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17-09-2015
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The Céline syndrome
Over the past few seasons we have all witnessed designers getting accused of 'copying', or at least getting inspired, by Phoebe Philo's Céline collections.

This season alone New York based brands like Derek Lam, Proenza Schouler, Victoria Beckham and Calvin Klein have been getting such critiques by TFS members and I feel the need to ask: Is it necessary to compare every other collection to what Philo is doing at Céline, or should we accept the 'Céline aesthetic' as something in vogue right now and let designers incorporate it in their clothes?

What are your thoughts?

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17-09-2015
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Oh my god, yes yes yes. EVERYTHING I've been saying is like an exact replica of Celine. Where has the originality and creativity gone?

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17-09-2015
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Hmm ... very interesting question. I think a riff like Gucci taking their traditional loafer and making it over in the image of the fur-lined Birkenstock is fine ... some seasons after the original.


I do wonder, though, why so many designers seem to feel it isn't their job to be directional.

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17-09-2015
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I can, probably, get over a collection with some hints of Céline, because it's probably a trends issue, and if I like it and see some innovation, I'll say so. But this 4, 5? shows showing up re-makes of old collection's Céline clothes are way too much, at least for me.

This is Fashion Week after all, we are not talking about Zara getting mysteriously inspired by Céline, this should be a place where TRUE designers show up their creations. And by designer, I mean someone who has the creativity and taste to pull of something, at least something different, without having the need of copying in a so-obvious way something which is already been done.

About the "Céline aesthetic", i think that, if Céline can do it, the rest could. And if not, they shouldn't be showing up at FW.

I feel NYFW is drowning, let's see what happens in London, Milan and Paris this season..

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17-09-2015
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I've been saying this for a long time now. It started after her debut collection and since she changed it up the industry followed. 2011-2013 has influenced fashion for the past few years but It seems that what she was doing from 2014 to the present has slowly began to latch on to other designers. Louis Vuitton's resort 2016 collection also seems to have had great influence over NYFW this season.

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17-09-2015
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Didn't we all used to complain about designers copying Ghesquiere's Balenciaga? Phoebe's "Céline aesthetic" is just more on trend right now. I find fashion to be a weird commercialized art form and there aren't a lot of hard checks involved when it comes to copying. There have been plenty of art directors asking that I just copy someone else's work because it was the most trendy.

I do think it's a fair critique to call out designers who are blatantly copying, especially when it's detrimental to their own work.


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18-09-2015
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it's not just one designer so it's obviously became an official trend
however i except a designer to play with trends and add something to his creations and not copy litterally

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18-09-2015
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This is nothing new. It has been going on for years, especially with Ghesquiere. I'll always maintain the opinion that it's shameless - it is simply passing off another person's creativity and expertise as your fresh "aesthetic" and profiting from it. It's primarily why there are only a few designers that I pay attention to for the past 4-5 years; mainly because I'm not a consumer of those brands that often copy and there's nothing innovative to enjoy, so there's no point.

There's often the excuse that it speeds up trends and generates creativity as designers are forced to come up with the next new thing. While this is said off fast-fashion labels, it's also applicable to some of the designers who copy what was shown last season. But it's just come to the point where it's the same few designers who try to do something original and that is copied within the next season. I'm not speaking about little coincidences or even minor inspirations, but blatant replicas by the same brands over and over again.

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18-09-2015
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it's the same for nicolas, raf, miuccia...they are very influential people i think that we can't say that all of these collections are totally celine though..proenza schouler, altuzarra ? no...

however, those like edun, victoria beckham, calvin klein, maiyet, a few more they are so obviously ripping it off

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18-09-2015
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Celine has set a new industry standard for creativity and quality (not "new" in an unprecedented sense, but more along the lines of what is considered modern for the now).

There always is a voice or two in fashion that is defining the "look" of the time. That's fine. What that does is set the standard - asks others to raise their bars and keep pace.

The problem is, so many designers out there just aren't creative enough - or at least haven't figured out who they are as designers or as a brand - and so instead of keeping pace with Celine, they just skip the hard work of figuring out a unique identity of their own and copy Phoebe's work. That's a problem. Especially when so many of these (in particular) New York designers do it so blatantly...what's the point? It's so shameless and there's no integrity in that.

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20-09-2015
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While this could be a creativity issue, I see it as a business issue. The majority of these designers cannot afford to lose money on any season. They don't have a huge acceories, makeup, skincare and what not product lines to support "experimental" collections.

