The Pansy Print Dress Effect – or “why I won’t be buying anything designed by a celebrity”

Pansy print dress  Kate Moss for Topshop. Lily Allen for New Look. Madonna for H&M. Kylie for H&M. Gisele for H&M. (Hey, H&M? When are you going to ask me to design you a collection? I mean, you’ve asked everyone else…) Are you sick of them all yet? I know I am. And while I’m not denying that some of the clothes from these celebrity capsule collections can be nice enough, there’s one big reason why I won’t be buying any of it, and I call it The Pansy Print Dress Effect.

You remember the pansy print dress, don’t you? It was one of the signature pieces of the Kate Moss for Topshop collection and very nice it was, too. I mean, I’d wear it for sure. I won’t, though – and not just because it’s currently harder to find than Paris Hilton’s social conscience. No, the real reason I won’t be buying the Kate Moss pansy print dress, is because everyone else has already bought it.

Only one week after the collection launched and already the dress has become so identifiable even my mother recognised it when we saw a girl wearing it in Edinburgh at the weekend. "Hey, there’s the pansy print dress!" I said as we wandered past. I suspect it’s a sentence I’ll say many more times this summer, as many more girls get their hands on that elusive Kate Moss style mini. And, as much as I like it, I’d really rather not see my dress on everyone else’s back every time I go out. Would you?

Today came the launch of the Lily Loves collection for New Look. Another set of oh-so-identifiable dresses, and while the queues weren’t nearly as long as the ones outside Topshop for Ms Moss, there was still an air of excitement about the launch that’s becoming all too familiar. I’ll be honest: while I love fashion as much as the next woman (and enough to have a blog dedicated to it), there’s something about seeing crowds of girls all queuing up for the privilege of being able to all dress exactly the same that really depresses me. Where’s the pleasure and creativity in wearing exactly the same outfit as 1000 other girls? When did we all start wanting to look identical?

This current trend for celebrity "designers" is taking some of the fun out of fashion, I think. Instead of finding our own style, we’re all so busy concentrating on getting our hands on the latest "must-have" thing – even if it means paying £40 for a vest top that cost £12 in store, and can be found for £5 in other stores – that we’re in danger of becoming a nation of fashion victims. And God knows, we can’t have that, can we?

So, it’s no pansy print dress for me. I don’t expect Kate Moss will be losing too much sleep over it…

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