If you follow Alexander Wang on Instagram then you already know that there are few things the designer loves more than a good meme. His latest, however, doesn't seem like one to laugh at.
In a post uploaded on February 14, Wang suggested designer Philipp Plein, who staged a high-profile and celebrity infested show earlier this week in New York, might have copied one of Wang's own past productions. Then, Wang appended the note with side-by-side comparison.
"'Can I copy your homework?'" reads the caption, which consists of an imaginary conversation. "'Yeah just change it up a bit so it doesn't look obvious you copied.'" The last line reads, "'Ok.'" Finished off with a thinking emoji, the Instagram post combines clips of the Alexander Wang x H&M fashion show that debuted in 2014, where the designer transformed the Armory at Hudson in Manhattan’s West Harlem into a race track, and footage of the Plein Sport show which was unveiled last month during Milan Fashion Week Men's.
Clothing aside, the similarities between both sets are enough to give pause.
Plein Sport, for instance, opted for a linear design on their runway, only instead of aiming for a race track, the designer created a running track complete with white-bordered running lanes and numbers marking each one. Like Wang, Plein also hired performers for the show. Both designers tapped acrobats to jump around a box-strewn set in all-black creations. The performers even held the same pose: a handstand on top of one of the boxes.
Watching the two shows simultaneously, it's hard not to pick up on the similar accessories as well. At Wang's H&M collaboration debut, models wore goth takes on harnesses and sporty headgear as well as boxing gloves draped around a model's neck. There are versions of these items in Plein's show as well.
Then, there's the way both designers closed their respective shows, by jogging on the track after their models retired backstage.
Plein has been accused of plagiarism before: In 2015, the designer showed a fur stole emblazoned with the word "warrior" in a font and style similar to one by VFiles alum Hyein Seo, which she sent on the runway a year earlier.
Was Wang being playful? He is known to be a master at spilling the proverbial tea. Or was his accusation intended to be cheeky? For now, there's only his Instagram to go by. Plein hasn't taken to his own platform (nearly 500,000 followers to Wang's 2.9 million) to respond to his design peer.
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