Indian fashion fraternity’s self-appointed watchdog, Diet Sabya, has finally started reposting again and is giving us all lessons in the history of ‘Gandi copies’. The Instagram handle which is synonymous for calling out celebrities, stylists, designers, alike for ripping off the work of others had been raising awareness of the condition of employees working in Indian companies, fashion and otherwise, during the coronavirus pandemic, calling the companies out for mistreating their employees and wrongfully laying them off. And given that most celebrities are homebound, the handle which usually calls out ‘Gandi copies’, be it outfits or styling, was otherwise quiet. However, much to our delight, the handle finally posted a video giving us all some lessons into the history of plagiarism in Bollywood. The video collage had a model wearing a Versace jacket during one portion and in another were Madhuri Dixit Nene and Sanjay Kapoor, dancing to the tunes of the ‘90s classic, Akhiyan Milaoon Kabhi Akhiya Churaaoo, in which Madhuri is seen wearing a ‘gandi’ copy of the Versace jacket.
While the sparkling, embellished Versace jacket and matching crop top was worn by model Christy Turlington as she walked the ramp for Versace in 1992, Madhuri’s much less flashy version was seen in the 1995 movie, Raja. Diet Sabya cheekily captioned the post, “Did you know? The real tea is that Ana Singh created a rather modest version of Gianni Versace’s iconic 1992 collection — worn by Christy Turlington — for Madhuri Dixit Nene’s iconic Raja song (released in 1995). Happy #25yearsofraja (Documenting this for fun so that kids can enjoy some fashion history)”, calling out Madhuri’s designer for that outfit, Ana Singh.
However, Ana Singh’s response was so honest and on point that even Diet Sabya couldn’t help but call her a legend.
Ana wrote very confidently of her work, “My director sent me a reference to make so the call was not mine. Access to clothes was impossible and requirement needed to be fulfilled. I was sent the book Vanitas by Gianni Versace. Just did the job And sorry but no sorry its an excellent copy.”
Diet Sabya posted her reply on their story dubbing Ana a legend, but this resulted in a flurry of responses from other designers and stylists who spoke of how they had to do what the client wanted, and how directors are adamant of what they want. One even said, “‘It’s what the client wants and what you’re being paid for’, is the implied message”, to which someone responded that it was 100% true, and Diet Sabya posted the response in his story with the question, “So clients and brands are the root of all evil?”
Diet Sabya also posted another collage of a poster of the timeless ‘90s hit sitcom FRIENDS that was shot for the cover of Rolling Stones magazine by Mark Seliger alongside an eerily similar poster of the boy band Band of Boys’ Meri Neend.
Diet Sabya captioned the post, “Meri Neend Ud Gayi Hai Mera Chain Kho Gaya Hai Tere Copy Mein Meri Jaan Yeh Kya Ho Gaya Hai. Left: @friends poster/Rolling Stones cover by @markseliger; Right: #bandofboys Meri Neend poster. #vintage #gandi #copy #history”.