So . . . after the press reports from the courts last week, which did look as if the case was going in Louboutin, not YSL’s favour . . . . NOW the judge has gone the other way and it looks as if the master of the scarlet soles, Christian Louboutin will be DENIED the right to claim the colour as his own. Oh no! Far be it for us to comment that the Manhattan federal judge, who is called Judge Marrero (we can picture him now) is basking in all the press attention from this most glamorous of lawsuits – has made a profound and Solomon like speech comparing the shoemakers to Picasso and Monet. (yes, really)
He mooted a hypothetical lawsuit in which Pablo Picasso attempts to prevent Claude Monet from displaying or selling his water lilies painting because it uses an indigo too close to 'the colour of melancholy' that defined Picasso’s Blue Period.
‘Fashion designers and painters both regard themselves, and others regard them, as being engaged in labours for which artistic talent, as well as personal expression as a means to channel it, are vital,’ he wrote. ‘Moreover, the items generated by both painters and fashion designers acquire commercial value as they gain recognition.’
But Marrero said placing a colour off limits would unduly hinder commerce, competition and art and that both painters and designers require artistic freedom and fair competition to survive.
‘In both forms, the greatest range for creative outlet exists with its highest, most vibrant and all-encompassing energies where every pigment of the spectrum is freely available for the creator to apply, where every painter and designer in producing artful works enjoys equal freedom to pick and choose colour from every streak of the rainbow,’ he said.
It’s turning into quite a philosophical conundrum .. . a verdict is expected in a week’s time. Who do YOU agree with in the case?
- Naomi Attwood