Fashion's new suit is the lawsuit. Or so it appears for Italian design duo Dolce e Gabbana. The west London designer Deborah Nicholas claims that the pair have copied her designs for her label Debonair.

According to Nicholas, the famous designers first visited her store in February 2000 and became steady customers, returning regularly to buy her designs. In 2002 she spotted the first of a series of D&G designs that bore a striking resemblance to the ones she had sold to them. The items include a clutch that was featured in the Evening Standard, a Manga print T-shirt and a gold top.

She reportedly confronted Domenico Dolce last month, but apparently to no avail. Nicholas has now sought legal representation with the London law firm, Berwin Leighton Paisner, who are copyright specialists. Although the firm has agreed to represent her on a conditional fee basis, this unfortunately does not cover all the cost for high court action. Nicholas is therefore soliciting donations and is asking any interested parties to contact her at her email address:


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