One day when I was 16 years old (2001) I was reading a Cosmopolitan on a Sunday afternoon. While reading, I saw a new designer with a label called Darkie, whose name was Themba Mngomezulu. A few things excited me about him: that he was black and using vintage clothes as inspiration - my favourite items were his skirts made from ties. I went mad for them, fell instantly in love and did something so stupid, I'm convinced it's the reason why I have to be introduced to him everytime I meet him all these years later (he "never remembers me".bucket please)...I sent him an SMS saying I wanna be in fashion or something so teenagly stupid, I wish I could remember. Of course he never responded and I totally understand why.
As a 16 year old growing up in East London there were a few limitations:
a) I was dead bored and so anything from the outside excited me - 60s rock music, encyclopaedias and y-mag.
b) I had a very distinct and otherworldy fashion sense, mostly vintage and i would break my clothes and put them together with paint, losing "respect" from my mother, her friends and my peers everytime I stepped out the house.
c) I'm not going to carry on with this list because I wanna get to the bottom of why I even posted this at 12.35 am
I was looking at Tavi's blog (as one does) and she was going on about Sassy Magazine - a now defunct American teen mag from the late 80s. One of the images on her site is this:
Take a good gander at the image on the bottom right. He totally copied it. I've spent the past 20 minutes trying to look for his "rendition" of the skirt but can't, though I remember that he used bluish ties for his. Did anybody else know this and am I the pitied fool that found this out literally 10 years later?
Is this nothing or am I freaking out about nothing? Do other designers do this? Because if that's the case, then I shouldn't blame him only but it's still something totally uncool. I mean you can be inspired by something, but direct plagiarism? I feel lied to, deceived and betrayed.
At times like this I wish Fashion Police wasn't just a tacky show on E!