Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dsquared Spring/Summer 09

This started off as a post on how DELICIOUS the models in Dsquared's new Spring/Summer 2009 show were. And don't get me wrong, my opinion has not changed AT ALL - I mean I am constantly having to stop typing just so I can flip through the pics. 

But in between the many many mouthwatering glances, my mind set off on a tangent as it often does and I started wondering what this nearly all-black male runway really means... 

Why is it that these men in particular were chosen? Is it because they fit the Western standard of beauty in that even though they are black, all of them present similar images - images which certainly do not mirror the great variety of features black people display. I am only wondering if these men were used because they fit the acceptable paradigm of blackness. I can't be the only one noticing that save for a couple of shades difference, all the models (black & white) looked almost exactly same.

This got me to thinking about the spectacle of an all-black show. As with Italian Vogue's all black issue coming up in July, I can't help but wonder if this is merely a gimmick the fashion industry is using to garner the public's attention and their dollars. 

Plus, apart from being a possible exploitation of the models' blackness, could it be even more specific in its exploitation of their maleness as well. We all know that the black male body has been a contested site of fantasy, sexuality and subjugation, so what does it mean for two white male designers to manufacture, commercialize and control this body - "break-dancing moves, army of rappers... shining gold chains" - in such a way? 

In any case, I am not the only one having reservations about performances such as these.

EDIT: an article at the guardian in response to Italian Vogue's black issue echoes my thoughts with startling similarity. I'm here all week.

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