Monday, December 14, 2009

Those who make passes at girls who wear glasses: the great Danny Roberts ripoff

danny roberts/wwd (top) dolce e gabbana/swide

Frockwriter has written about up-and-coming LA fashion illustrator Danny Roberts on several occasions. In August, I also profiled him for WWD, with the online version accompanied by a gallery of 21 images. Roberts' distinctive, expressionistic model caricatures are rapidly gaining currency across the net, via his Igor + Andre blog and his various fashion collabs. To wit, Roberts' 'Girls in Glasses' T-shirt, adapted from his mixed media painting based on Chanel's Spring 2007 collection and launched in April through London-based e-tailer Borders & Frontiers, seems to be a runaway hit. Several hundred units have been sold, with the shirt popping up in magazines, on punters on the auto street style site and on several high profile bloggers. Not counting a suite of knockoffs.

Given the song and dance that Italian luxury brand Dolce e Gabbana made about bloggers in Milan in September, seating several high-profilers front and centre at its main line show, you might assume that Dolce e Gabbana would be commissioning art directly from any bloggers whose work the company admires.

Although Roberts has yet to do any work for Dolce e Gabbana, there are nevertheless some remarkable similarities between this image, above, that was recently done by an in-house artist to illustrate sunglasses on Dolce e Gabbana's Swide website and Roberts' 'Girls in Glasses' illustration.

Meanwhile, here is the original Girls in Glasses T-shirt, below, as worn by (top to bottom) Fashion Toast's Rumi Neely, Les Mads' Jessie Weiss and Le Blog de Betty's Betty Autier.

And here are a few knockoffs:

1, 2: screen grabs
3: ebay
4,5,6: screen grabs supplied by Danny Roberts


Dee said...

Both look like the cover art of a chick-lit novel to me. The dolce and gabbana one decidedly more so.

The Style Hive said...

Oh wow that is blatant copying. Tsk tsk tsk!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say the Docle and Gabanna illustration has "remarkable similarities" to Roberts' illustration. Girls wearing sunglasses isn't an exclusive theme for Danny and the brief for the D&G illustrator was probably "Girls wearing the new line of sunglasses".

Patty Huntington said...

let's see...

the hair is the same
the side parts are the same
the heart-shaped faces are the same
the long, exaggerated necks are the same
the lips are the same
the configuration is the same

in fact, if you remove the three figures from the background of roberts' original illustration, the positions of the four heads in the foregrounds of both illustrations are identical.

in both images, the girl second from the left and the girl to the far right are facing front on, with their chins in the middle of their necks.

in both images, the faces of the girl on the far left and the girl second from the right are also both turned slightly towards the centre line, with their chins touching the side of their necks.

Anonymous said...

I'm bored of hearing of Danny R.
There are tons of fashion illustrators out there, and anyway his own "style" is a ripoff off Molly Grad's illustrations ... look her up and you'll notice the resemblance.... and anyway Danny's tend to be quite kitsch-y in terms of colors... but you can't fight the hype these days, can you?
I wouldn't mind it if he had his original style, but he doesn't so stop worshiping him

Patricia Pearl said...

While Danny's illustrations evoke a similar theme/feel to that of Molly Grad, I hardly think you can accuse him of ripping her off.

His work is coarser, heavier and nowhere near as ethereal.

In any case, neither of them can claim to be THE pioneer of spindly, fashion conscious illustrations. Rather, they both bring something new and fresh to the genre.

As for D&G. Pfft. Doesn't this go some way to proving the tokenistic nature of their front row blogger hoopla. Shame on you D&G.

A Colourful Guy Drowning said...

I have a Fine Art background and I can see the likeness straight away. As to whether it's a rip off, a coincidence or someone paying homage to Danny is a another matter which I wont speculate on though as I don't know the illustrator's intentions.

As for liking this particular style of illustration, I can't say that I do; dysthymic, lost, vacant, malnourished looking women are not my idea of fun! ;)

What I find most disturbing is that the "industry" expects models to actually look like these illustrations and these young women go to all sorts of unnatural extremes to an attempt to achieve it.

Anonymous said...

But at the same time Colourful Guy, those are the very things which make these illustratios so striking. There's something sinister and cutting about them. They capture the beautiful cruelty of fashion.

A Colourful Guy Drowning said...

Well, we're going to have to agree to disagree as I don't find them "striking".

I have never enjoyed nor appreciated heroin chic and it's related subgenres. Perhaps I'm a man of simple tastes. ;)

WARREN said...

very anna wintour.

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