You know, I get so sick and tired of all these tiring fashion issues because its starting to get ridiculous, if its not some magazine using racist innuendos, its some designer making a mockery of the Holocaust…this is not about political correctness or over sensitivity it just boils down to common sense. Or lack there of.
The culprits; Dolce & Gabbana, the issue; the details of their SS13 collection, which depict images of black women in a Blackamoor-type print used on the dresses or as earrings. Blackamoors are North Africans with a history steeped in slavery, some of the full body figurines of the Blackamoor “decorative art” shows them in servitude (thankfully not a part of the show). Some argue in the context of the show, this was an acknowledgment of the connection between the figurines and its Italian origin where they were so popular. Be that as it may, the use of them at all is bound to be deemed controversial not least because of the grey area when it comes to the issue ethnicity and the Fashion Industry. The matter here is whether this is racist or just blatantly insensitive, either way, its a bad call. But you can make up your mind, although one would hope that no one, in this day and age, would make light of some of the most debasing times in human history. Let’s not call this an uptightness or making a mountain out of a molehill, its neither, but this is an issue. Neither should we brush this aside as just another designer’s quirk or artistic vision it is NOT. Sometimes the bigger picture should come into play even when it comes to creativity. Slavery is not a glamourous issue, neither is wearing a swastika as part of a halloween costume or making a mockery of the Holocaust in a drunken stupor. There is no excuse and these are not just random occurrences in history, nor are they footnotes in a case study, these are harsh realities of the past that stir up bitter memories of whole races and using them in such a way is quite frankly, NOT OKAY. Its distasteful and, quite plainly put, as ignorant as Jay-Z on the Oprah show claiming the N-word to be something cosy and positive simply to justify its use in rap music. Its not and it never will be.
As the saying goes, if you have to ask then you probably should not be doing it. The boys may not have thought to ask or did not understand the ramification of their reference and there in lies the problem. Reportedly in a pre-show press conference there seem to be an allusion from the designers expecting some sort of negative reaction to this collection or knowing that it may stir up this precise issue, “we want to do it our own way, we are not looking to be trendy. We want to make clothes and hope that people like them…” Stefano Gabbana Source WWD.
Whatever their intensions were, this was done in poor taste. Not everything should be made to shock, not everything should be pushed to the limit. Sometimes, even in the most creative of forms, restraint would not go amiss.There has got to be boundaries.