« Cardboard Couture | Main | A Day in the Life of an Indie Designer »

Cheap, Chic...and Copied?

Designer Karl Lagerfeld never uses the word "cheap" -- at least when it comes to fashion.  In his oft-repeated quip, "People are cheap.  Clothing is either expensive or inexpensive."

Even the Kaiser might make an exception for a dress that recently appeared on the runway in Milan, however.  Not only was it officially designated "cheap" -- as in the "Moschino Cheap & Chic" label -- but  it also bears a suspicious resemblance to a dress created by a young New York designer.

Anya Ponorovskaya owns and designs for three Girlcat boutiques, two in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood and one in Brooklyn.  Her flattering Audrey dress (below left) is a bestseller, and comes in multiple colors.  Look closely at Anya's design -- and then check out the Moschino dress (below right).  Yes, the overall look is relatively simple, but would you expect even the curve of the pocket to follow the same line?


Legally speaking, an Italian fashion house like Moschino could face a lawsuit if it copied at home, since European fashion designers (and many others around the globe) are protected by intellectual property law.  A quick trip to the U.S., however, represents a completely legal opportunity to cherry-pick the designs of the local talent.

Maybe Moschino designer Rosella Jardini and her team did, and maybe they didn't.  But to clients and friends familiar with Anya's designs, it sure looks like a cheap trick.