D&G: Racist Fashion?
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Thread: D&G: Racist Fashion?

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Default D&G: Racist Fashion?

    Did Dolce & Gabbana send racist earrings down the catwalk? | Fashion | guardian.co.uk

    Drawing inspiration from their native home of Sicily has been a long running theme for Dolce & Gabbana and their spring/summer collections have become known for vibrant, vintage-inspired prints and kitsch accessories. Last year they sent pasta and aubergine-shaped earrings down the runway, so it would only be fitting for them to match it with something equally as wacky this year. And what's wackier than a racist caricature of a black woman dangling from your earlobes? Aren't they adorable? Oh, and there's a dress to match too, so you can go for the full clueless colonial look if you want to.

    The earrings are reminiscent of Blackamoor statues that can be found in Italy, but more recognisably to non-Italians, Aunt Jemima dolls. That's the same Aunt Jemima that, initially conceived as part of a minstrel show, became an image that romanticised slavery and plantation life. There's no denying they're offensive. But what's perhaps even more shocking is that no one highlighted this before the show. From the production to the fitting, was there really no one to point this out before they hit the catwalk?

    Some might argue that they're harmless, even cute, but there's nothing cute about two white men selling minstrel earrings to a majority non-black audience. There wasn't a single black model in Dolce & Gabbana's show, and it's hard not to be appalled by the transparent exoticism in sending the only black faces down the runway in the form of earrings. Pandering to a long-gone era is hardly surprising in 2012, when people can't even take a photo of a baby without sticking a "vintage" sepia filter on top. Bygone eras and cultures are constantly drawn on by fashion designers to re-appropriate on a whim. But when you're explicitly pandering to such a shameful era of western racism and colonialism, it's time to move on to the future.
    Google search that shows the earrings and cloth patterns in question. Racist? Cute? Other thoughts?
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I am not sure if I find them racist? Cute no, but typically catwalk things are meant to be a bit over the top
    Lisa
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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    It definitely reminds me of the "Mammy" art that you can still see sometimes in antique shops and online, which I do think is racist because it basically glorified slavery and then later the Jim Crow era. It's not just that they are depicting black people, it's more that there is something about these peices that feels kind of exploitive.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Ugly... yes. Racist... No. If it was a Barbie head instead no one would be saying a word.
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Would you call these racist? I don't see how they are any different.



    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    They weren't even all black. Nope I don't see how it was racist.

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    I think the racist connotation is because of context. Again, a Mammy doll (which is what this reminds me of) is racist where a Barbie doll is not because "Mammy" is a character that was used by whites to imply that black people were inferior and also that they reveled in their servitude to white people. Barbie doesn't have such a checkered past. I don't know enough about the sociology behind the other peices you posted to comment whether or not they are racist. If they were used in the past to perpetrate racial stereotypes in the culture in which they were made, then yes, they probably are. If not, probably not.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    I don't know if they are racist or not. They are definitely not something I'd wear - ever; not because they are black people but because they are people. I typically try to avoid hanging people from my earlobes.
    Aisha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    I think the racist connotation is because of context. Again, a Mammy doll (which is what this reminds me of) is racist where a Barbie doll is not because "Mammy" is a character that was used by whites to imply that black people were inferior and also that they reveled in their servitude to white people. Barbie doesn't have such a checkered past. I don't know enough about the sociology behind the other peices you posted to comment whether or not they are racist. If they were used in the past to perpetrate racial stereotypes in the culture in which they were made, then yes, they probably are. If not, probably not.
    Would it make any difference if the earrings had been worn by a black model?
    Aisha

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myyams View Post
    Would it make any difference if the earrings had been worn by a black model?
    I don't know, I think it would be interesting. I read that there are actually a lot of African Americans that collect the old "Mammy" type memorabilia that do it from a sort of "never forget" type of POV. I think....it's kind of like trying to reclaim the imagery that has been put out there about your people, which is okay, but doesn't necessarily make it okay for other people (outside of your group) to do it.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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