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Genius Steals

There is no more overused word in current fashionspeak than "genius," particularly in adjectival form -- as in, "The new Louis Vuitton collection by Marc Jacobs is so genius!" 

But is it true that "talent borrows, genius steals"? 

The leadoff accessories on LV's Paris runway yesterday were cheap plastic tote bags of the variety sold on the street around the globe, but marked with a Louis Vuitton travel stamp.  In other words, this was Marc inspired by streetwear, as he has been throughout his career.  Given the rate at which expensive LV bags are copied, it's an amusing challenge to turn the tables.

But hasn't the fashion flock seen this particular visual joke before?  Recall last February, when Jack Spade introduced a wry commentary on knockoffs in the form of a "Chinatown Collection" -- the exact same cheap plastic tote bags, with personalized monograms (like the stylish "CC" for "Counterfeit Chic," below) and a Jack Spade label.   

So has LV knocked off Jack Spade's ongoing parody of knockoffs?  And would that make Marc Jacobs a genius, a thief, or both?

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