style for Saturday

Sometimes it’s worth staying up late on a Friday — you can read the Sunday Style section of the New York Times as soon as it gets posted early Saturday morning. Usually it’s a slideshows of presentations from whatever fashion week is currently going on, maybe a piece on “modern love” going wrong the same way that “classic love” (?) has gone for the ages. It’s not often there’s anything that might have some “ethnic” content for when I’m feeling feisty, but then I get rewarded with this article on the (not surprising) lack of diversity in the the models you see in runway shows.

Just one image of a black model appears in the issue, midway through a 17-page article photographed by Miles Aldridge and titled the “Vagaries of Fashion.” In it, the glacial blond Anja Rubik portrays an indolent, overdressed Park Avenue princess with a gilded apartment, a couture wardrobe, two towhead children and a collection of heavy rocks. The sole black model in the pictorial is more modestly attired, in an aproned pinafore.

See? Interesting stuff. I know that it may seem like there should be a big “Obvious” tag somewhere — standards of beauty are upheld by the fashion industry, these standards call for a skinny white girl, blah blah blah — but I never thought the discussion would come up again, and not in the Times. There’s been a lot of attention paid to the on-going discussion of weight and whether or not it’s responsible to hire models who may be suffering from eating disorders, but it never seems to get farther than a wire piece that gets a few days in the news cycle, picked up by the tabs, and then discarded until the cycle starts all over again. Here’s hoping that a real discourse on race and fashion is sustained until some new ideas and solutions are emerge.

Runways Fade to White (NYT)


~ by Jasmine on October 13, 2007.

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