AOTW: Me And My Shadow

Copying your style or looting your life? (source: Pixabay)

I have a confession. While I am a complete sceptic about the catwalk and the power we’ve given haute couture over the high street, even if it takes two years or so for a trend to trickle down. But I also read Vogue (occasionally). And in this month’s issue I came across an article that made me stop and think. Me and My Shadow by Carol Woolton looks at the insidious trend that some friends can present… copying someone to point of infringing on their lives. Admittedly Carol made me laugh that what had riled her was the theft of her ‘granny name’ but it is a real thing. Although I’ve never, to my knowledge, been a perpetrator of victim of this annoying trait I can understand why it is so annoying. Each of us is an individual person, with our own tastes and traits.

In the fashion world, from what I gather in the article, there are rules of etiquette around copycatting. Basically, if you are going to copy someone’s style at least acknowledge the source of your inspiration, as did Dominic Jones when he based a piece of jewellery on Carol’s art deco ring. But when does it go too far? And how can we stop it. I love the various bits of advice that Carol is given by those she interviews. Bronwyn Cosgrove states that “it’s good etiquette to leave people to own their look” while Diane Kordas claims that she would “rather be called a b**** than a copycat”.

But at the end of the day, surely it’s a complement? No. I agree with Carol and her various contributors on this. Any kind of theft will leave us feeling aggrieved. More so if we feel that it is our own identity, the thing that separates ‘me’ from everyone else, that has been stolen. It might be easier to copy someone else- it saves the leg work of finding the clothes etc.- but we simply become a clone and lose a friend.

So for those looking to steer clear of style identity theft, shop charity, vintage and secondhand for one offs.  For those tempted to copy, think about the reasons why. Then think about how your chosen person will feel. Is it worth it?

Leave a reply