Seeing Double

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Now, now, now… this is quite interesting, isn’t it? Miss Universe aspirant in a gown that is heavily reminiscent of a Saab… Who’d have thunk!

We couldn’t possibly begin to imagine how the designer who put this gown out would even begin to defend it, but we sure would love to hear it!

Update: Well, HT Cafe picked up on our story and asked stylist Rajat Tangri. Read his comments below in the article.

Left And Centre: Ushoshi Sengupta At The Miss Universe Pageant
Right: Elie Saab Spring 2010

Photo Credit: Daylife, Style, Miss Universe

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  1. How tragic.Amidst all the talent,this is what/who we choose to represent the pagent.Im so glad HHC puts these people put there.
    They deserve to be named and shamed!

    • ….. whats new? how many times have we seen indian designers rip off international ones ….. and the number of ‘inspirations’ are just too many to think …..

      So, i wouldn’t call this shameful because lets face it ‘it happens all the time’ …… rather, i’ll just term it as massively stupid …… having bollywood stars wear ripped off designs is very different from sending somebody in the same for an international event ….. of all 5 people that watch this pageant, the 2 who follow fashion are going to be truly appalled

      • am I not understanding you correctly..or are you seriously saying that its ok to cheat, rip-off and plagiarize if only a few ppl are watching..
        and its this attitude because of which ‘it happens all the time’ ..!!

        • not at all …… its not ok to cheat/rip off or get so-called ‘inspired’ by other designers ……. i was just being sarcastic

          ……. and yes ‘it happens all the time’ not because of my ‘whats new’ attitude but because

          a) we don’t have laws in place to prevent people from doing so …. internationally too, high street brands and other retailers regularly rip off designs …. and because ‘art’ is not a science or a mathematical equation, the few cases where there have been lawsuits, even the law does not provide any relief …

          b) in the end it all boils down to money . its cheaper to buy say a G&N gown rather than paying 10 times the price for the source of inspiration …. all designers know that it happens and take solace in the fact that their target customer is not someone who will buy a rip-off.

          i don’t support cheats …. … it just doesn’t shock me now … i’m more saddened by the whole thing …… its just disheartening to see the lack of creativity……

          the comment about the pageant was just tongue-in-cheek ….

          • such a loong reply…hope i didn’t spoil ur morning (or evening) :))
            i agree that it indeed is sad..wish the ‘designer’ had the sense to whisper into the ‘stylists’ ear that this wasn’t the best piece to be flaunted internationally..!!Ii think of the time when sush wore a gown made by her local darzi and still carried a look that set her apart frm the rest..and today we send the miss indias in this and the ‘peacock inspired’ gown that has uncanny resemblance to other ‘ peacock inspired’ gowns..!!

  2. Is there a chance this is an actual Saab? I mean Ushoshi wore a Versace to the final of IamShe…she may actually be wearing a Saab at Miss Universe.

    • Hmmm… could be. I doubt someone in their right minds would send such a ditto copy to an international pageant like Miss Universe. Nope. Total suicide that would be.

      Looking past that for a moment –How much oomph does Ushoshi exude!!!!!! WINNER!!!

      I LOVE her confidence, panache, and I think she has winner written all over her face. And even if she doesnt win the contest, she is here to stay!

      Good job Sush!!!

  3. This is ridiculous!!! The only difference is the color! And the shoulder-detail copy looks tackier.
    Who takes responsibility for this copy, if I may ask?

  4. I think Ushoshi pulls it off quite well! She seems to have that personality which comes through ” I can look good in anything”! Love the colour too! :)

  5. OMG — just saw a show on telly that had ‘designer’ Rajat Tangri presenting this as his design on Ushoshi! he’s also her stylist… how CAN someone rip off an international label for an international pageant??!! how dreadfully embarrassing!

