The answer rather depends on your perspective and taste (in the fashion crime sense) and where you are located when it comes to designers being able to stop copies of their designs.
An example of this is the copyright infringement allegationslevelled at Australian fashion designer Lisa Gorman relating to some of the pieces in her 2016 collections. Gorman operates a chain of stores in across Australia and one store in New Zealand.
Although clearly upsetting for all involved I don't intend to get into specifics of whether the allegations have merit or if the Gorman pieces infringe. I'm more interested in whether the allegations are capable of success given the fundamental difficulties faced by designers and artists in Australia stopping people copying their works.
The situation could be very different when comparing sales of the same Gorman pieces in Australia with those from the single New Zealand store.
In Australia, the Copyright Act has broad exceptions that mean some artistic works, which would otherwise be protected, aren't once they have been industrially applied or where someone copies a three dimensional version of the design (which is relevant for Emily Green's allegations that Gorman copied her "Terrazzo" pendant earrings).
New Zealand, however, does not have similar exceptions within its Copyright Act, which means artists and designers have more options to pursue copies of their works here.
Things looks brighter for the other artists (Kirra Jamison and New York artist Amber Ibarreche) complaining about Gorman using their works as source of inspiration. Their works are two dimensional artistic works, which means the (rather arbitrary) exceptions within the Australian copyright Act are unlikely to apply. With this hurdle cleared, it enables the artists to undertake an actual assessment of whether the prints used by Gormaninfringe their copyright in Australia, as they could in New Zealand.
Another potentially relevant difference between Australia and New Zealand is the law of passing off. To be successful in alleging passing off (basically that someone is essentially trading off your reputation) you need to show that you have established a sufficient reputation for the public to be misled. Passing off can related to the 'get-up' (the look) of a product. In Australia the bar has been set very high, so the product almost needs to verge on being iconic. New Zealand doesn't require the same level of reputation, so where it is it very difficult to succeed in Australia it is realistic to call someone out for passing off in New Zealand.
The upshot of this means that New Zealand has much stronger protection for artists and designers to protect their works. This is partly why New Zealand is not blighted by stores, like Matt Blatt, selling replicas of famous designs.
These differences allow fashion labels like G-Star (when it sued JeansWest for copying its Elwood biker jeans) to successfully stop copies of its designs in New Zealand, but unable to stop sales of the same products in Australia.
For Lisa Gorman and the artists involved in this issue it means that, for all the similarities between the two countries, there could be fundamental differences in both the allegations capable of being made and the potential outcome.
Fashion designer Lisa Gorman has rigorously defended allegations from three independent artists that her label copied their works. The controversy comes after the Australian brand, which also sells in New Zealand and regularly collaborates with artists on its collections, copped strong criticism over a lack of transparency in its supply chain. Melbourne designers Emily Green and Kirra Jamison, and New York artist Amber Ibarreche, each say products sold by Gorman are derivative of their works.