Talking about race might be a hard thing to do without being branded as a racist. We’re often restricted because of that fear of being ‘inappropriate’. That's mainly my own reason that stops me from talking, nothing is worth hurting anybody's feelings, right?
Marc Jacobs expressed his without even opening his mouth. Recently his work showcased during the NYFW sparkled ongoing debate between stylistic expression and cultural appropriation.
The first time I saw the colourful dreadlocks I treated them same way I would treat any other unexpected element during the fashion show. It just sparkled my typical curiosity, I wanted to know what is the inspiration and the intent. It's like with everything: context matters. I don't know if there’s a perfect way to get inspired by things not directly related to our own ethnic backgrounds without being offensive. But there is a way to address it.
Regardless of critique Marc expressed views quite bluntly and the response came off as somewhat rude. It seems that Jacobs should not only be inspired by Eighties club kids but another theme that started emerging in early 1980s, that is: political correctness. As a writer, Alix Tunnel put it: "Any time one borrows from a culture, the history of that culture must be acknowledged. The Marc Jacobs hair borrowed from The Club Kids, who borrowed from Black culture. The issue is that no one said so."
But for the creative industry and artists, it’s vital to stay true to yourself. They have their own forms of political correctness as part of a war against freedom of expression. In that respect I have to give Marc props for standing up for himself despite all the criticism. On the positive note, I find this discussion about the race, reading so many views of others very educational. Just like opinions on race, religion and sexuality, these aren’t set in stone. Talking about things makes us understand one another, and so we should do that. If a runaway collection can show a whole new perspective, I don't find no harm in that.
We all know this isn’t all about how white people can’t dreadlocks because they can. There’s a burden of speaking up about it and probably that's where Marc failed. Or not? What's your opinion?
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