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Silvie Koang HMMMM… CELINE AND PRIMARK Friday, January 17, 2014 Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large It's not breaking news that high street retailers copy designers. It's almost ... 5


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

It's not breaking news that high street retailers copy designers. It's almost accepted practise now and some designers have actually said that they see copying as validation that their work is relevant, well-liked and successful.

Primark SS14 (via Primark)
We've been working on a big project recently which has had us closely perusing the lookbooks of dozens of major brands from, quite literally, Primark to Celine. It can be almost fun to play the "Which designer inspired this look?" game. But Primark have made it shockingly easy with this image from their SS14 lookbook which is, as you will see, a pretty shameless 'interpretation' of a catwalk look from Phoebe Philo's SS14 show which you might argue heralded the return of maximalism after seasons of muted minimal.

Of course, when Philo was sending her fawn coloured coats, navy skirts and black trousers down catwalks, it was rather tricky for the likes of Primark to manufacture an impactful copy because the very beauty of those garments was in their cut and detail rather than any kind of copyable loud patterns. Now that Celine is all about multicoloured daubs of graffiti it's become easier to rip off and Primark have gone right ahead. It should go without saying that Primark is hardly threatening to steal away Celine's customers; those women are miles apart.

Celine SS14 (via
It's fashion moral compass time. Should we be celebrating that we can finally get our hands on an outfit which looks like a Celine catwalk look for the grand total of £16? That would feel wrong wouldn't it? Or should we be berating Primark for doing the obvious, lazy thing? Given their booming profits (up 12% year on year) it was reported yesterday, you'd think that they might afford a little creativity and create their own genius version of a trend. After all, look at how successful their 3D Christmas jumpers were. No copying required there and makes this just seem petty.

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