The Fashion Copycat: We all have that one friend

by Laetitia Wong


Purchasing a pair of your best gal pal’s floral prints have always been frowned upon, especially in the fashion industry – But what with the rise of social media sites such as Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and MySpace (if you’re still into that old dinosaur of a network), I doubt your pal will still be holding you to your copycat oath.

You don’t remember the times where you showed up to a party with a brand new outfit, crucially hand-picked from your favourite store (which you thought was so obscure), in the hopes that you’d pull it off with style and panache (think Hilary Duff’s A Cinderella Story character when she arrived at the Halloween ball). Sure, we’re all still searching for our Chad Michael Murray, but that’s besides the point (and a very fine point too!).


Cheryl Fernandez-Versini in her Tuxedo dress at the X Factor auditions yesterday


Sunglasses, crop tops, yoga pants, even gladiator sandals – They’re all the rage. And if that wasn’t bad enough, items in trend could only mean one thing: A copycat on an original’s personal style. What is personal anymore, if not a style that was inspired from something/someone else? I could dress myself up in a garment of green like Catching Fire’s Johanna Mason, and could still be accused of having cited fashion inspiration from trees, for example. Or rather, the glaringly obvious answer be Johanna Mason herself!


Jena Malone, who plays Johanna Mason, wearing a sleek and sheer Nicholas Oakwell Couture column dress at the LA Catching Fire Premiere


It’s long been viewed negatively that buying or wearing an identical item was a ‘breach of etiquette’ of a sort, but with the insurgence of social media, we daresay that this logic of a fashion etiquette breach can well be done away for good. I mean, we even have YouTubers and style persons share their #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) on their various channels. If they aren’t for emulation, then what are they for? A blatant boast? “Look at me and my new outfit”? Yes, to some extent, but the barrage of visual information that encompasses our world has made it controversial for one to hit a nerve, especially with the torrential flow of photos, videos, vines and even photo galleries – Who’s to say you’re the one who ‘copied’ me?


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