To the uninitiated, Ayyyteh follows the template of such “late” and unlamented poison bloggers as Soozy Hopper and Chikatime. Hiding behind the cloak of anonymity, these people’s main objective is to dis and humiliate online prominent members of Manila society without the requisite accountability.
This time, Ayyyteh zeroes in on supposed copycat local designers with pictures of their creations next to the original. I’m not aware if Ayyyteh’s blog is still up, but the bitch’s Instagram account, after being restricted for a spell to a core group of followers, is again open to the public.
(What’s very telling is a number of prominent people in the fashion biz—from retailers to network stylists—are bold enough to reveal themselves and follow Ayyyteh and make short, loaded comments with matching emoticons every now and then.
(But majority of the account’s followers are relative unknowns or people, who, like Ayyyteh, are hiding behind pseudonyms. These cowards, apart from having too much time in their hands, are most likely envious of the designers’ success.)
Ayyyteh has spared no one, including the likes of Francis Libiran, Paul Cabral, Charina Sarte, Eric delos Santos and my good friends Roland Alzate and Noel Crisostomo.
This time, Ayyyteh’s focus is on Laurel, who found himself the talk of Manila’s fashion world last week for accusing on social media relatively unknown designer Marielle Garcia of online shop 37 LA for allegedly copying his cut-out top dubbed as “Iris.”
Garcia, in her Instagram account, later came up with her version called “Luna.”
At one point, according to a spot.ph report, Laurel threatened to take “legal action” against Garcia. He even touted his connections by posting a picture of him with high-profile lawyer Karen Jimeno.
Prominent fashionistas and Laurel groupies such as Apples Aberin, Bianca Gonzales and Divine Lee lost no time in coming to his defense by posting comments on 37 LA’s Instagram account. These women, in turn, received a mouthful both from 37 LA’s fans and Laurel’s detractors.
I’m not here to pass judgment on Laurel’s reactions. He may have valid reasons to seek redress for what he feels is rightfully his. I’m not accusing Garcia either of directly lifting from a veteran colleague’s work.
For all we know, they were probably both struck with the same inspiration to produce uncannily similar tops. It’s a pity that they have to fish in the same pond.
As for originality, allow me to just quote myself on a post I made recently on Facebook:
“In this day and age, unless you can produce a car that runs fast on square wheels or a three-sleeved shirt that looks perfectly normal even on the most conservative person, I believe there’s nothing that has been designed or invented that isn’t a variation, improvement or permutation of things that have been designed or invented before.”
You’re free to agree or disagree with my opinion. I have been covering the fashion scene for quite sometime now. Since almost every local designer draws some form of inspiration from the West, local designs invariably reveal this main source of inspiration.
Of course, outright copying is on a whole new level. But proving it can be quite hard and, as Laurel learned, dicey. He ended up being accused himself of doing the same not only by Ayyyteh, but countless fashion observers.
Had Dianne Von Furstenberg sued every big and smalltime retailer who ripped off her wraparound dress, she would have been long dead and buried by now from all those lawsuits.
Take it from DVF
Instead, she, like countless others before and after her, moved on to the next design, collection and lifestyle tie-up. Life, I believe, is too short to be bogged down (the Filipino term mabalahaw is so apt) by an airy, body-con top that not even a lot of women can wear.
As for Ayyyteh, all that research you’ve been doing would have been commendable had you just bothered to reveal yourself. I have very little respect for people who dis other people in public without being brave enough to go through the fallout.
That’s why blind items on gossip columns don’t appeal to me that much (although I must say I’m guilty, too, by posting occasional blind items of relatively unknown people on Facebook for my select group of friends to see).
Whoever is behind Ayyyteh and similar online efforts to malign other people, I pity them. It takes unknown amounts of bitterness to be propelled to research and post those pictures online without getting some form of remuneration.
Ampalya con ampalaya
If Ayyyteh and company derive their energy from such pursuits, then the highs they get are most likely temporary. Like drug addicts, they’re bound to shake, break into a cold sweat and suffer from other classic forms of withdrawal symptoms as soon as the euphoria from their most recent post dies down.
Ampalaya begets ampalaya. It never produces kalabasa.
Once a person is motivated by envy and bitterness, you shouldn’t expect him or her to reap anything in the end from such feelings except more bitterness.