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29-01-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aglamourgirl View Post
As for the Victoria's Secret thing I don't think that was too sensitive. While sexualisation doesn't equal sexual violence in can very easily lead to it. Native American women in particular have had to fight with a high number of rape, so why sexualize them even further?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that the cause of sexual violence towards Native American women has not been because of their sexualization, but because of the lack of police interference on reservations. I just feel that Karlie Kloss wearing a headdress on a VS runway isn't going to increase the rape numbers.

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29-01-2013
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I do think its a sensitive matter, and although I agree some examples of CA are absolutely distastefull, some of them can be ok. I think in a way different cultures and subcultures inspiring designers is what makes fashion develop, if we were to only wear what we "have the right to wear because of our origin" fashion would be very boring. But who has a list to say whats ok and what is not? I think if the main problems that lead to problematic CA (exploitation and ignorance) were addressed I think it would be ok to borrow from each others cultures, from any culture.


Last edited by ssgghh; 29-01-2013 at 01:12 PM.
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29-01-2013
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Originally Posted by TianSoFine View Post
but because of the lack of police interference on reservations.
No expert on the topic but I don't think native reservations need police interference but for the state to provide outlets and opportunities that not necessarily bind them to a cultural/social structure they already have and whose autonomy has been chosen to be respected (symbolically at least..) but that channel the evident (anomic?) 'vices' they're falling into as a result of a pure form of (non-optional) segregation.. which is the normal suffocation a state within a state triggers and that can be healed with the right policies.

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29-01-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TianSoFine View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that the cause of sexual violence towards Native American women has not been because of their sexualization, but because of the lack of police interference on reservations. I just feel that Karlie Kloss wearing a headdress on a VS runway isn't going to increase the rape numbers.
Like MulletProof said, it's not that they don't have police interference, reservations do have their own forms of policing too (though their may not be enough people on the force to work on a sexual assault case or they are overworked, therefore they go unsolved. Much like many sexual assault cases around the country). Part of the issue though is that many of the crimes committed against native american women are by men from outside of the reservation, on native lands. And since the reservations are technically sovereign from the united states, the men who commit these crimes get away with it because the tribal courts are suppose to be meant to regulate and serve their own people, not necessarily outsiders. Therefore the crimes go unpunished. It's a major issue and certainly something that people are trying to resolve. NPR has written several interesting/informative articles about this issue, if anyone is curious and wants to check it out (most recently one on the VAWA and what it's failure to pass means for people).

In regards to the VS warbonnet, I've said before that it bothers me, and that I find it inappropriate. It may be hard to draw exact correlations or figures between Victoria Secret's use of a warbonnet to sexualize a women (but really, what it's suggesting is the "native," "wild," sexy side of the wearer) and the rate of abuse by native american women. To me it seems like a more subtle effect, it become's internalized and acceptable to fetishize the idea of what a native women is suppose to be like. And then this in turn can lead to a rise of abuse of native women.

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Last edited by YoninahAliza; 29-01-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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29-01-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TianSoFine View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that the cause of sexual violence towards Native American women has not been because of their sexualization, but because of the lack of police interference on reservations. I just feel that Karlie Kloss wearing a headdress on a VS runway isn't going to increase the rape numbers.
Here are some stats quoted from here: http://www.racialicious.com/2010/06/...-native-women/

Quote:
Native women have been highly sexualized throughout history and in pop culture. There are any number of examples I can pull from, the “Indian Princess” stereotype is everwhere–think the story of Pocahontas, or Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, or Cher in her “half breed” video, or the land ‘o’ lakes girl, seriously almost any image of a Native woman that you’ve seen in popular culture. We’re either sexy squaws (the most offensive term out there), wise grandmas, or overweight ogres. But the pervasive “sexy squaw” is the most dangerous, especially when you know the basic facts about sexual violence against Native women:
  • 1 in 3 Native women will be raped in their lifetime
  • 70% of sexual violence against Native women is committed by non-Natives
I think VS in general fails over and over again to treat treat cultural appropriation with the sensitivity it deserves. The "Go East" collection is another one that can be mentioned as an example. The problem I believe is that they do not get their inspiration for non-European inspired collections from the people who actually belong to all those different cultures but from what has been said about (the women of) those cultures. Sexual stereotypes about women across Asia, Africa and the Americas have existed since imperialism to justify the violence that was carried out against them. Asian women (as a whole, no need to differentiate between the hundreds or thousands of peoples across the continent) were obedient and child-like. African women were savage and animal-like and their genitals were displayed in shows (Sarah Baartman) and women of the Americas (and maybe Oceania) were irresistible noble savage princesses whom it was ok to lust after. All these stereotypes are not only racist, but also erase the individuality of a person and justify any violence against them. Now these are the stereotypes that were carried back to Europe and established and these are the stereotypes that VS and other designers tend to draw their inspiration from. Note how designers from Japan for example (Yohji or Rei Kawakubo) do not have any form of oversimplifying racial stereotypes in their collections. That is obviously because they are actually from Asia. In an interview Yohji actually said the first time he was confronted with people calling his style "Japanese" was in Paris. Up until that moment he just thought of himself of someone who makes clothes and never thought of any particular style.

