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Indian design studio People Tree accuses Dior of plagiarism

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A brick toned, printed corset dress that Sonam Kapoor sports on the cover of the January edition of a fashion magazine found itself at the centre of a controversy on Tuesday after a Delhi based fashion design studio, People Tree, claimed the print was their original.

Sonam Kapoor, said a text caption, was outfitted in a dress from Christian Dior’s Resort 2018 fashion show for the shoot helmed by London-based photographer John-Paul Pietrus. “I’m angry. It’s virtually a copy-paste job of our design,” said People Tree’s co-founder, Orijit Sen.

Photographer Dayanita Singh too responded to the allegations against Dior, siding with People Tree.

People Tree works in collaboration with Bindaas Collective for natural dyes, and its garments are hand block-printed in Kaladera village of Rajasthan. Orijit Sen argues, that an incident like this goes beyond design copyright infringement, impacting a community of craftspeople. “India is a hotbed of textiles. Gandhiji used khadi as a symbol of resistance and change. Now, mega brands are walking all over our heritage,” said a furious Sen, who incidentally is also the artist behind cult design, The Disappearing Tiger, that was translated onto a hand block-printed T-shirt a decade ago, and made it to the coveted The Fabric of India exhibition at London’s V&A Museum in 2015.

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