    • I am hanging my head in shame right now….why would anybody in their right mind want to do this ? Who is this guy Rajat Tangri anyway ? What about other people associated with Miss India paegant…dont they monitor ? Looks like collective blindness/dumbness has swayed over all of them

  6. oo la la !! Dont care for the aspiring miss universe. But who allowed her to wear that dress!! Its blatant plagiarism !!
    I would love to know who designed it too…

  7. This is so embarrassing!!!! I feel so ashamed. Barring the gown copy disaster on this giant international platform..she looks semi-decent, I don’t like the front of her hair and I wouldn’t wear the original to Miss Universe either.

  8. What an embarrassment – if it is not actually an Elie Saab!
    And I ‘m quite sure it’s not.
    This isn;t inspiration at all – this is plain copying.
    Who’s the so-called designer responsible for this?
    He has some guts to put this up on an international platform for an international pageant…I would love to see Elie Saab
    throwing a multi-million dollar law suit against him.
    So much for the reputation of Indian designers!
    These copy-cats are ruining whatever little has been achieved by the few Indian designers who have actual talent!

  9. I heard an interview where Ushoshi mentioned that Rajat Tangri and Sushmita Sen have chosen outfits for her. I don’t think Sushmita would allow a direct copy of Saab. This could be Saab itself.
    P& P how do u know for sure that its not a Saab?

  10. Rajat Tangri is on facebook. We all should give me a earful how disgusting he is to copy someone else’s design and talk about it like its his own.

    • LOL ! I like action like that ;-) u r funny !

      Ritu kumar was a much better choice because both evening gown and the tradition outfit seem big time plaigerised. But this is unbelievable ! If this rajat guy really did this, he should be jailed for his stupidity !

  11. Well, the detailing is on the ‘OTHER’ side of the shoulder and the color is blue. See, it makes al the difference! Its a completely different design!!! ;-)

    Ha ha!! I would love to know how the designers feel about their designs being plagiarized and displayed on an international platform.

  12. Well guys, Rajat Tangri was her stylist, not ‘the designer’. The dress was by Delhi based designer label called princess sitara by Manjaree Jindal.

    There, now you know who to blame for this shameful act.

    • I see that Mr. Tangri is kinda justifying the rip-off..and then washing his hands off the whole there no responsibility on his part..and Ms. Jindal..i wonder what she is thinking right now..i bet they were not expecting for this to be caught..!!

  13. Maybe they thought if they put the detail on the other side, none would notice…Honestly speaking except for the established Indian designers, everyone else seems to ripoff designs from the international designers’ lines and then pass it off as their “own design.” I dont think half of them even exhibit the design sensibilities I see on this blog. Just because you have some dough and page 3 connections, it does not make you a designer. I feel sorry for Ushoshi, she’s such a stunner and to wear this blatant copy at an international event…

    • i blame it on Sushmita and Rajat and all the other organisers … arnt they supposed to ensure that the wardrobe is perfect?!!!
      This years contest has been such a bad representation of Indian Fashion

  14. It all depends on whether the Saab is original.

    Rarely do designers take each other to court. Because a) The product cycle is too short b) it’s quite hard to establish “originality” – even small changes are indicative of a new design. + most clothing borrows earlier elements.

    So the Saab itself may not be an original in the true sense of the word (bertie’s observation is correct).

    BTW I work in law, we see the odd design/copyright case.

  15. Ohh .. so Rajat Tangri now says as long as it’s not a blatant copy and an inspired design it is okay.
    I would love to know what a blatant copy according to him is .. if not this?

    • Shobha De, Sabya or Pres. Obama weighing in ….who cares! Why go all gaga when some “big name” puts in their two cents worth like all of us. I’d hate to see HHC get contaminated by celebrity opinion and watch them get all flustered and flattered because of that. I’m afraid that they might be obliged to go soft when featuring that celebrity the next time. We have enough of boot scraping going on in India and we don’t need to see it here.

  16. Wow! Bollywood directors and musicians don’t have a problem ripping off Hollywood movie plots or music tracks and they too, very coyly, defend it as “inspiration” only and now we have Indian designers blatantly ripping off original designs!! Shame on you! I’m so ashamed for designers like this ignorant dude.

