Should there be any doubt as to which direction fashion’s democratic impulses flow, one need only consider See By Chloé’s recent legal victory over Topshop to know that our inalienable “right” to fashion (to paraphrase Sarah Jessica Parker) has its limits and certainly does not extend to Chloé’s yellow over-all dress (on sale now for $205 at Net-a-Porter.com, http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/19187) which they argue the British mass market retailer copied from their cruise collection (and sold for about $70).
For this misstep, Topshop agreed to pay the Paris house £12,000 (roughly $24,000) in damages and legal costs and destroy the remaining 2,000 dresses (744 dresses were already sold).
I have to admit that I find this a curious decision for an industry that is constantly recycling, referencing, reinscribing, and reworking fashions from other cultures, eras, and social groups.
I wonder how much the Harajuku street kids will get from their settlement against Gwen Stefani . . .