opinion . Fashion

Clozette Chats: Is Imitation Really A Form Of Flattery?

AKA when is copying 'too much'?

Our perception of 'taking inspiration' from something or someone, especially when it comes to fashion, has been completely changed by technology in just the past decade. Before, it was much easier to come up with a look that you think is completely your own because the Internet was not a staple in our lives.  

Now, both a conscious or unconscious imitation of a fashion ensemble can cause serious drama, considering that a simple Google search can christen you guilty of so-called 'style plagiarism.' But where does the thin line between 'taking inspiration' and 'deliberate imitation' begin and end? Here's what we have to say.

"Yes, imitation is a form of flattery. But too much of it can only devalue the copier — and seriously, who wants to be called a copycat? There is a fine line between imitation and inspiration. We’re always inspired and there is no shame in taking inspiration in the spirit of creation. The challenge here is to turn the inspiration around and steer it towards a new direction based on our own interpretation and individuality."


"I agree with what Chuck Palahnuik said in his book Invisible Monsters. He said, 'Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.' It's true. We pick up something from each person we interact with, sometimes even those we just see on TV, the Internet, in movies, and more. I think it's inevitable to imbibe something from someone especially if you admire that person. I would say, though, that there's a very, very thin line between getting inspired and blatantly imitating someone. It's inevitable to get inspired, but don't ever copy. And if you ever lift something off from someone's style, make sure you give them credit."

"In a world where everything seems to have already been created and invented, it is hard to think of something that is 100% your own — and there's nothing wrong with that. Even great philosophers, style icons, or gurus in any field have someone or something that sparked the genius in them. It is when someone deliberately writes off where they got their inspiration from to claim all credit for themselves does the playing field get dirty. Ignorance doesn't excuse anyone from committing this as well. If you're unsure about your so-called 'brainchild', a quick search on the Internet if someone pioneered it before you wouldn't hurt. Same goes for giving a shoutout to that person. All I'm saying is that why not go for a collaborative approach rather than a cunning one?" 

"It's hard to be completely original since new ideas can come from different inspirations. However, blatant copying is never acceptable. If you're going to take an idea and put your own twist to it then you definitely have to credit your inspiration. For example, YouTubers constantly create content that takes inspiration from other creators yet they don't forget to mention their original source. In today's fast-paced society that predisposes shallow and hurried thinking, great ideas should always be credited to the original creator."

(Cover photo from: depositphotos.com, william87)

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