In the United States, unlike most developed nations, the cut or silhouette of a piece of clothing is not subject to copyright protection because the powers that be feel that clothing is 'utilitarian' and thus cannot be art. Many would disagree, I imagine.
The design printed on the fabric of a garment is, however, subject to protection as a two-dimensional work of art. If someone copies the fabric design of another without permission, that someone will be liable for copyright infringement. Is that the case below?
You'd think after Grey-Bow-Sweater-Gate Trelise Cooper would be done with plagiarism. Especially of Japanese brands, as Alannah Hill got picked up for ripping off Emily Temple Cute around the same time. Yes, ladies, other people who like fashion have heard of Japanese lolita brands as well.
But I saw this Trelise Cooper kids' dress on Ebay and thought it looked strangely familiar:
Lo and behold, a quick squizz at Yahoo Japan confirmed my suspicions:
This is an earlier release from Emily Temple Cute 'Lulu'. The print has been uglified slightly, but it's still 100% a rip off.