I'm taking a style break to write a post featuring my opinion. *gasp* o_O O_o I'm anticipating a lot of people getting butt hurt over this. If the opinions in this post hurt your butt, stop reading immediately and seek medical attention. If you're a follower of my blog and this post hurts your butt, you can unfollow me. It's OK. I hereby release you, so you don't have to feel conflicted or whatevs. OK. Let's get to it.
Over the years, I have received comments from people who have said things like, "Oh, I love this. Totally going to steal it!" or "I hope you don't mind if I try this look." My typical response is, "Steal away!" I'm super flattered that someone liked my outfit so much that she wanted to wear the same thing. ^_^
However, what if I went to such person's blog and saw my style photo and then right beside that photo was this other person wearing the exact same outfit as me with the tag line: "Outfit inspired by Anna of Melodic, Thrifty & Chic"? By exact outfit, I mean, down to the choice of garments and color. Same color jacket, same color jeans, same color hat. Everything. Can this person really say that the outfit she created was the result of inspiration? My answer to this is 'No.' If you see an outfit you like and then go in your closet and find the same or similar pieces and put those on, you did not create an outfit inspired by another outfit. Instead, you *imitated* an outfit that you saw and liked. Does this make sense? I mean, I think if one or two things are the same, that's not bad. However, if it's the whole outfit?
In my view, when you are inspired by something, you receive a sudden bout of creative energy. You then take that creative energy and put it to work to build something new and exciting. So, I'm not saying you can't look at a fashion photo and receive inspiration. Much of my inspiration comes from seeing what other fashionistas are doing! Some of my inspiration also comes from lyrics to songs, colors naturally occurring in nature, city lights, etc. Inspiration can come from just about anywhere.
What I'm saying is, whatever your inspiration happens to be, the end result should be something fresh; something new; something that has *your* signature on it. If someone can take one look at what you created and say, 'Oh, you know that reminds me of something this other person wore," then you failed. I'm sorry. I gotta be blunt here. You failed to be unique. That's what makes this whole thing so difficult! It's hard to take something you saw and create something new based on that. So, inspiration outfits can be crazy hard. Not so with re-creations. One simply takes more creativity and thought than the other.
So, while I would be flattered to see a post featuring one of my styles as "inspiration," I would be offended at the same time, because this person is basically saying she created an original look using mine as inspiration. That's not what the person did, though. She just copied the look. So, it comes down to semantics, really. I've seen other bloggers do similar inspiration posts and I just want to throw out a word of caution. If your outfit looks extremely similar to the one you were "inspired" by, then it's *not* an inspiration look. Also, you would do your blog a disservice by calling it that, because people who see that post could mistakenly think that you lack imagination. You would unintentionally set yourself back.
In the photos above, I try to demonstrate the difference between inspiration and imitation. In one photo, you will see the outfit that inspired me. In the other photo, you will see the result of that inspiration. You might be able to immediately pick out the parts that inspired me or you might not. Sometimes, the things that get my creative juices flowing are very subtle. Anyway, I want you to see that the outfits I created are not the *exact same* as the ones from which I drew inspiration. This is my point.
Are you a bad person for doing a re-creation? No! If you want to do a f*cking re-creation outfit, knock yourself out! There is nothing wrong with that. :D People read fashion magazines, see a celebrity look and naturally want to look like that celebrity by wearing the exact same thing. Fashion blogs routinely show pictures of fashionistas with collages of clothing you can buy in order to achieve the same look.
Re-creations happen all the time and they are even encouraged by retailers. No big deal! I'm just asking for people to be aware of what they are doing and how those actions can be perceived. If you're doing a re-creation on your blog, say so! If you say your look is the result of inspiration from some other source, then I think you should be very careful. Make sure the end result is sufficiently unique. If you find yourself saying, "I want to incorporate those elements into my outfit," then also ask, "but how can I do that without creating the exact same look?" Therein lies the test of creativity born of inspiration!