There has been a rumble on the internet over the past week regarding Alexander Wang’s SS2013 collection. It was first brought to attention by Fashionista, and then it snowballed. Had Wang in fact taken inspiration from our very own Dion Lee? People opened fired stating Wang ‘always copies’ other designers, whilst others defended their hero designer. We don’t really think Wang has directly ‘copied’ Lee’s ideas, but rather it has become a trend, much like anything in the fashion world. It’s always interesting to see how ideas come together at certain times, creating hoards of High St imitations. After all, a good idea is a good idea, no?
Lee has spent the past two seasons experimenting with nude mesh, creating a floating effect when panelled with opaque fabrics like wool. The result is visually compelling and slightly surreal. Alexander Wang’s version of Lee’s dress (seen below on Rachael Taylor) has similar design lines, hence the confusion. If the internet is going to be nit-picky, then what about Marios Schwab’s version from his show yesterday? This red dress looks extremely similar to Lee’s Resort version, as seen on Christine Centenera above, at Lee’s London show just days ago.
It’s always been one of the mysteries of life. Do the fashion designers all hold a secret convention twice a year planning trends for next season? Somehow, everyone decides to use gold, or tribal prints. Other internet commenters have cited trend forecaster WGSN. However, anyone who has done their homework will know that top designers don’t use WGSN at all. WGSN is used by High St designers, like Topshop and Zara, to interpret what is seen on the international runways.
It’s hard to determine exactly how ideas come about, but plainly saying someone has ‘copied’ someone else is not always the way. Perhaps we’ll never know, and maybe we need to hunt Alexander Wang down and find out once and for all. Regardless, Dion Lee is killing it!