I've wanted to write this post for a while, but it's really been a tricky one to translate onto 'paper'. My personal style is very dear to me. It plays a huge part in my identity and helps me to develop a more positive body image which is something that I have struggled with for most of my adult life. The way I dress makes me happy, it expresses parts of my personality which crippling insecurities have often made it difficult for me to show in other ways. It makes me who I am, and therefore I can sometimes be a little over protective of it. Not to psychoanalyse myself excessively, but I had a pretty hard time growing up in regards to bullying and the way I look. My style has helped me accept myself as an adult and become a more happy and confident individual. My style is me, and if someone tries to take it away from me, well, I get a bit irate.
Example A: The Look. It's about 70% Miss Havisham
Although we haven't been posting so much of late, it doesn't mean we have been completely absent from the Blog world. We still read an enormous amount of Blogs and enjoy and appreciate others style and posts. However over the last 6 months we have noticed on and off our 'signature style' seeping out across the Internet. Long flowing dresses, layers, flowers in hair, eastern influences, jewellery, boater hats and Edwardian chic has sort of been our niche for a while. It's not that I think we invented this look, that would be bloody ridiculous. It's a compilation of inspiration from style icons of past and present, Pre-Raphaelite paintings, 1960's musicians and models as well as our fellow modern fashion Bloggers.
This look seems to have become gradually more popular amongst other Bloggers, and I know this is self indulgent and bratty, but sometimes I can't help but feel a bit.... copied.
I'm only human after all.
I'm only human after all.
Example B: With a dash of 30's peasant chic.
Example C: Edwardian Street Urchin also makes quite a few appearances.
Now I am not talking about simply inspiring others. This is a beautiful and wonderful thing and I would never want to take that away. It makes me so happy when others appreciate our style and compliment us on it. It makes me even happier when we give our readers the confidence to experiment with their own looks. It took me a long time to feel confident to dress how I wanted to dress. After years of conforming to a strict 30's/40's look in a sort of vein attempt to conform to some alternative culture, I eventually gave up, got my 70's gold platforms out of the cupboard and screamed into the night sky.
'I AM WHAT I AM'. 'I DON'T EVEN MIND POLYESTER THAT MUCH'
Example D: Not to be over looked. 1960's moon child.
( I hope you can all sense the irony in these captions. I am poking fun myself)
Believe me I am constantly inspired by others to re-invent and experiment with my clothing. Friends like Nicole from Fashion Forestry blow my mind with their unique, uncompromising style. The woman is a genius, and I would be lying if I said she hadn't inspired me to be a little bit more surreal with my own outfits.
The Beautiful Nicole of Fashion Forestry
It's not as if every time I see someone in a long dress and boater hat I think they are a style stealing scoundrel. Like I said previously, I was hardly the first to 'rock' that look. But I wouldn't be over exaggerating when I say it's not uncommon for me to find an image of a fashion Blogger, dressed in an identical outfit to one I have previously posted on BYT, posed in a strikingly similar pose to my original image, holding the same props, with absolutely no credit attached to quote me as a inspiration. And it sort of hurts, which over time turns into a niggling irritation.
What makes such blatant copying ok? And why would someone do it? I know that it's supposed to be the highest form of flattery but to me, it just seems well... rude! I know this problem isn't unique to my own experiences, after discussing with other fashion bloggers I think it is perceived as relatively common place that if you post your style online for everyone to see, people are going to copy it. I know this happens to ever other fashion blogger on the entire planet. But to me that doesn't make it any more ok.
I know it is a very complicated issue with a huge grey area. I also know that it is a fact of life and will never really go away. What I am wondering is how do you ladies deal with it? How do you feel when someone had imitated you look, not in a flattering wonderful way that makes you feel fuzzy way, but when they have gone a little bit far, and you feel your creativity has been compromised?
I hope this post can open up some interesting discussion and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this matter. I also hope this is taken in the best way possible. I am not an arrogant fuck wit who believes I am the best dressed woman since Coco Chanel.
I'm just a lady with a camera and some nice dresses, but I have worked hard to have what I have, carving our own little space in the blog world, developing a style true to my own identity and learning to treasure the self confidence that comes along with it . Should I be bothered if someone is copying me? Or should I just get on with it?