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IN CONVERSATION WITH ANUPAMA DAYAL

JASMEEN DUGAL  (click here to know more about this blogger)

"Being copied is the ransom of success," Coco Chanel once said. "If you want to be original, be ready to be copied". But she didn't tolerate outright theft of her design. In 1930, Chanel joined designer Madeleine Vionnet in suing Suzanne Laneil, a copyist who was selling Chanel and Vionnet knockoffs. A French court ruled against Laneil in a case that recognised original French fashion designs as "real works of art… entitled to the same protection accorded authors and copyright holders."

 

Many decades later, fashion designers worldwide are clamouring for similar safeguards. So how are established and new designers fighting back when today's millennials want instant gratification?!! With runway shows being streamed live on social media, and runway fashion's calendar ahead of each season, it gives fast fashion companies time to knock-off designs, and sell it. Luxury labels and serious fashion weeks are attempting to fight this with 'see now, buy now' showings but every now and then whispers of piracy crops up. The latest case being that of designs similar to those of Anupama Dayal's signature hand printed designs appearing in "W for women" [please see images below]. The designer, who was distraught, wrote on social media, "It is hurtful to see years of research and creative energy being copied like this. The brand W has blatantly copied some of my signature designs... For those who know me and my design methodology [from concept to how it finally translates into a garment] would know how I have made personal visits to Nagaland and lived with the tribes to birth this collection. The other motif copied is bukhara, which is another signature…"

 

In an exclusive statement to me, she gravely wrote, "We are very disturbed by the similarity of the designs of "W for women" with several of our signature hand printing blocks. Our attempt has always been to revitalise ancient craft forms and motifs of the Indian subcontinent and other culture-rich regions. Our methods are artistic and sensitive to the respective culture as well as the craftspeople who derive a livelihood from the same. We also work with underprivileged women with the same goals. In doing so, we hope to tweak and keep relevant, deeply significant cultural beauty. We are deeply saddened when others heartlessly take a shortcut to these designs and manufacturing process thereby undermining everything that is ethical… in the name of commerce. Considerable research, ingenuity, craftsmanship and creativity goes into developing the processes, not just the products themselves.  This undermines the sensitivity of the creative industry that takes years to evolve and express."

 

By replicating originals, fast fashion is only diluting the market, making it impossible for talented young brands to grow and stunting the evolution of established houses. We hope the designer gets justice — serious fashion media and the design fraternity is rallying behind her and supporting her, in the face of this crisis.
 

ANUPAMA DAYAL
Anupamaa | W
 
ANUPAMA DAYAL
Anupamaa | W
 
ANUPAMA DAYAL
Anupamaa | W
 
11-JUNE-2018
 
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