I have nothing against Karlie Kloss or creating sexy underwear even if it is inspired by cultures other than the western ones. The question is though: where are we drawing the inspiration from and what racial stereotypes are we perpetuating? Are we harming the people who we would actually like to uplift by telling the wrong stories? Are we treating all this with the sensitivity it requires after centuries of oppression and colonization?

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Originally Posted by ssgghh View Post
I do think its a sensitive matter, and although I agree some examples of CA are absolutely distastefull, some of them can be ok. I think in a way different cultures and subcultures inspiring designers is what makes fashion develop, if we were to only wear what we "have the right to wear because of our origin" fashion would be very boring. But who has a list to say whats ok and what is not? I think if the main problems that lead to problematic CA (exploitation and ignorance) were addressed I think it would be ok to borrow from each others cultures, from any culture.
I don't believe CA is about the right to wear or not wear something. Everyone can wear what they want. It's about the message it's sending. And most of the time it's not the consumer who makes the decision for trends and such, but the designers and manufactures.

And actually there is a list, if you will, about what is ok and what is not ok to appropriate. If an entire group of people say don't wear our war bonnets they are sacred to us, then people should stop and listen. If you really respect them you will listen to them it's simple. Dialogue is very important. And so is knowledge of history and reducing on the feeling of entitlement to everything. There is an example of what happened to Paul Frank and their their odyssey of cultural appropriation that was really refreshing and inspiring.

I think it is possible to add cultures (struggling to recover from centuries of opression) into dominant cultures without further demeaning, oppressing and reenforcing stereotypes. It takes time, but if designers etc... really care they'll take the time.

Sorry this was very long, but I really care about this topic.

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30-01-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aglamourgirl View Post
I don't believe CA is about the right to wear or not wear something. Everyone can wear what they want. It's about the message it's sending. And most of the time it's not the consumer who makes the decision for trends and such, but the designers and manufactures.
Exactly. If the person is uneducated and not thinking about it we have a problem. thats why I dissagree about the consumer not making the decision, the consumers are as responsible as designers and manufacturers and the whole lot involved in the buisness. We all make choices every day. I think its crucial to know what they imply.


Quote:
And actually there is a list, if you will, about what is ok and what is not ok to appropriate. If an entire group of people say don't wear our war bonnets they are sacred to us, then people should stop and listen. If you really respect them you will listen to them it's simple.
Im sorry, although Im not justifiying bad and ignorant decisions to wear stuff from other cultures without knowing or caring what it implys I really think it is not that simple. Entire groups of people are saying alot of things and I think we should always be carefull about the line...the main point is is that we make a choice and i cant stress enough how important it is for that choice to be an educated one.

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14-03-2013
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Has anyone paid attention this lately?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2860914.html

As a Native I don't find anything offensive or appropriative about Michelle's cover. Nothing sacred is being hijacked here so I fail to see where the complaints are coming from. Just more Non-Natives finding something vaguely Native to be offended about imo.

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19-06-2013
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I am SO glad to read that something good came out of the Paul Frank 'pow-wow' party fiasco from last year. The brand has apologized but more importantly taken actions to support native american designers by collaborating on an accessories and jewelry line. Actions speak far louder then words. And it is good to see that Paul Frank actually took steps to understand why their appropriation of native american imagery was wrong.

Quote:
LOS ANGELES, June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
Paul Frank announced today its first-ever “Paul Frank Presents” fashion collaboration with four Native American designers from different tribes and regions across the country. Set to debut in August 2013, the collaboration fuses the iconic Paul Frank brand with four different artists’ aesthetics, each rooted in their heritage. The collection, which will include a tote bag, hand-beaded sunglasses, graphic tees and Hama bead jewelry is an expression of the Native American culture and a way for the artists to integrate their perspective and tribal identity into fashion.

