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Miley Cyrus’ Oscar gown

February 25, 2009
This 1949 Christian Dior gown called "Junon" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute

1949 Christian Dior gown named "Junon" showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute

Defining Inspiration

The on-going debate about the appropriateness of the ornate Zuhair Murad gown on Miley Cyrus at the 81st Academy Awards last Sunday is now trumped by a far more complicated discussion about the origin of design.

Take a look at the 1949 Christian Dior “Junon” gown (above) on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Would you say that the dress that Miley wore (pictured below) by designer Zuhair Murad is inspired by the Dior?

Miley Cyrus wears a dress by Zuhair Murad 'inspired' by the 1949 Dior "Junon"

Miley Cyrus wears a dress by Zuhair Murad 'inspired' by the 1949 Dior "Junon"

Debates about artistic rights and creative ownership rage on in all industries and fashion circles are not spared. How do we appropriately credit design originators whose work inspires us to create new or similar off-shoots? Where does “inspired” become “copied”? 

The matter is murky- this very blog post is based on a similar blog post by Bloom.Acious who in turn was quoting TV Guide Channel’s Nick Verreos. Giving credit where its due is just the beginning; how far back should we go? In the online medium ideas are easily lifted and creative images are accessible to all, making the creative commons laws flexible to various uses and abuses. 

I would love to find an interview with designer Zuhair Murad quoting how he feels now that his dress is widely perceived to be a lacking originality (I’m being kind here). And really, is this dress is any different from an overun at the Louis Vuitton factory that produced an alley-full of unaccountable hand bags sold for US $35? I think not.


Thank you toNotCouture for the link to Bloom.Acious. Images courtesy of Bloom.Acious and

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jordana permalink
    February 25, 2009 12:26 pm

    And how about the dresses ABS/Allen Schwartz designs mere hours after the Oscars are televised? I never understood how his “inspired looks” get so much press. I don’t think he gives credit to the original designers.

  2. A lowly plebe permalink
    February 25, 2009 5:41 pm

    Murad didn’t look to Dior. He looked to a 24 year old young woman in Florida who dressed up her ball-jointed doll and decided he’d copy her work.

    Only thing he didn’t yoink was the collar design, and clearly he thought a belt would make it original. Shame on him.

  3. February 25, 2009 6:12 pm

    To ‘A lowly plebe’: hahaha! Thank you for that great comment.. Too true, my friend.
    – Johanne

  4. April 2, 2009 10:22 am

    I really love the dress that Miley wore to the Oscars, this last year. I am homeschooled and next year 2010 is my senior year. I want to wear a dress similar to this next year to my senior ball.

  5. Umi permalink
    October 8, 2010 7:43 pm

    hallo this dress is okay but could be better if added some stuff no offense

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