Couture thieves: Sandeep Khosla

Thursday, 16 January 2014 - 11:46am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Now that we are firmly into 2014, our hearts full of promise, our minds steely with resolve, it’s time to ditch the rose-tinted spectacles and take a cold, hard look at the stuff that makes me livid. Let’s leave the things that make me purr with positivity and pay some attention to the stuff that makes me go Grrrrr. Plenty gets my goat. It’s a blooming herd out there and heading the line-up in 2014 are the Couture thieves.

Designers are used to being ripped off. From the high street copycats to other designers, all intent on making a fast buck by capitalising on another’s creativity. It’s something one has learnt to accept as part and parcel of success. This posse of faux fashionmakers has now expanded its membership to include a curious new sub-species of Plagiarist, The Couture Client turned Designer.

What’s the woman who has it all meant to do next? Spend a couple more crores and launch herself as a design talent it seems. It’s all too easy, Darlings. There’s no need for innate talent when one has a wardrobe full of inspiration. Row upon row of outfits that once adorned your body but now serve as a gargantuan treasure trove of samples, begging to be cut and pasted and rebirthed as your very own original collection. Hire a few karigars, better still poach them, and voila, you have arrived as the new thing on the fashion scene.

Of course, one must credit these Chornis with a dash of Class, even if it is as fake as their design credentials. All of them have the grace to acknowledge their influences. The chanting of “Abu Sandeep are my Gurus” is a sort of sartorial “Hail Mary”, meant to exonerate them from the crime of theft. It appears their rationale is that it’s okay to be dishonourable as long as one honours those one has backstabbed.

Their marketing strategy too is genius. Clients are a given, one merely throws a few outfits at one’s social list. Nobody can resist a freebie, least of all those who can afford to buy their own.

Your friends are now obligated to wear your label at every luncheon, tea and soiree on the social calendar and in turn promote you to all and sundry. It’s a winning proposition alright, especially in a scenario where nobody is willing to call them out on their antics. The fashion press, which ought to come down on this, remains mysteriously mum on the issue.

They say Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I beg to differ.


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