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When exactly does taking ‘inspiration from’ become just downright thieving?

We all know it happens, it’s simply the way most of the high street has come to work and for the most part it’s a great shame. There are some that really do seem to try not to take it in literal sense – see brands like COS or Whistles perhaps, both are very clearly inspired by brands such as Jil Sander and Céline but it’s done in an intelligent way at least. They reference the same things the designers did with their catwalk shows, they take the same ideas for shapes, cuts, colours, fabrics etc, but attempt to rearrange them. Essentially they try to give you the same look and trend but in their own way.

Primark however seems to just not care quite simply, they’re carrying on regardless. As I’ve said, we all know this sort of things happens but this morning I witnessed these two dresses taking pride of place in the brand’s flagship Oxford Street store. I’m not shocked exactly that Primark continue to do such blatant copies of designer’s work, but perhaps just surprised they continually manage to get away with it.

The first is very, very clearly a take on a dress from Prabal Gurung‘s Resort 2012 collection. No doubt the fact celebrities such as Lana Del Rey and Sarah Jessica Parker wore the dress spurred Primark on no end. A bit of shifting of the layout of the print and voila, done.

The second is perhaps the most literal of the two, Prada‘s chiffon pleated car print dress from the Spring/Summer 2012 collection has undergone the Primark treatment, almost entirely replicating the print.

And the funny thing is, they’re probably going to get away it. The even funnier thing about it is that I bet there will be thousands of women up and down the country who’ll be snapping the pieces up without ever thinking twice. It’s a shame. A real shame.