  17. First Devnil’s catastrophe(rippping Marchesa too), then this blatant plagiarism by Sitara by Manjaree Jindal. And ofcourse Tangri’s mad statement “as long as it’s not a blatant copy and an inspired design it is okay.” Even though Ushoshi did not fare well at the pageant, because of these numbskulls, she hasn’t got her due. I mean the girl is stunning!

  18. I am not surprised. Unfortunately 95% of fashion, films and music in India are rip offs. So much for Sushmita Sen trying to do something different.Ultimately it is her responsibility since it is her franchise that is sending the indian representative for Miss.Universe.
    Besides it does not look like something that is up to mark for a Miss Universe competition.

  19. Note what he says, “As long as the dress isn’t a blatant copy, it’s unfair to call it a rip off”. But it IS a blatant copy!

    I’m also beginning to doubt the designer Manjaree Whatever’s intellect. How can you try to pass off a ripped off design as your own, on such a big platform? That too ripped off from a huge fashion label. That’s seriously daft.

  20. The saab design itself is a copy of the Indian Saree style..:P what say you guys…
    Btw…apart from the design rip off….Ushoshi looks good

  21. Payal and Priyanka,

    Other than the “Birkin posts”, your “seeing double” posts are my favourite. These so called Indian designers who blatantly rip off such international classics, that too on an International platform where India is being represented is shameful, disgusting and disrespectful.


    • oh common!
      ritu kumar won not because of any particular talent… but because of the uniqueness of the lehenga as a dress in the international stage. That and the fact that india and bollywood were all the vogue.
      lets get rohit bal or JJ to work their magic on these contestants… how gorgeous would ushoshi have looks in rohit bal’s kashmiri motif or JJ’s extrabavance … sigh…

  22. WHAT is a blatant copy, if not this?
    This is ridiculous! I would have even got it if Mr Tangri said that he wasn’t aware of the Saab. But justifying and defending outright plagiarism? Shameful!
    I would love to hear what the so-called designer has to say to this.

  23. Oh Mr Tangri!
    Wake up!
    This is not a gown with “similarities” … This is the EXCAT same gown. except for the colour and the left-right shoulder… there is NO difference… !
    the shoulder detail, the drape, the style… its a lot tackier but one would have to be blind to not see it for what it is.
    and where is sushmita sen in all this?!!! she’s the one with the international experience afterall…?!!!
    P&P – you go girls … name and shame these copycats!

  24. Hi
    This is for some of those who have asked to know the ‘so called designers’ point of view. The dress in question is from my fall collection titled La vie en rose. It was influenced very heavily by Indian saree draping techniques and by Edith Piaf’s(1940s 50s singer) beautiful music.
    If you really look at the dress, its a saree…what does one need to copy from elie saab or anyone else in that? Its a drape that half of us in this country wear on a daily basis. Its the most basic obvious thing i could have done wiith it.If one was to design a gown using the saree drape as a staring point( as i have done for my entire collection) i doubt the silhouette would look much different, given the current set of parameters. The thing that makes it look similar to elie saabs gown is the shoulder detail which appears throughout may collection, sometimes only on one shoulder and sometimes on both.And the reason for that being that the whole collection is very 1940s inspired.Peaked and embroidered shoulders are a worldwide trend right now anyway, so i used them in my collection too.
    I just think its easy to single out one dress and say its a copy, but there is always a thought and a process behind making a collection,and one has to view a collection holistically to understand a designers mind and why something is made the way it is. And then one would probably understand that it really isnt a copy ,its just very unfortunate.

    Its sad that my gown ended up looking so similar to elie saabs,but frankly thats just a saree too. And while I think elie saab is one of the most influential designers of our time, the intention was not to plagiarize his work in any way. Had i known i would have never sent it out my dress on an international platform.

    Also blaspheming Rajat Tangri in this situation really isnt called for. He just picked a design which looked great on Ushoshi and
    had either of us seen elie saabs gown, there wouldnt have been any need for all of this.

  25. Don’t beat yourself up Manjari! All this hue and cry about a dress!! yaa like this problem is so important to the wold right now….take light


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