Thursday 1 March 2012

Stiletto wars at Milan Fashion Week

Cavalli a/w 2010-11
As most of our fashionista-readers will know, last week Milan hosted its usual Fashion Week, which filled the city with models, fashion victims, journalists and new trends for autumn/winter (a/w) 2012-13 (top 10 moments here).  Among the novelties of this end of winter's Fashion Week, there were certainly the baroque-inspired Dolce & Gabbana collection and rumours about Belgian designer Raf Simons replacing Dior's controversial former designer John Galliano.
To add some spice to Milan's fashion extravaganza, Florence-based Roberto Cavalli claimed that the new collection of Gucci's Frida Giannini - which privileged dark colours and gothic but (ça va sans dire) sexy shapes - was a slavish imitation of his a/w 2010-11 collection. 
Gucci a/w 2012-13
According to the designer, though Gucci's a/w 2012-13 collection has been praised widely, all the items presented in Milan last week looked the same as those which were part of Cavalli's a/w collection two years ago. "It is truly shameful that these big brands copy slightly smaller brands. I'm upset. I'm saying this because at the moment, if we want to leave economic crisis behind, one has to be earnest, serious and fair to the others.", said Cavalli.
So far, Gucci has refused to comment on Cavalli's allegations.
As is well known, IP protection for fashion is still a patchwork of different rights and remedies, ranging from trademarks to design rights and unfair competition or passing off. While copyright protection has often been pretty unfit to serve fashion (not to say controversial, due also to difficulties in dealing with the idea/expression dichotomy consistently), might things now perhaps get a bit clearer, following the CJEU's efforts to clarify concepts such as 'originality' and 'work'?
In the meanwhile, you can compare the Cavalli and Gucci collections here and here.

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