December 10, 2013

Chanel's stereotypical Indian-inspired fashions

Chanel takes inspiration from American West

By Jamie StengleChanel designer Karl Lagerfeld drew inspiration from the American West for his annual Metiers d'Art traveling fashion show, held Tuesday night in Dallas.

Chanel turned one of the halls at Fair Park, Dallas' Art Deco exhibition venue, into a barn for the night, complete with a hay-scattered runway. Models in Western-style hats and boots wore outfits adorned with fringe, leather and feathers. The final model was dressed in an all-white ensemble that included fringed pants and a floor-grazing feather headdress.

Lagerfeld said after the show that he was inspired by "the idea of the old Texas, even before the Civil War." He noted that his cowboys were "not typical cowboys, they are transposed, very sophisticated."

Many of the outfits included Native American-inspired prints, with most of the models wearing a single feather in their hair. Denim also made frequent appearances on the runway.

Regular readers can guess that Natives and their non-Native supporters didn't react so benignly. For instance:

Chanel Shows Native American Headdresses for Pre-Fall: Why Does This Keep Happening?

By Alyssa VinganChanel staged a Texas-sized pre-fall show in Dallas on Tuesday night, and, like most productions Karl Lagerfeld puts on, it was an over-the-top affair. The collection, shown in a barn-like space at Dallas’ Fair Park, was clearly inspired by the wild west, with cowboy boots and hats, turquoise jewelry, blanket coats and fringes galore playing a huge part in the show.

Another pervasive theme was Navajo prints and American Indian-inspired accessories, which have proven to be a very touchy subject in the fashion industry in recent years. The final two looks of the show featured white, feathered headdresses—the very same style that caused a major controversy at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2012 when Karlie Kloss wore one for the Calendar Girls segment to represent Thanksgiving. Not only did both Kloss and Victoria’s Secret issue apologies for being racially insensitive, the brand removed her look from the show’s national telecast.

The whole “cowboys and Indians” thing Chanel went for is cute in theory, but with all of the controversy that’s raised season after season about cultural appropriation in the fashion industry, we’re honestly shocked that those headdresses were given the thumbs up to walk down the runway. The thing that we find most troubling about this the fact that, despite how many groups have voiced their disapproval, this keeps happening.
Some Native comments on this fashion show (from the picture below):It just never ends! I couldn't find pics of the beaded vests, tops & "NA" textiles and prints to post. I'm sure that tackiness will show up soon enough.


Ugh why cant they leave us alone!!!

To be inspired is a moving thing, but he needed guidance...lots of it.

I'm calling the State Department this morning to see if we can at least use this as an opportunity to bring Native American designers to Paris.
Comment:  As everyone should know, the "American West" included a couple hundred tribes, at least. Which of these tribes inspired these fashions?

Oh, right...none of them. Lagerfeld was inspired by the Hollywood/Halloween fantasy of Indians, not real Indians. That's what people are objecting too.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

By the way, Google now says this this is the official flag of Blue Corn Comics.