Colonialist Chic? No Thanks, Dolce & Gabbana

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

More from Designers

There are currently plenty of brands touting custom embroidered or printed garb. But for Dresshirt, the personalization factor has been part of the ...
Though it's hard to imagine a time when more people read magazines than read articles on their phones, bloggers were still making pennies off banner ads (...
Carlton Banks, your moment as a fashion icon has come. On Wednesday, Miuccia Prada showed a collection that, at first glance, might not immediately remind ...
Sewing, cutting, draping, steaming — though you might not know how to do these things yourself, you’d recognize most of the processes of creating an ...
While other luxury heritage brands are sticking to what they know (meaning the dated, one-season-out showing), Burberry is keeping up with the times — and ...
Since taking the helm at Gucci at the beginning of 2015, designer Alessandro Michele has singlehandedly transformed the fashion industry. He (like ...
You don't have to raise your hand if you're among the people who choose to take a break from Instagram during Fashion Week; we know you're out there, and ...
(Paid Content) Last week, Thakoon left convention behind when he presented his new collection at a scenic waterfront setting in Brooklyn, perfectly timed ...
Last February, we were treated to a crayon-colored, upbeat disco for Ashish's, fall 2016 presentation. This season, however, Ashish Gupta took a more ...
I have been working in the fashion industry for just over eight years now, but I’ve spent the majority of my life being big. Even in my wildest fashion ...
J.W. Anderson's intimate show for spring/summer 2017 wasn't one for claustrophobes. The front (and only) row in a tightly-packed, vibrant green corridor ...
It's almost a running joke in fashion that the most universally disliked shoes can (and do) make unexpected, sweeping comebacks. Case in point: The Ugg x...
After the models stormed the catwalk, '80s super style, for the finale of the Topshop Unique show, editors, buyers, and A-listers shuffled toward the door...
In a Fashion Month with many established brands attempting to revive their houses via designer switch-ups and step-downs (and some labels just opting out ...