Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Famous Long-Lost Apparel

One of these shots is of a witty take on the idea of the bubble dress from Hussein Chalayan's SS07 ready-to-wear show. The other picture is of Lady Gaga at a performance earlier this March.

I did a bit of research when I saw this, and as far as I understand, Lady Gaga's dress is not the actual Chalayan dress. I mean, the dress in the first shot appears to be two sections of bubbles that meet at the middle (see that white line?), which the version in the second picture is a whole bunch of bubbles all willy-nilly. I cry foul, and that makes me pretty indignant about the whole thing.

First of all, Chalayan is a dynamite designer, but not a name as recognizable to the general public as, say, Gucci or Chanel. If this is a knockoff (as is further suggested in this article)... well, shame on her for being a copy-cat and letting a designer that she so obviously feels inspired by go without the credit he deserves. We all know the power that people in the public eye have to bring attention to the people behind the clothes on their back (barely on, in this woman's case). When Michelle Obama proudly donned Jason Wu for the Presidential Inauguration and the Inaugural Ball, the fashion media made perfectly sure to keep Wu's name on everyone's lips. His career is surely benefitting from all that publicity.

So, does the fact that I-- and some other fashion bloggers and journalists-- am pointing out the fact that Lady Gaga's dress is a dead ringer for the relatively recent Hussein Chalayan mean that he's getting that kind of positive publicity as well? I really don't think so, because there doesn't seem to have been a drove of people pointing out the reference and crying foul. Michelle Obama made it known that she was wearing Wu-- Lady Gaga has not made any mention of Chalayan in respect to her bubble dress. Without being explicitly told, I'm sure a lot of people who saw her in this dress would not have caught the reference (admitedly, I look at a ton of shows, and even I'm not overly familiar with Chalayan's work) or bothered to look it up on more than Google images. Without "her people" or the woman herself saying "this is a dress by this designer" or "this is a dress inspired by this designer," I'm sure a lot of people will chalk it up to her quirkiness and be none the wiser to its origins.

This is wrong, and I'm not even going to go into how ludicrous it is for a pop artist to copy such a unique design without a word about it and expect no one in the world to notice it and get miffed. It's not an LBD or a pink mermaid gown or something. It's a freakin' dress made of bubbles. You're not going to convince me it's a coincidence.

So, your thoughts? Do you think this is the actual Chalayan dress? Do you think it's a knock-off? Should Lady Gaga make a statement about this get-up? Or do you think the fashion police should just snatch her up and throw her in the clink? Comment away!


amanda said...

It's really obviously a blatant rip-off. I'm a little disgusted at the fact that no one is saying boo about this. Ok, I get it, Lady Gaga is so eccentric, but really, credit where credit is due.

To be fair, all I knew about Lady Gaga before hearing this was that she doesn't wear pants so her grandmother can see her. I'd definitely seen this dress before and simply rolled my eyes. The fact that she's essentially stolen the bizarre garment really throws some shade on her image.

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

Rip off or not, the bubble dress reminds me of balloon burlesque; that's what all performers look like if they do that number! So that had to be the inspiration for the dress, eh? And propably for the singer too I guess... The thing with such a number is that you're dressed in balloons and pop them one by one until you are in your bikinis or whatever you had under the balloons.


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