Monday, February 9, 2009

The Vagaries of Fashion - Italian Vogue

The good news: Vogue Italia used another black model in an editorials.

The bad news: She's just an unnamed prop in a decadent multipage editorial featuring white model Anja Rubik.

This is yet another example of how people of color can occupy the same space as white subject but not the same status.  When I look at this photo, all I see is the maid. In contrast, all she sees is her employer, eagerly waiting for the next order. It's almost as if the photographer (Miles Aldridge) decided to flip the script on the more common 'white woman in Africa' imagery and instead drop a brown person into a white person's world. Unfortunately, in this case, the brown woman is still just window dressing. 

 I would go on about this but I think I'd just be repeating myself and to be honest,  the ladies over at Threadbared said much more succinctly in  fantastic post titled "Background Color" that appeared on their blog last year.

Perhaps a better title for this spread would have been "The Vulgarities of Fashion."

Source (and remainder of photos) here.


Alsace said...

So. . . Italian Vogue discards its stand-alone "Black Issue" of July 2008 and returns to business as usual, as in the "black hotel maid" model it used in October 2007?


No surprise there.

Project Christopher said...

it's bad enough the black model is dressed as a domestic and holding a painfully pasty white baby, but they couldn't have made her look any more plain could they? She's a beautiful woman, but not enhanced (make up, etc)
And yet, as you said, I see her first. That (sorry) ugly dress the woman is wearing blends with the wall paper so much the blue maids dress is the focal point.

Tiffany said...

Oh no they didn't! I cannot believe they resorted to using mammy/mistress imagery in a 2009 publication! Thanks for calling them out on this.