Elaine Meinel Supkis
Fashion "designers" (thieves) are demanding Congress pass draconian laws giving them exclusive rights over things they claim they design (har) and have applications of colors or materials copyrighted. This is stupid, insane and plain dumb. They are doing this so they can charge ridiculous prices for junk.
But those inexpensive copies could be history if the Council of Fashion Designers of America has its way in a new anti-copying campaign in Washington.
Designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and Zac Posen have been journeying there to lobby for copyright protections like those governing books, music and other creative arts. Mr. Posen was in Washington on Tuesday with Steven Kolb, the executive director of the council, who said a bill could be introduced in Congress as early as today by Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican.
So, fashion designers want an armlock on design and color and materials? HAHAHA. If such a stupid, goofy law passed back in 1964, the Levy family, maker of the famous jeans, would be trillionaires! All so-called "fashion designers" rip off that garment's design! And they weren't cheap knock-offs, they were expensive rip-offs!
I remember when fashion was in a crisis back in 1967. We young freak females in San Francisco used to take acid or peyote trips, design weird and fun garments and then wear them in public. The picture above is myself after a really awesome peyote trip. I was a freak chick with a Singer sewing machine and a love of making whatever I wanted. I used to shop at second hand stores and then alter the clothing. Other freaks paid me to make alterations or things from pure cloth. I used to cut apart old fur coats and turn them into odd garments like fur trimmed dresses or my most well known item, my 1950 black leather motorcycle jacket with sleeves lined with deep red velvet and the inside chest area was covered with fine champagne mink.
This jacket was stolen several times. It was rather a problem. It was always returned, quietly, because if anyone showed it off, they were told warned that half if not all the bikers in the Bay Area would know it was stolen.
We were photographed constantly. A stream of tourists and visitors would crawl past us, snapping pictures like crazy. I used to sit in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park, embroidering jeans for people. I also altered them, making them much wider at the bottom. We would buy secondhand jeans that were three sizes too large, let the waist hang low, sew up the upper legs so it was as tight as possible and expand the bottom and these had to drag on the ground or it looked dumb.
People would buy my creations and note how, in just one year, the hanging low below the belly, very wide bottom, embroidered, worn out looking jeans suddenly were being sold in expensive stores in New York City and Beverely Hills with the names of top fashion designers attached!
We got kind of steamed over this, the group of young women doing these street fashions was very small, we were all friends and we decided, collectively, to test the fashion designers by making really odd stuff and seeing how long it would take for them to rip us off and pretend they created it.
This was rather a challenge! We put on tights, cut off jeans and a scarf tied around the neck and over the tits. Bingo, a week later, there it was, for sale, with some jerk's name attached! Long dresses with the sleeves chopped off? Next day, again! There is was, for sale with no acknowledgement to us.
Once, I got some lovely cloth from Japan with cranes on it. I didn't want to cut it up, so I tied it around my hips in such a way that is hung down to my calves and wore it with my leather work boots while running around Manhattan. A week later, there I was, in a store window! Thieves!
Sometimes, other performers would call me and tell me I was on TV except I wasn't, it was some model wearing a total knocked off imitation of what I wore a few days earlier when going around Manhattan. I then got to know fashion models and we would cook up all sorts of fun stuff and the guys hiring the models would then imitate them like when the French models and ballet dancers began to wear the leg warmers in the street over their Levy jeans one very cold winter.
Today, fashion designers run around photographing and imitating street kids in the major cities. If these kids stopped being so creative, the fashion industry would die! Even so, due to a lack of fresh thinking on the street, fashion is in a crisis now, surprise, surprise! Thanks to very cheap stuff from Asia, fewer and fewer kids know how to sew and I happen to like a lot of the fashions from Asia, myself, so this doesn't make me unhappy, actually, but the need to improvise has declined to the point that it barely exists. I am happy to see young women in Manhattan today wearing what I and my girlfriends invented so many long acid trips ago! How time doesn't fly!
I am not going to sue them. I am flattered.
You see, fashion that isn't imitated isn't fashion. In other words, if one makes something unique and no one can imitate it, it ceases to exist because it looks really stupid to look different except if one is a really tough personality (ahem) and doesn't mind stares and hoots and gimaces. Sailing along, blissfully while dressed totally differently from everyone isn't easy. It is fun, though!
Fashion designers should thank their lucky stars they can't be sued for stealing people's stuff. Rock stars, for example, could make lots of lawyers rich, suing them.
Indeed, pissy-poo people fussing about copyrights are killing culture. One has to cease refering to practically anything anymore because of this and it is bad because the seeds of creation need fertile soil in order to grow!