I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity. Especially in terms of personal style.
When you have an original style and work hard to make it your own, do you own it?
Okay I realise that might not have been the the easiest intro to follow. Here’s an example! I love statement boots. My best friend Emily always mocks the day I turned to her and proclaimed, “I’m such a boots girl!” (I’m also a bell end.) So yeah I’ve decided ankle boots are my jam. But wait Flo, statement ankle boots are the most on-trend thing this season. They’ve become every gals jam. And I’m not gonna lie, it made me furious. I tell myself my boots are prettier, I’ve had glittery boots for years, I’m amazing. But it’s all bollocks and irrelevant. I guess it relates back to the most important thing about personal style, not giving a fudge what other people think. Whether that’s because they think your outfit looks ridiculous OR they think you stole the idea from someone else. It’s about sticking a leopard print middle finger up to the world cause you love what you’re wearing no matter if anyone else does.
But what about fashion in general? A more important issue arose in a recent case- Zara faced backlashes and boycotting after it had emerged they had stolen small brands designs for pins. This was a horrible incident and really highlighted a culture of big businesses shitting on the little guy. This example is quite clear cut, they stole the whole design.
But it got me thinking, how much can you own a creative idea?
What about tweaking ideas, taking a print, a colour combination, a ruffle. Or starting with one designers statement gold boots and giving it a shorter heel. If something’s on trend you’re not stealing, you’re following a look for this season.
When does a company cross these blurred lines?
Take a look all around the highstreet, Asos, Zara, Topshop, Matalan, Newlook, River Island. All different shops with different consumers and price points, but you’ll find shockingly similar items in all. It’s the nature of fast fashion, we demand certain looks and the shops deliver. And where do we demand these looks from, well ultimately the catwalks. SO is anything in fashion can be traced back to being ‘stolen.’
There are ways to not enter into this on-trend sausage factory quite so much! Buy second-hand, vintage or personalise your clothing. One of my fave pieces is my patched denim jacket, cause I know literally no-one in the world ones the same one.
If you do still want to dip into trends, look on depop, e-bay or vintage stores. They’ll still carry these items but will have different twists that you won’t see on every fashion lover.
And hey if you start a trend, don’t moan about it. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. (Or start another trend and be in groundhog day for the rest of your natural life.)
Till next time!