which is why we think Manish owes her a big fat apology for putting her in a plagiarised version of a Zuhair Murad gown. And not just any gown for that matter, but the couture piece that Deepika Padukone wore to last year’s Cannes Film Festival. That must sting!
7. Catriona Gray made headlines across the globe when she was crowned Miss Universe 2018, but now she’s back in the news for all the wrong reasons. The beauty queen recently attended New York Fashion Week in an oddlooking embellished floor length jacket and skirt ensemble by Sherri Hill. Unfortunately for Catriona, people were quick to point out that the frontslit dress really resembles an anarkali design from Sabysachi’s 2016 Firdaus collection. Let’s just say that when it comes to ethnic wear, it’s best to leave it to the master.