I wouldn't be surprised how many of these designers are 1 season away from shutting down. Altuzarra was talking about how his clothes weren't selling and now he's in partnership with Kering.

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21-09-2015
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Ever since Phoebe started at Céline she's sort of laid the foundation upon which fashion stands. The last few years have really been her moment. I'm not sure how long she'll be able to keep it up, but ever since she started becoming more free and undone in her collections around her Spring 2013 collection plenty of people are following that vibe (case in point: many designers this season). So I guess the Phoebe/Céline reign is set to continue.

Is it a cyclical thing? For awhile there were so many young designers that were (and still are) heavily indebted to the work of Nicolas and his work at Balenciaga -- there are several NYFW labels who should literally cut him a check.

I've only become keenly interested and aware of fashion within the past few years, but has it always been like this? Ever since the recession its seems like we're just in a...stasis. I feel as if I'm still waiting for "a new era" to begin or a momentous, heart-stopping moment or discovery to happen. Maybe the grass is always greener, but right now everything happening in the fashion world feels both timid and transparent.


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21-09-2015
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^^I think fashion is definitely in a period of trying to figure out what's next. The Internet has certainly thrown itself into the mix and everyone is trying to sort out how it works in a meaningful way within the industry.

I do feel as though we are beginning to enter into a new period - although it still is very early and unpredictable at this point.

Pre-recession, large, corporate fashion was where the creativity and excitement was to be found in fashion - the Galliano/Dior, the Tom Ford, the Karl Lagerfeld/Chanel, Marc/LV, etc, all these mega, mega brands were actually doing interesting, creative things because the designers were given full trust. Post recession, that trust was completely revoked and we were left with very corporate collections...small designers couldn't make a name for themselves because there was no money to be found, so all we were left with were these mega-brand monstrosities making garbage.

But once Phoebe went to Céline (and also JW at Loewe, and now Alessandro Michele at Gucci) I think we are starting to see beautiful, unique, artisanal, expirimental, creative things coming from corporations again...and it feels encouraging for the industry. Phoebe turned the tide for what a corporate fashion brand must look like. That hyper-glossed, heartless product that looks like it was made by committees just doesn't fly anymore.

So - like I wrote previously, Philo has set a new standard for the industry - the problem is that so many designers just don't have a strong enough voice of their own that can adapt to these changes, and instead just follow verbatim what the leader of the pack is doing.


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21-09-2015
  14
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And before “The Celine Syndrome”, there was “The Miuccia Prada Syndrome”, and before— “The Tom Ford Syndrome”, and before that...“The Christian Dior Syndrome… High fashion has always been about the mass of lessers following a few greaters. Always. Recession or not.

Going a bit further back, just off the top of my head, someone that was a great influence for a period, who was copied— from other designers to department store in-house collections was Claude Montana for most of the 80s. His design signature, a mix of powerful dramatics, sleekness and classic flattering femininity towards the last few remaining years of that decade, was probably very similar to the effect Phoebe is having now in the industry. In the earlier part of Montana’s influences, it was those huge, infamous 80s-shoulders on long overcoats worn with tights that became the look for the fashion masses.

I think like Phoebe, Claude was able to capture that mix of accessibility, desirable, luxury and a sign of the time— even his footwear, designed in collaboration with Stephane Kelian, was highly recognized. I don’t feel Phoebe’s designs are as intelligent, progressive or interesting as some others. But, they’re very much a summation of the brand of high fashion, luxury and accessibility that defines the mood of the moment that appeals to many women. And I think more importantly, like Claude, her designs project an image that’s attractive to girls and women: An agelessness that’s not about playing dress up or needing to prove how high fashion you are by wearing experimental shapes.

Someone on this forum had mentioned that Claude is a shadow of his former self and has been spotted on the streets of Paris, seemingly lost. People seemed to have forgotten about just how extremely influential he was at one time in high fashion, and sadly, no one seems to even be interested in resurrecting the Claude Montana label. So who knows if Phoebe will continue to have that kind of an influence years from now, but she’s definitely not going to be the last designer who’s managed to capture the zeitgeist and lead with it.

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21-09-2015
  15
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What I find a bit hard to fathom is why the followers don't find it impossible to stomach the imitation.


Now The Row was never meant to be about originality ... OK, so I can understand that. They got into the business to create the perfect T. What's everyone else's excuse?


I don't think this is just about commercial concerns--otherwise there would be some stunning originality on each runway, along with the imitative stuff.


Do the copyists just not have it in them?

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