Posted on July 29 2016
There is constant pressure on fashion designers to create collections — collections that are critically acclaimed and commercially successful. It's been interesting to observe how fashion houses are meeting this demand.
"Diversification and inclusiveness" in the arts has sparked much debate and controversy over whether there is mutual exchange (among designers of various cultures) to ensure proper cultural representation.That being said, designers must strive to look beyond stereotypes and engage with cultures that inspire them, even going as far as to work with designers from those cultures in the production of a collection.
No matter what side of the argument you're on, it wouldn't hurt to explore different perspectives (with clickable images and quotes) on how designers walk the tight rope between culture appropriation and appreciation on the runway:
"Finished in cornrows and Masai accessories, Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection showcase was described in Vogue as a message in “tolerance and the beauty that comes out of cross-cultural expression;" however, only 8 of the 90 looks featured were worn by models color. And in its subsequent critiques, fashion journalists praised the “Africa-themed” collection, ignoring the fact that Africa is a continent with many different traditions, cultures, and styles."
"For Spring 2014, brother and sister designers, Nicholas and Christopher Kunz explore the spiritual roots of the small bands of indigenous people that formed the Ndee or Apache Nation. Antique smudge fans found on a reservation in the mountains of Central Arizona sparked the inspiration of a shamanistic journey that is embraced by the brand’s own nomadic urban roots."