How Do These Earrings Make You Feel? Dolce & Gabbana Display Controversial Accessories At Spring Show
This past Sunday Italian luxury brand Dolce and Gabbana displayed their 2013 Spring collection. Though there were no black models in the show, a black woman did make an appearance on the runway in the form of a pair of controversial earrings.
Designers and fashion icons, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, have said this collection was inspired by their homeland Sicily so the black woman bust could represent the Black Moors that inhabited Sicily. Or the earrings could have been used as some type of homage to the Blackamoor statues that were popular during the colonial period. In addition to the black woman earrings, there is also a pair depicting what appears to be an Asian man wearing the same headdress.
So the question we want to pose to you today is are these earrings racist?
Let’s analyze. From the cursory research I’ve done thus far, it would seem that these earrings are a nod to those statues. Blackamoor statues often appeared in jewelry and in pairs. The statues are problematic because they depict black people as exotic, mystical (many of the statues held positions that would be impossible for humans to hold for any extended period of time.) and decorative, in other words, unlike real people.
It would seem as if they’re being used that same way by D&G. For whatever reason, a black woman wasn’t fit to be in the show; but she could certainly be used–exploited– as a form of decoration on a white model, in a white show, for a white company. And that’s what makes these earrings so troublesome. If I saw these same earrings in another setting, like on the table at a Brooklyn street fair, I’d be trying to scoop them up before another sista saw them. There’s no denying that the earrings are fly and I’d love to see more representations of black women reflected in mainstream clothes and accessories; but the manner in which they’re used here and the history behind such figures makes me believe D&G used them exploitatively.
What do you think? Do you have a problem with these earrings?
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