Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fashion Déjà vu in the Media

I look to television so often throughout my week that it is a wonder I ever get any work for school done. But within my daily hours of TV consumption I began to notice strange happenings that made me believe that either the industry is becoming lazy or they are just getting to be too similar.

This week, Gossip Girl featured a dress, which Lily Humphrey recognized from the Hervé Léger runway show, worn by Hilary Duff, which the character (Olivia) said was wasn’t on the runway and that one of her best friends, designer Max Azria made as a favor for her.

Then on Thursday, Ugly Betty’s resident assistant Amanda comes traipsing down the hall in none other than an mighty similar dress. I had to do a double take, the difference in color was there as well as the style of the top but there was no denying that the Hervé Léger bandage dress was making a mark in the media.

I thought about other instances when a specific fashion piece was used in a movie or television show and I thought to a favorite of mine, The Devil Wears Prada and the almost too gaudy orange cape that Nigel, right hand to Miranda Priestly, hands off to character Andy Sachs, when she wants a makeover to fit in. Then, fast forward to ABC’s Cashmere Mafia (failed to attract viewers like counterpart Lipstick Jungle, both less than exceptional in my opinion) and Lucy Liu’s character is sitting on a park bench wearing the same bold orange cape and I could only think that no matter the person wearing it, some of fashion’s best ideas just can’t translate on to a woman.

Understandably, there are only so many ideas out there for creative directors and fashion coordinators for shows to work with so the occasional glimpse of a similar outfit is to be expected but I believe that there are a few problems with the fashion scenarios on television. On Gossip Girl, actress Olivia (played by Duff) would easily be able to afford a dress upwards of 1k, whereas assistant Amanda on Ugly Betty, despite her work in the fashion field, scrapes by to afford an apartment so the possibility of owning a signature bandage dress is less than likely (mayhap she borrowed from the magazine’s plentiful closet).

The next would be any signature piece, such as the hideous orange cape from The Devil Wears Prada, showing up anywhere else and not being associated with the movie. The film makes such an impact on design that despite the intentions of Cashmere Mafia, the cape still looked terrible yet still screamed “PRADA”. There is my weekly rant of too similar fashion on the big and small screen, which I will cut short since I could go on and on about the bandage dress and how it is featured on so many shows and how it is causing major copycat knock-off versions…

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