Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Robin Givhan's Blog

UPDATE: I'm having a little trouble with the embed of this interview by Julie of AlmostGirl of Catherine Horyn. I switched over to this little thumbnail and I think if you click on it, it'll take you to the Revver address that's hosing the video:

^^Catherine Horyn, New York Times: "I've had a little reluctance doing a blog."

Isn't that a funny quote? It's especially peculiar when you consider that Horyn wrote a groundbreaking article called "Two Clicks Behind" on how behind the fashion industry is in relation to the Internet.

But oh well, while Horyn thinks it over, one of my all-time favorite fashion critics, The Washington Post's Robin Givhan, has had her blog, Off the Runway, up and running since February.

And you know something? Down below when I was posting about those blackface models in the Tabisha Nobukuni show in Japan, I took the lazy way out by saying I didn't want to comment cause I'm white. Actually, I was just wanting to hear what other people had to say about the topic cause I genuinely didn't know what to think! And lo, as I was perusing Givhan's blog, I came across a post on Models of Color that sums up my feelings quite nicely. In talking about the March Givenchy show, Givhan wrote:

Finally the show started and the first handful of models out of the gate were black. They were dressed in different variations on a black dress. They were wearing thick black-rimmed glasses. Some of them were carrying Givenchy handbags and luggage.

After the short parade of matching black girls, out came the other models. And that's when we got annoyed and started feeling like we were going to have to tap into some inner Malcolm X. Why can't the black models just be part of the show? Why do they always have to be part of gimmick? At Issey Miyake, for instance, they came out in tribal paint and breastplates because the collection had an African/Asian/South Pacific inspiration. (But we did not see any other models looking like they had stepped off the Discovery Channel.) Can't the black girls just wear a nice evening gown? At Givenchy, they practically looked like the porters for the "real" models.

And that is the problem I have with the black face used at the Taisha Nobukuni show. Blackness shouldn't be used as a show prop or as Givhan states, "part of a gimmick." Okay, so you're fascinated by the culture, but behind all the music and art and fashion, there are real people, whose humanity should never be forgotten.

No comments: