Caught in the Web
I am a city girl. Always have been. While I have fond memories of time spent on my grandparents' farm, and I love wandering through botanical gardens, you won't find me trekking through distant jungles in practical footwear. Hobbes famously noted that human life in the state of nature is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" -- and, as far as I'm concerned, nature itself is a pretty dangerous place. Just turn on the Discovery Channel sometime.
Clothing designs based on the natural world are another matter. Where would we be without floral prints and gossamer weaving? Or metaphors of caterpillars transformed into social butterflies?
Still, the clothing industry itself can be a fairly Hobbesian place, given the lack of intellectual property laws to regulate it (at least in the U.S.). Consider a fabulous little black dress that Narciso Rodriguez sent down the runway last February. Photos were of course immediately available on the web, and Charlize Theron was recently snapped wearing it. The dress isn't in stores yet -- quality fabric sourcing and manufacturing take time -- but a copy by Privee is already for sale online.
The name of the knockoff? "Spider Web."