Monday 22 June 2009

The Consolagate

Left: Marc by Marc Jacobs. Right: Vasso Consola Collection

It all started with this post by Greek fashion blogger Fashion Paths.

Then came Greek designer Vasso Consola's answer via her facebook.

Allow me to translate:
Usually, we fashion designers don't reply to musings by people who are not in the fashion industry. I'm not sure why exactly that is, probably because we consider our work speaks for itself and that it is not one of our biggest concerns how it will be perceived by someone else. However, when I read this particular comment, I have to say I was bothered, not that I don't accept criticism - that will always be existent when someone works in a profession where criticism is expected and accepted when it's thoroughly thought and good-intended. We can't be agreeable to everyone, we are all different and addressed to different people.
But here, I believe that I detected smart-ass hints and covered meanness, ones that verify the fact that in this country, anyone can be a self-acclaimed anything. Without basic knowledge in Costume History or contemporary fashion, its structures and the way it functions, it seems like Economics should be the subject where this comment's writer can continue to be occupied with, with more accuracy and success.
Nowhere does it state that this is my winter collection. And as far as the fabric is concerned, which seems to be the subject of most similarity accusations, I just want to state what those who are familiar with those things, already know that it is called Pied e coq (sic), it exists as a pattern since the early 1900's and has been used by many designers, in numerous colour combinations. If she [blogger Fashion Paths] was as observative as an actual fashion critic, she would have known that neither the fabric, nor the influences or the concept are the same as my colleague's, Marc Jacobs.
If she knew a few things about me, she would have known that I have my own knitted fabric made for me and that my Atelier Collection clothes are custom made according to each customer's measurements or completely unique (as some of them are created on a dressmaker's form, using the moulage technique, therefore can't be recreated). The ID line is a project connected with the producing process and it's more of a part of my prêt-a-porter line.
In times like this, when you don't even have to buy books to be informed, but instead all information you need can be found online, it's a shame for someone to play fashion journalist, without previously having done some sort of research on the subject they are talking about.
(quick question here: What's with talking in the third person? Isn't she answering to the blogger who "insulted" her? If not, who is this text addressed to? Her "followers"?)

Anyway, here's Fashion Paths' post update after the designer's answer:
By studying economics, I've learned that fashion, via marketing, mainly addresses to the public outside of the fashion industry. A fashion professional may tarnish a designer's name by negatively criticizing him/her. In the end, though, it's the public that judges what is worth buying or not, as its opinion matters the most (the money factor, that is).
Vaso Consola's second facebook answer after that:

Someone may be called a "Professional" when they acknowledge their work as something really important and serious. Someone who writes without knowing what they are writing about are not "Professional" even if they have self-proclamed themselves as that. Have a bit of caution girls... One should not buy a laptop and shoot away!
Nice work insulting an entire community, lady.

Sorry if I have tired you with all that back-and-forth answers. I really wanted all the parts of this "conversation" to exist as screenshots and links, and also be translated in English online, so one can form a complete opinion.
For that matter, also read Alecca Rox's post.
That girl tells it as it is.

And other than that, I agree with most of the girls. This matter has left the did she copy or not territory and is now all about why won't she acknowledge fashion bloggers, their presence, their power, and their opinion, not as fashion professionals, but as people who really like fashion, and were admirers and potential clients of hers.

Well, not any more.


Alecca Rox said...

Very VERY well said. As you know, I feel this whole thing is really sad, especially because it shows how narrow minded a designer can be.

I also think it is sad that someone who's preaching professionalism is not aware of basic terminology of her profession. Pied-de-poule. Does it ring a bell?

Lopi said...


I chose not to highlight the desiger's "Pied e coq" mistake by simply inserting the standard (sic) note right by it in my translation. It's not what this is all about and I knew most of you would notice anyway.

Why do these people feel threatened by us? Don't they realize we could be really helpful to them, making their work known to the public? Instead, they choose to insult and disdain us. Not a very clever move.

Alecca Rox said...

I noticed "(sic)", it was very nice & discreet of you. However, I felt that when you are trying to label someone as clueless, you should at least be better.

I think we should see this as a sole incident, I don't believe designers in general are threatened by fashion bloggers.

