9to5musings

Muses about everything from MECM20003 to hipster glasses and hot chocolate

There is no originality in fashion… Oh really?

As I strolled down the streets of Melbourne CBD, noting the appearance of yet another pair of burgundy skinny jeans, slouchy granny sweaters, and peplum tops, I am heartily convinced that it is hard to establish originality in fashion.

After all, one need not look further than the vintage subculture and how it was appropriated into mainstream fashion culture, to recognize how there is little to no originality in fashion.

We have copyrights to recognize the exclusive rights of intellectual property, and acknowledge and preserve the originality of such property.

Is that possible to implement in fashion? Sure, for one-off pieces that are highly exclusive (and also highly pricey). But how about mass-manufactured, mass-marketed goods that everyone wears?

“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

What is originality in fashion? I think it is the quality of being fresh, new, and novel, and displaying this quality through the clothes you don.

However, it must be acknowledged that it is extremely difficult to be truly original today. Ideas are derived from anything and everything around us, although we may not be able to pinpoint the exact wellspring of inspiration.

There are cheap luxury brand remakes everywhere. An example is in makeup, where it is “always possible to find a drugstore dupe of high-end products”.

In Oscar Wilde’s famous words:

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

It naturally follows that, by appropriating fashion designs or trends from anything and everything, individuality (in fashion, at least) is a lie.

Or is it?

Despite consumers having similar items in their wardrobe, countless different styles emerge as fashionistas inject their own personal touch and style into an outfit.


Styling similar shirts, image courtesy of here.

While most people derive inspiration from different fashion items and how they are styled, it does not mean that their rendition lacks originality.

If anything, if fashion is “filtered through the perspective and the sensibility of each designer’s (and consumer’s) individual style”, then it shouldn’t be deemed unoriginal and uninspiring.

If anything, it should be more so.

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This entry was posted on October 9, 2012 by .

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