Fashion / Fashion News

So, Syndical Chamber has all but accused Jean Paul Gaultier of plagiarising himself. Let us explain.

jean paul gaultier syndical chamber

Good morning! It’s time to start your day with a fresh batch of fashion chaos, whereby Jean Paul Gaultier has been accused of copying himself, through plagiarising the nude illusion dresses of Syndical Chamber. Have we all forgotten that it is Gaultier that's a pioneer of this particular style of dress. Still following, right?

The comments section of the Jean Paul Gaultier Instagram swiftly became a cesspool of ill-informed critiques, one writing, “I can’t believe you didn’t give credit to Syndical Chamber, as it is an absolute copy of his work. Ridiculous,” with others going on to say it “doesn’t even look half as good as the original.” What makes matters even more salacious is the founder if Syndical Chamber appeared to support the assault on Gaultier, calling out the designer’s work as “an actual copyyyy.”

Of course, the irony abundant to this situation is the fact Gaultier pioneered the use of trompe l’oeil nudity since the 90s. The piece garnering much attention comes from the designer’s collaboration with Lotta Volkova, whereby the stylist repackaged iconic creations from the House, these including cone bras – as worn by Madonna – and second-skin buxom slips.

Please, a moment while we change into Sherlock Holmes garb…

Here, we have an example of Syndical Chamber’s dress, alongside that of a Jean Paul Gaultier:

As we can see, Gaultier’s Hellenic dress first appeared at Spring/Summer 1999, whereas Syndical Chamber’s garment comes in fresh for 2022. There's a solid 23 years between the two. Many on high fashion twitter – a community on the social media site where critics and scholars share opinions and work – were quick to point out the misconception surrounding the alleged plagiarism, with prominent account @fashionfaguette saying they were “disturbed to see an icon like Gaultier being accused of stealing,” alongside @muglermind saying people are “delusional” for alleging the designer was copying from Syndical Chamber.

This isn’t the first time a band of internet sleuths have incorrectly alleged plagiarism at designers who, in fact, regularly employ the design in question. Diet Prada criticised Prada for allegedly copying Balenciaga silhouettes, despite Raf Simmons and Miuccia Prada employing such silhouettes long before Demna. While we are in full support of calling out legitimate plagiarism at the detriment of new and emerging designers, it doesn’t hurt to do your due diligence before “calling out” a brand who did it first. We’re sure Gaultier himself is much at peace today however, bathing in a bottle of Le Male.

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Image: Instagram