Nicolas Ghesquière soundtracked his debut Louis Vuitton show with a song that intoned “C'mere, Copycat.” Everyone remarked on its appropriateness, in no small part because Vuitton's interlaced LV is fashion's most copied fashion logo.
Copying is endemic in fashion – and it's eating it alive. Phoebe Philo stopped releasing images of her Céline pre-collections to the press because they were so rapidly ripped off. It's irritating, but there's no better way to foil the copyists. Take that, Zara!
High-street retailers are the prime culprits. Many are shameless – "Splurge vs Save" is the headline of an email I get daily, extolling the virtues of "saving" £558 by buying a rip-off of a Jil Sander skirt rather than "splurging" on the original.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but it leaves a sour taste – the idea of profiting from someone else's work and expertise. Which, really, is what fashion copycats are doing: taking advantage of other designers' thought processes and exploiting them for commercial gain.
Ghesquière's dig was also aimed at his fashion cohorts, many of whom have lifted ideas from his back catalogue with all the brazen chutzpah of a back-alley Vuitton counterfeiter. The only difference? Rather than affixing a makeshift designer logo to their copy, they attach their own and try to pass it off as a fresh idea. And that's really criminal.