Hairy Issues: Did CR Fashion Book Copy Oyster Mag?



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UPDATE: We spoke to the agent representing both photographers (Brigitte Nidermair and Martin Perlaki), and apparently CR Fashion Book actually shot before Oyster. Either way, one hair face is company, but two's a trend!

We really love CR Fashion Book, Carine Roitfeld's shake-up to the world of high-fashion publication. The endeavor has been mysterious, unfolding slowly and keeping the fashion world rapt. But when eagle-eyed reader Jenny Herring flipped through the inaugural issue, she noticed something a little familiar. The arresting editorial shot by Brigitte Niedermair called "How do hue do?" which featured sleek Cousin Itt-styled models, echoed an image from Oyster magazine's 100th issue. The pose, the stark background, and the totally follicle-covered model seemed to be the inspirational jumping-off point for Neidermair's editorial.

With fashion — and creativity — the line between imitation and inspiration is a blurry and difficult one to negotiate. While the two shoots are undeniably similar, the issue of copycatting may be more complex. Oyster is bi-monthly, and CR Fashion Book has been in production for quite some time. Therefore, even though Oyster was out earlier, it's hard to tell which was in production first. Secondly, both the photographers happen to be repped by Quadriga, the same creative company. So, perhaps they are familiar with each other's work?

In writing and art, participants are often given a prompt to "jump off of," one that is meant to trigger particular ideas. If an image serves as a creative spark, does that still constitute plagiarism, especially when the original shoot only had one hair face, while CR's was an entirely hair-face themed. (Side note: Hair faces? Are they a trend?) If that's the case, perhaps copycatting isn't the correct word — but it sure is close.

Photo: Courtesy of CR Fashion Book, Oyster Magazine