Lanvin vs. Prada

Was catching up on my Paris Fashion Week Spring 2011 RTW shows, when the above Lanvin dress (on the left) caught my eye. The whole look of it just felt eerily familiar. And of course it did, since I’ve already seen it back in 2009 during Prada’s Fall 2009 RTW show (on the right)! Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

All-over vertical embellishments? Check. Thick strips of fringe at the bottom of the skirt? Check. Belted waist? Check. And sure, Miuccia used leather to make her dresses, while Alber opted for a more delicate fabric. But so what? Lanvin’s finished product could be Prada dress’ not-so-distant cousin.

And no, I am not necessarily saying that this is a clear-cut case of creative plagiarism, but I do believe that the Prada design is not any typical ol’ LBD, it’s got enough distinguishing characteristics, so that I would never confuse that particular dress with another designer’s. Even after seeing the Bebe knock-off version, I remembered where I saw this dress first – Prada Fall 2009. And yet another factor is that Alber’s aesthetic for Lanvin has always had a very particular feminine air to it, not at all “tough gladiator chick”.

So what are your thoughts on this? Do you think someone at Lanvin was lacking original ideas, or is this dress not at all like the ones from Prada? Is immitation a sincerest form of flattery?

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Lanvin vs. Prada

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