Thalia said...

very very nicely and well said!!!!
you did well posting the whole thing!!!!!
i really don't understand her reaction....

*Constance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*Constance said...

lew va mnv kavw kaveva post gia tis ypoloipes deka meres. eseis oi 3 exete posts pou me yperkalyptouv.favtazomai tn sxediastria sto atelie tns va skizei ta diplwmata tns istorias tou koustoumiou klp(!!!-sorry ekeivn ta eipe etsi). Logiko to Briskw va evoxln8nke ap to 1o post tns C. alla kata tn gvwmn mou dev eprepe va apavtnsei ka8olou. oln aytn n eirwvia tns gyrizei boomerang snmera.

Hari K said...

as i commented also at Fashion Paths, from the first moment i said that most of the times greek fashion designers don't have the budget to create new fabrics and so they use the ones that r made abroad.

There's nothing wrong about that and of course pied-de-POULE is widely used.
The fact that C. found common parts in the two dresses doesn't have to insult Ms Consola, it's just a thought and doesn't mean that every blogger thinks that the dress is copied! World widely designers draw inspiration from other designers and of course the fabric itself doesn't make 2 dressed identical.

what makes me sad is that Ms Consola, finds that all fashion bloggers are just "girls that have bought a laptop and think that are capable of writing about fashion". Maybe some of us are capable of writing about fashion and not only the title of a fashion journalist gives the right to express a thought.
i'm just sad about the whole incident.

Mairyliscious said...

tha pw mono auto kai dn tha sxoliasw to ufos ths ta legomena ktl
xairomai pou uparxei allhlouposthriksh kai sebasmos metaksu mas , pragmatika fanerwnei megalh paideia kai eugeneia
bravo se oles sas koritsia

Christiana said...

Thanks Lopi!!! Case closed!

efi said...

yparxei kai pied de coq re paides. ok ksexase to d sto de panw sto agxos ths na apanthsei...

Anonymous said...

πάντως ο σοφός λαός λέει:"Όποιος έχει τη μύγα μυγιάζεται" ;-)

L.I.N said...

oh wow. im literally dumbfounded. anyway, thanks for taking the time to translate. i wouldn't have understood otherwise!

K@terina B. said...

oxou ENOUGH me tin istoria me ta degrees!!! egw exw degree sto marketing kat master sto SHOE SHOPPING!! AAAAA!!!

Rebecca, A Clothes Horse said...

The fashion industry really seems to hate fashion bloggers...we're always getting the hate and we're very rare to dish it out!
Anyway, maybe she's being so sensitive b/c she realizes her piece does look deceptively similar...

Elena said...

I think that the whole thing is ridiculous. Why the hell do designers think that we're a threat to them? That's nonsence!
Very well said Lopi!

( "Δεν παίρνουμε ένα laptop κιόποιον πάρει ο Χάρος κοριτσια!" Έλεος!)

indigo said...

This is my first comment ever.

I have to note that my knowledge of fashion is the least poor.My knowledge of beauty and the arts is not.

I started following your blog because i enjoy the way you express your self in the area you love, so i chose you and your fellow bloggers to be my "window" to your world.

Many errors have occured on both sides.
Alas, for the one that doesn't realise that any publicity is good publicity. More tragic is the fact that she managed to brake this dogma and make it a simple discredit for herself.

Times are changing.

The "experts" are being intimidated by the empirics.Rightfully. It's dangerously easy though for the empirics to create an analogous snobbish and short-sighted cast as the ones they periodically attack , even if it is in their defense.

Nonetheless, i wouldn't change the course of this discussion for the world!

Oh, and for a buddist Vaso has a lot of rage...

K@terina B. said...

haha thing is, when we praise them they link us...!!!

Fashionitsa said...

Spot the differences...
So, marc jacobs' piece is pied-de-poule and consolas' piece is pied-de-cote -or whatever?
The whole issue was fun to read (and interesting of course).
Anyway, let's try to use the word "inspired" than "copied", so as not to upset people :)
Lopi, I admire your patience to collect and translate all this information.

Jo said...

Hey, pisw 8a tis gurisei swsta? to internet den einai gia bullying.