This, however, is not a coincidence.
What bothers me about these items isn't the fact that they are almost direct copies of runway looks, if Topshop thinks that's what the British (and beyond) public want then they are totally entitled to provide it. Personally, I'd like to think that we could be credited with more imagination than that. The really irritating thing, for me, is that these are new-ish items, as in intended to be worn into Autumn/Winter and yet they've been ripped right from the Spring/Summer collections. Topshop, usually known as being fashion-forward, creating it's own designs which are often as covetable as any designer is copying what are effectively last season's desgins. Perhaps they are not able to copy these designs as quickly as, say Primark, but surely a whole season is excessive?
Another worrying part of this new facet to Topshop is the Forever 21 factor, as in you can push it so far before designers get irritated and the word "lawsuit" is mentioned. Yes, fashion is about borrowing from others. Taking elements of other designs and other times and putting your own spin on them but not blatent copy-catting! The irony being that Topshop itself has fallen prey to forever 21's "blatent copy" policy, when one of their Kate Moss dresses was copied:
Kate Moss for Topshop on the left and Forever 21's version on the right via nitrolicious
Other desingers famously copied by Forever 21 include; Diane von Furstenberg (a link to her lawsuit is here), Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui and Catherine Holstein. Do a google image search if you want!
Counterfeiting and copying is something I feel strongly about, I can't say that I approve of fake bags and other goods and these copies, for me, are one step down from that. It's one thing to be inspired by someone else's work but to straight off copy it is something else. Of course there is the argument, often used in defence of the high street, that they are bringing high fashion to those who otherwise couldn't afford it and I can't really argue with that since I am one of the many who can't afford it!
Image credit - style.com, Topshop.com, nitrolicious.