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18-12-2011
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I love it when people know how to incorporate cultural influences + are especially aware of where their pieces are influenced from & it's cultural significance etc. I'm middle eastern and did not mind when the keffiyah caught on in the west... Just as long people are not ignorant of what they're wearing then it's fine by me. I especially like it when the pieces are not too literal, examples"

Arabian Influences:



Sources: hommetimes.com, pasticheproject.blogspot.com & carbon-vi.com


Japanese Influences:



Sources: style.com & refinery29.com

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19-12-2011
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I think it's great that we can use fashion and style to connect between cultures, but it shouldn't be taken too far. Some [i.e religious] inputs being used as influence could easily be offensive to the origins, and we need to keep a level of respect, and do our research. But globalization is a fact, and fashion being transferred over national borders is as obvious as transferrals of any other thing.

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19-12-2011
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I think Fashion and Culture are definitely connect, and it has been all over the years since the beginning, what happens now is that with Globalization (60s onwards), "Western Brands" trying to get good inspiration are crossing borders between countries with the intention of making better products or consumer-friendly ones. Which ends up, in the stealing of specific cultural elements by a dominant country from a poorer/weaker/different one. I say stealing, because they're not asking for permission and second is that the other culture is practically not getting any retribution, i don't know if it's right or wrong, everyone can have their own opinions, but I think that we have 2 cases:

First, when the culture is a really-known by everybody, or it has practically non-religious/traditional significance, for example "Harajuku Girls Concept by Gwen Stefani", which i think can be worked by any artist/company they way he/she thinks it's better for marketing.

And second, we have the other type, which it's when the culture it represents a whole group of people, and it really has religious/traditional significance. When a designer is working with a specific cultural background, these people don't earn anything but recognition, so i think the
least you can do, is to work it right by showing an element o truth (as someone stated), and not just crappy commercial looks that the masses will like, you must get into the culture and get really inspired so you can pull what's really about, and show it always with respect.
If you're working with an ethnic background, i think it's to at least have respect, and that you can show it by doing a serious job/research, and show what's really all about, and not just a fantasy of how i imagine it would be. That way you won't have mistakes showing garments and elements in a wrong/disrespectful way.

To make my point clearer, i'm from SouthAmerica, and here there are tons of indigenous groups really rich in culture (in every sense), if some designer decides to get "inspiration/work with" some group, if i think the work is real and serious, i would feel flattered and probably proud of all the right recognition, but if it's done with the idea of stealing a few items, and trying to make it work in a commercial aspect, but not in a serious way, i would probably feel disrespected.
I don't know if i explain well my point ahahah

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20-12-2011
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^Also along that point I think it's fair to mention that some designers are using other cultures for inspirations but they are giving them retribution. Some have the clothes made by people from that group or a percentage of the sales goes back to an organization focused on improving their lives. One example I can think of is Suno which has a lot of it's clothes/cloth designed in Kenya. Which is where much of the line's inspiration comes from. Granted one of the designers is Kenyan but still, this is one way to use a culture in an appropriate manner.

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06-02-2012
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[QUOTE=pennyroyaltea;10055753]I love it when people know how to incorporate cultural influences + are especially aware of where their pieces are influenced from & it's cultural significance etc. I'm middle eastern and did not mind when the keffiyah caught on in the west... Just as long people are not ignorant of what they're wearing then it's fine by me. I especially like it when the pieces are not too literal, examples"

Arabian Influences:



Sources: hommetimes.com, pasticheproject.blogspot.com & carbon-vi.com


Remember when middle eastern influence was mainstream style! I spent most of high school wearing kaftans, sari printed skirts, and salwar dresses. I always LOVED arab and indian influence in fashion (and straight from Mid east and Indian fashion). Being from NY, I would thrift shop in ethnic neighborhood to find some really fabulous rare clothing from different countries. I even paired my dresses occasionally with hip scarves or bangled bedouin hair wraps. I never felt like it was a racist style though. If anyone ridiculed me, I would just tell them "It is clothing- get over it!"

I completely agree with models_vlada. Fashion is apart of globalization, one of my favorite parts! I am polish and I also love to wear my own ethnic traditional clothing! (Though much harder to come by and I've never seen slavic-like outfits worn off the runway, save for the festivals) I get super excited and proud when I see slavic influence in designer's works.

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07-02-2012
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I think that using a certain culture as an influence in design is a great way to celebrate the beauty and unique aspects that this culture has. Celebrating the differences. But I believe that designers must put in large amounts of research before using it as an influence. I feel that the navajo prints that are so popular nowadays are being used solely for their visual appeal. I think that designers should try to not only show the sartorial side, but also try to portray the traditions and deeper meaning behind the clothing.

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09-02-2012
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I think most of the people overreact. When I was younger, I was learnt that the culture of my ancestors is syncretic. Syncretism is the combining of different (often contradictory) beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. (Wikipedia) So by definition my culture steals from other culture - should I understand it that way? I don't think so. And I'm pretty sure my ancestors hadn't given credit to other peoples.

Culture is something dynamic and nobody owns it! In fact many culture aspects are considered as native by many nations. It's almost impossible to tell who the source is. And it's not bad! People and nations should share their traditions and so on.

I don't find anything offending in Karl Lagerfeld's work or someone else's. They're just designers, not scientists who research cultures. Yes, it would be wonderful if they research and make an effort to make a truthful image, but I don't think it's a must.

