Did A Project Runway Contestant Rip Off Stephen Sprouse?

Last week’s challenge on Project Runway was for designers to create their own fabrics, with a special attention paid to patterning. With pattern-maker extraordinaire Vivienne Tam sitting on as guest judge, the remaining contestants had quite a difficult task on their hands.

Evidently the task was so difficult that contestant (and winner of this episode!) Emilio Sosa felt the need to completely rip off the late and great Stephen Sprouse — he of the infamous grafitti-patterned Louis Vuitton bags.

Here’s a helpful side-by-side of Sosa’s pattern with Sprouse’s.

None of the judges — Nina, Michael, Vivienne Tam, or Heidi — noticed the resemblance. We’re more than a little shocked.

While even the great Tim Gunn didn’t catch the copycat, he did have the sense to be skeptical of Sosa’s creation. From his Project Runway post-episode blog:

Emilio’s win left me questioning the critical objectivity of the judges. Let’s begin with the print. I was underwhelmed by the scale, color and hand-drawn execution; it looked sloppy and childlike. There was no semblance of sophistication.

What do you think?

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