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SEEING DOUBLE: Melissa magazine’s more fashion-minded readers might do a double take when the 2013 summer edition of Plastic Dreams lands in their mailboxes. The lead fashion story, “A Colorful Dream,” looks strikingly similar to one that ran on the cover of W Korea in March. Alek Wek is on the cover of Melissa’s Brazilian edition, but a fashion flashback can be found on the back cover, which features seven models in rainbow-colored wigs splayed about on a pastel-colored set. The trouble is, 10 months back, W Korea took a nearly identical tack with four models, right down to the pastel-colored set design. Shot by Hyun Jang Hong and styled by Karina Givargisoff, the W fashion story was called “Birthday Girls.”
After being shown images from the W Korea shoot, Neil Stuart, fashion director on the Melissa feature, said, “It is a coincidence,” but noted the “Colorful Dream” concept was being developed 18 months to two years out. In line with the rainbow-themed issue, there were seven models to show off seven different colors of Melissa shoes. Inspired by a mash-up of early showgirls and Cyndi Lauper, Stuart said, “For me and my client, the shoot was all about the shoes and the rainbow.”
Photographer Michael Labica, who shot “A Colorful Dream” with Sandrine Dulermo, declined to comment. Creative director Eduardo Jordão de Magalhães did not respond to requests for comment.
The De Facto Inc.-backed Givargisoff has used an image of the W Korea cover in her e-mail signature for several months. After being sent images from the Melissa shoot, she said in a phone interview, “What’s the expression? ‘Imitation is the highest form of flattery.’”