Should Africa Get Royalties For Matthew Williamson's Latest Collection?

  • The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office — the same outfit that shook down meek little Starbucks! — is charging British designer Matthew Williamson with the theft of traditional African fabric patterns, to which his rep says: "Historically, Matthew Williamson bases his collections on the idea of a modern girl who is a global traveler. Her style is in part defined by incorporating many different cultures, traditions and customs. Nobody has the right to claim these designs as their own. " [Vogue UK]
  • To which the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office replies: "We are very unhappy with the actions of Mr Williamson. These are the dresses of our mothers and grandmothers. They symbolise our identity, faith and national pride. Nobody has the right to claim these designs as their own." [Sassybella]
  • Okay, can we just add: it's "his" own, guys. Singular.
  • Speaking of intellectual property! Thanks in advance, Elle.com for the pic of Williamson's stylings!
  • More fun with billable hours! Vera Wang has settled out of court with The Vera Company over the whole trademark infringement thing involving Wang, uh, using her own name on her Kohl's line, Simply Vera. Says an unnamed source, "There really is only one Vera- The Vera Company. Vera Wang is Vera Wang. The Vera brand, on the other hand, has been around since the 1940's." And if a brand falls in the forties and no one remembers its name... [Fashion Lawyer]
  • "Blass is all about opposites. Like a summer print, but in a wool, with an ease to it." Peter Som re: his attempt to finally resuscitate Bill Blass. [WWD, sub req'd]
  • Only the French! There's a whole kerfuffle now over the French Justice Minister having posed in Dior in Paris Match magazine. [Times of London]
  • Calvin Klein creative Director Kevin Carrigan: "What I do is work on fitting pieces into the design puzzle. And actually, it is quite a logical, scientific process. You create a design and then you might apply it to a different fabric - say, a patent leather - and the emotion changes....It's a big experiment." Uhhhhh, we're gonna have to go with "high." [Vogue UK]
  • Times of London Fashion Editor Lisa Armstrong has collaborated with Louis Vuitton to create the "ultimate travel bag." Oh, the Brits, so forward-thinking when it comes to the role of the press. The Pulitzer committee would probs never let Robin Givhan do this. [Fashion Week Daily]
  • There was a party Tuesday night sponsored by Donna Karan's Urban Zen initiative. Donna Karan wasn't there, but off vacationing in Parrot Cay. Which is exactly what we would be doing if we had found a male model to shtup us. [Fashion Week Daily]
  • Yay! We love video footage of Krazy Karl! [Sassybella]
  • File this under 'You know a president is already a lame duck when': First Lady Laura Bush will be attending New York Fashion Week come February. [WWD, 1st item]
  • Don't hate on Marc Jacobs, people! He donated toys for the kiddies for Christmas! [WWD, 2nd item]
  • Marit Allen, costume designer of Mrs. Doubtfire and Brokeback Mountain, died last month in Australia. [NYT]
  • "Someone was mean to me once, so I deserve to be here," said unfortunately-Botoxed Lisa Kudrow at a Dress for Success event yesterday. [WWD, 3rd item]