|The collection's most controversial piece|
I have just watched Chanel's Paris-Dalas 2013/14 Metiers d'Art Show. Whilst I was planning to take the title of this post from the song '5-6-7-8' by Steps (fun fact: that was my favourite song for ages when I was 6) and sing the praises of the collection, the blatantly unforgiving racism of the collection cannot be overlooked. You can watch the full show here.
|(all images from style.com)|
Some Reasons Why Cultural Appropriation of Native Americans is bad:
1. The headdress is a sacred symbol of spirituality that is treasured by Native American tribes.
2. The 'trend' reinforces and encourages stereotypes. There are over 500 Native American tribes that all have different cultures and clothing.
3. Racism is still a reality in Native American's lives so 'dressing up' in what they wear is disrespectful of their past and present struggles.
4. The Native American identity has been reconstructed (often inaccurately) by brands just trying to make money.
5. It commodifies traditions.
6. Some outfits (such as the Victoria's Secret one) sexualise the culture. This is specifically important as Native American women are often rape victims of non Native American men.
Victoria's Secret apologised and removed the headdress from their collection after receiving justified criticism from Native American groups. Since then, cultural appropriation has been a particularly controversial issue, not just in catwalk fashion but in fancy dress and halloween costumes too. So, why, after all this do Chanel still find it acceptable to unapologetically place headdresses, feathers and Navajo prints in their collection in such a provocatively racially insensitive manner? Does Karl Lagerfeld seriously believe that Chanel is such a prestigious brand that it is above anything else?
Karl Lagerfeld even admitted that, "It's a reinvention of something I don't really know about, but that I like to play with." Can he not see how offensive that statement can be? None of the main fashion sites have criticised the show. Who dares to criticise Kaiser Karl, after all?
Fashion brands do not seem to understand all of this when it really isn't that complicated. We can only come to the harsh conclusion that they simply do. not. care.
Now to lighten the mood, this is still my favourite thing that has ever happened in Dallas: