Fashion writer accused of plagiarism over book proposal

But what about fashion writing? Do writers take lines from others and pass them off as their own? That is the allegation directed at a former British fashion journalist, accused of borrowing, embroidering and even inventing details and incorporating them into the proposal for a hotly-sought memoir.

Women's Wear Daily online claims details included in a proposal by former Times' fashion correspondent Emily Davies, are not true. The article even asks whether the industry has its "own James Frey" in the making - a reference to the best-selling writer who admitted portions of his memoir were invented.

The article claims several incidents, including Ms Davies's having dinner with designer Donna Karan in Tokyo and attending a party for Jennifer Lopez at Donatella Versace's Italian villa, either did not happen or are inaccurately portrayed.

It also claims a meeting with three fashion industry employees in New York - including an employee of American Vogue - did not take place. Ms Davies' apparently quotes Vogue staffer Alexandra Kotur advising her how to obtain a glamorous job. "I have no idea what each day will bring," Ms Davies quotes her as saying. "One day I could be in someone's home on a photo shoot, the next night I'm talking to Minnie Driver." The article quotes a Vogue spokesperson as saying the conversation never took place and says the quote appeared to have been taken from a 1998 New York Times article.

Ms Davies's precis is not just any old book proposal. Last December Simon and Schuster and Random House's Ebury Press jointly paid a reported $900,000 (£520,000) for the rights to the proposal, provisionally entitled How to Wear Black: Adventures on Fashion's Front Line and described as "an all-access pass to the world of fashion". The publishers hoped the memoir would follow in the successful steps of recent "frock-lit" hits such as The Devil Wears Prada by Anna Wintour's former assistant,.

The article says this is not the first time allegations of using others writer's material have been directed at Ms Davies. In 2004 the Financial Times complained she had used excerpts from a shopping column by Susie Boyt so as to make it appear she had interviewed the writer.

Ms Davies was sacked last year after an investigation into her expenses' claims. She sued for false dismissal then dropped the case. The Times is pursuing legal costs.

In a statement Ms Davies said: "Women's Wear Daily [has] made extremely serious allegations about me as a journalist. The allegations are that I have plagiarised other peoples' work. There is not a shred of truth to these allegations."

Her boyfriend, Jonathan Gornall, told The Independent Ms Davies' accepted she had erred in sourcing some quotes to herself but said it was "entirely innocent". He insisted she had attended the Lopez's party - saying she was not on the guest list but had gate-crashed "as any journalist would". He insisted, also, that Ms Davies did have dinner with Ms Karan, though not necessarily in Japan and that she never suggested it had been a one-on-one occasion. "Every single point raised [by] WWD is either plain wrong or a deliberate misrepresentation of the truth. Clearly, there must be something else going on here. This is going to be a great book that someone from somewhere doesn't want us to read."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test