Girl. That Dolce & Gabbana ‘Black Woman’ Collection Was Offensive
Luxury Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana presented their Spring 2013 collection this weekend receiving much criticism about the designs. Although the clothes didn’t do much speaking, the images inspired by dark-skinned, slave like Blackamoors on the dresses and even models rocking these blackamoor heads as earrings had the internet abuzz.
While the decorative images of black women dressed in turbans and oversized jewelry are revered, they can easily be offensive. Even fashion bloggers at Refinery29 referred to collection as distasteful stating, “The luxury brand debuted a spring ’13 collection that rested heavily on the laurels of a long-lost colonial era, complete with all the cartoonish, debasing, subaltern imagery that would make even your politically incorrect Grandpa think twice.”
Fashion houses are no stranger with sparking discussions surrounding their work. Could Dolce & Gabbana used a better image? Of course. However, they did not. This is another example of how beauty and fashion companies shoddily attempt to blur the lines between racism and artistic vision. The idea of other races modeling a black woman’s head from their ear lobes leaves an awful taste in many people’s mouth. With the earrings being featured on white models, the critiques seem to ring louder. The lack of diversity on the runway triggers this debate on how appropriate it would have been if the product was featured on a black model.
Unfortunately, we can’t stop talking about race in America. Something that identifies us but also makes us feel included has so much power. But it’s hard to over look blanketed examples like this. Images we’ve had to embrace over the years are quick reminders of why we’ve accepted them as staple of power and gratitude. During an era where blacks were held against his or her own will as captives and deprived of basic human rights, doesn’t strike me as a catalyst for a feature.
We have no choice but to shake our heads and this was just disgusting. Somehow the fashion industry has to stop capitalizing on the struggles and oppressions blacks have experienced throughout the years. Let alone, allow more diversity on the runway to help tell these important stories in a healthier manner.