Colonialist Chic? No Thanks, Dolce & Gabbana

132 comments

dolceembed

We're starting to get tired of writing this disclaimer, but fashion is not exactly known for being the most PC of creative sectors. That said, it's still shocking when something so blatantly exploitative as these Dolce & Gabbana earrings makes its way down the runway — not in the least because we can hardly believe that nobody anticipated the inevitable backlash.

The luxury brand debuted a spring '13 collection that rested heavily on the laurels of a long-lost colonial era, complete with all the cartoonish, debasing, subaltern imagery that would make even your politically incorrect Grandpa think twice.

This collection looks pretty great from afar, and — without understanding the context of Dolce & Gabbana's references , those burlap-sack dresses and fruit cornucopias might even look a little quaint. It's when you zoom in that the problems arise. There is no creative interpretation or buffer between these earrings and the kind of lamentable, dated figurines you find in airport gift shops. These severed heads dangling from a pale-skinned model's ear are not fun or playful, but simply evocative of some of the darkest times in Western history. Somebody get Cornel West on the phone, because we're guessing he might have a few thoughts, here.

Photo: MCV/Firstview