As Diane Von Furstenberg learned earlier this month, that fine line between fashion homage and Forever 21–style knockoff can be a nasty trip wire. Fashionologie reports that the brilliant Nicolas Ghesquière of Balenciaga has critics pondering the issue. The center of contention is a leather jacket from the house's recent resort collection, whose lapels and arm flourishes are similar to the long-shuttered line East West Musical Instruments (good eye there, Addicted to YSL). But it somehow seems wrong to villainize him for appropriating those signature swoops and details from a brand and look that has become part of history, rather than a living, breathing producer. One wouldn't, for instance, have any qualms about a modern label employing the look of the Nudie suit (don't pretend you don't want one). Though those motifs have a direct association with a designer and a brand, they've moved almost into the public domain. One might be able to say the same of the more obscure, far more chic East West Musical Instruments style. Then again, Ghesquière has not stepped forward to confirm that he was inspired by the seventies label. Given all that, we're gonna let you make the call here. Thoughts, anyone?
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