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What is the meaning of intellectual property in the fashion industry? Esther Meijer's 'Smiley Knee' leggings were copied by H&M and several other commercial companies. Her powerlessness to prove her case and fight this form of plagiarism inspired her to make the documentary The Right to Copy. An evening with fashion designer Esther Meijer, shoe designer Jan Jansen and Marie-Aude Baronian, senior lecturer at the University of Amsterdam.

The historical context was provided by a short pre-programme with film clips from the collection of the EYE Film Museum. After all, is copying simply a contemporary phenomenon? In the post-war new towns Dutch housewives appropriated the latest fashions from the Paris salons. Patterns published in Libelle enabled them to imitate Dior’s New Look (1947) or perhaps even better: ‘recreate it in a polder variant’. Then, as now, the distinction between inspiration and imitation was not always clear. 

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Moderator Marie Baronian then posed a few questions prior to the screening of the evening’s main film The Right to Copy. If ‘everyone’ has adopted a particular look, is it still ‘fashion’? Can fashion exist without copying? And what is the significance of film in today’s fashion world?

In the documentary The Right to Copy we follower Meijer in her quest for the meaning of copying in a variety of cultures. She looks at the influence of the internet, social media and the replica industry on designers’ creative process. To her own astonishment, she arrives at a nuanced appreciation of the phenomenon. 

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date
12/11/2015
time
20:00 – 22:00
language
English
 
location

Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam

 
Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.