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16-02-2012
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This thread is absolutely fascinating. I agree with a lot of points already mentioned and believe this is an extremely sensitive issue. However, it'd be interesting to think about fashion as a whole and to offer this question for 'debate':

Isn't all fashion a form of cultural appropriation?

What we wear is closely linked to our culture whether it be Western blue jeans or traditional Japanese dress. Is it impossible not to include some form of culture in a collection? Is it only appropriate for a designer to adopt another culture's dress if they fully understand it's origins or if they're a part of that culture themselves? In a globalised world culture is interchanged and shared at a rapid rate.

It's a really interesting topic. The Halloween costume campaign is absolutely brilliant, too, because that form of appropriation is very offensive. I just wonder where we draw the line...

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17-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimirose View Post
This thread is absolutely fascinating. I agree with a lot of points already mentioned and believe this is an extremely sensitive issue. However, it'd be interesting to think about fashion as a whole and to offer this question for 'debate':

Isn't all fashion a form of cultural appropriation?

What we wear is closely linked to our culture whether it be Western blue jeans or traditional Japanese dress. Is it impossible not to include some form of culture in a collection? Is it only appropriate for a designer to adopt another culture's dress if they fully understand it's origins or if they're a part of that culture themselves? In a globalised world culture is interchanged and shared at a rapid rate.

It's a really interesting topic. The Halloween costume campaign is absolutely brilliant, too, because that form of appropriation is very offensive. I just wonder where we draw the line...
That is a really good point. I hadn't really thought about cultural appropriation and fashion in this way before. However, I do think there is a line between wearing blue jeans and wearing a kimono. Certain items seem to transcend one culture, like blue jeans, they were created around the time of the gold rush in California and have been adopted by people around the world. But I think the reason why this is okay is because it doesn't have a religious/spiritual/cultural significance. Whereas if I saw someone wearing a Native American headdress or something I would be highly offended because it is a sacred item within the culture. Anyways, I've always thought people sort of look like they are playing dress-up when I see them wearing something that's been culturally appropriated. They are borrowing from the culture without understanding the true meaning of the clothing's significance.

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16-04-2012
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Quote:
Whereas if I saw someone wearing a Native American headdress or something I would be highly offended because it is a sacred item within the culture
That's definitely a tricky opinion. Being a Native American myself (Menominee) and an artist that utilizes various aspects of my background, I don't find someone (regardless of their race) simply wearing a headdress to be offensive. Most people usually find such items 'beautiful' and appreciate the artistry that's involved in making such accessories. For me, it only becomes offensive when said person decides to wear "warpaint" and do a "rain-dance" or something crazy like that. Now THAT is offensive to me because not every Native American walks around wearing paint or tapping their mouths with their hands to call for rain.

I just don't like when people automatically assume any type of NA inspired look is "offensive". The culture from various tribes should be appreciated in a respectful way, not automatically looked at in a negative way. But that's just my humble opinion.

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16-04-2012
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^Thanks for sharing your perspective on this issue. It's very enlightening. I don't think that every type of NA inspired look is offensive. It's just my main problem is when I see people sporting headdresses with tiny bikini's or wearing them as an accessory for a "hippie" outfit at Coachella or whatever. To me it is those sort of looks that are disrespectful.

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09-05-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
^Thanks for sharing your perspective on this issue. It's very enlightening. I don't think that every type of NA inspired look is offensive. It's just my main problem is when I see people sporting headdresses with tiny bikini's or wearing them as an accessory for a "hippie" outfit at Coachella or whatever. To me it is those sort of looks that are disrespectful.
Sorry for not responding sooner. I definitely see your point and understand what you're saying about the "Coachella" thing. Again I don't take any offense to anyone wearing a headdress or NA-inspired prints to musical festivals or in fashion editorials. I only take offense when the image is taken too far and collides with stereotyping; like what Vanessa Hudgens wearing a headdress with the warpaint on her face this past Coachella, or that picture of Drew Barrymore wearing a headdress while wearing a Budweiser t-shirt (the stereotype that Native Americans are alcoholics is a very false and damaging stereotype ).

I'm only speaking for myself, not the tribe I'm from or how other Natives feel. Native Americans are a vast people in many different tribes with their own opinions and views on appropriation. Some feel that imagery should stay 'sacred', others feel they it's no harm being done. I definitely respect others' opinion on the subject, were all entitled to having an opinion. To agree or disagree.

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20-09-2012
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So I'm really curious to hear everyone else sound-off on Lady Gaga wearing two burqa's recently at Philip Treacy. Do you feel it's a form of cultural appropriation or is it art?


thehollywoodgossip.com


style.mtv.com

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21-09-2012
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Lady Gaga strikes me as someone who wants to create shock value and not much else behind it. Jeremy Scott faced similar criticisms for his spring/summer 2013 collection. Personally I wouldn't wear a garment religiously or racially and ethnically not connected to me. But where do we draw the line since fashion always borrowed from different cultures, groups of people and numerous movements in history? I honestly I like certain photoshoots and art that many practitioners of a particular faith would find sacrilegious.

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22-09-2012
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It's more art ... if you want to call it that ... performance art. Shock value, for sure ... which is her calling card. Perhaps a commentary on the clash of cultures.

But it's not fashion, IMHO. So it's not appropriating anything for fashion from another culture.

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