Drawing inspiration from their communities, each artist is bringing to life a visual identity with roots from their culture. Louie Gong, a designer from the Nooksack tribe who creates custom drawings and paintings on materials, is creating a silk-screened canvas tote bag for the collection. Candace Halcro, from the Plains Cree/Metis tribes, is skilled with the classic Native American beading technique and will showcase her talents on authentic Paul Frank sunglasses. Dustin Martin, a graphic T-shirt fashion designer from the Navajo tribe, is using a phrase taught to him by his grandfather to inspire the prints of the famous Paul Frank character, Julius. And Autumn Dawn Gomez, a jewelry designer from the Comanche/Taos tribes, is creating accessories inspired by various landscapes, which have impacted her life.

“We’re honored to be working with such talented and enthusiastic designers for this fashion and accessories collection,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands. “Each artist has really captured the whimsical and fun energy of the Paul Frank brand and incorporated it into their designs for the line. We are so excited to share these items with Paul Frank fans very soon!”

To unveil the collection, Paul Frank is partnering with the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) to host an event in Santa Fe, New Mexico on August 16, during SWAIA’s annual Indian Market Week. The event will showcase each of these designers and preview their limited edition pieces for the Paul Frank line for the very first time. These items will then be sold in the MoCNA Store.
You can read more about the collaboration and why it came about from here...
http://nativeappropriations.com/2013...n-is-here.html

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31-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aglamourgirl View Post
I think the problem is that it designers (who are mostly European and mostlyy white) have ever since treated (non-European or non-WASP) cultures as treasure troves from which to get whatever they find ~pretty~ or ~inspiring~ while those cultures have suffered from oppression and a lack of autonomy for centuries at the same time. Cultural appropriation is a form of colonization in that the original peoples do not have the control over what is being said about them. I know that many peoples during colonialism and imperialsm were not allowed to were their traditional clothes or speak their languages. And if they did they were considered backward and wild. All the while being misrepresented in "human zoos" all across Europe and America just 90 years ago. Brown and black people from Africa and Asia were mixed together and simply presented as "colonial people" doing things which they never did in their homelands. Clothes and traditions or dances were mixed up or simply made up in order to entertain the European population. Not to mention the racism.

Sure times have changed, but the issue remains the same. Cultural appropriation is about misrepresentation, glamourizing and covering up the (colonial) past and the idea that non-while cultural objects look better on white bodies.
I think you mentioned a few important points here, namely that the conversation becomes about who has the power to represent different cultures, to what audience and in what way. I don't think there's a monolithic, homogenous "right" representation of any one culture but I also most definitely don't agree with the idealistic post-racial kumbaya-esque "we all live in a globalized world and can all take what we want from each others' cultures"-school of thought either.

As mentioned above, when the (mostly white) designers of Western countries use other cultures as "inspiration" it does tend to smack of cultural appropriation, and as if cultural imperialism has been replaced by cultural extraction to suit the neoliberal agenda. For me it boils down to the point that communities should have some control over the representations sent about them to the world at large.

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03-08-2013
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Originally Posted by MulletProof View Post

I feel like I've discussed this topic my whole life. I'm not really worried about representation, or misrepresentation, or ignorance about the meaning behind pieces or garments, I think my stance on this will always lean more towards financial credit/reciprocation/support. That's the only thing that does outrage me, when you see someone like Galliano traveling all the way to Peru to get his textile inspiration and then gets back to Paris and reproduces it with slightly better material at skyrocketing prices, you have a community below the poverty line, forgotten by society, unacknowledged by their government, whose only sustain is their artisanal work passed on to generations.. it is public
This Point.
Actually i was viewing some previous collections non-seen by me, and it was actually Dior Haute Couture Fall 2005 that brought me again to this thread, there's a part in the show that clearly states a background in Andean Culture (Peru and Bolivia), even if there's an inspiration or not about the culture itself... in the show, some of the outfits are exactly the same as the typical "Cholita" Garment, only with more expensive fabrics, the music of the show it's exactly music from those places, and the hats and hairstyle it's exactly the same as in the proper culture... so NOW there's a moment where you ask yourself, did Galliano really inspire himself from this culture ? or is this just some sort of a marketing strategy to show that the artist of the brand made a collection inspired in some foreign culture that everybody seems to know it exists, but nobody knows in what consists, which is safely enough to make it look exotic and salable/marketable.

When i saw the collection, it really angered me more than anything, because they're basically appropriating of a culture and selling it as it looks much more worked and expensive.

Probably i'm being too sensitive, because i know a little bit more about this culture, or maybe you agree with me. Would love to hear your opinion on this collection.

PD: Some of the dresses were expectacular i have to admit, on how he worked the fabrics, and the result was good... but others were just a simply more expensive imitation.

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06-08-2013
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Really interesting to read all post I think the part of sexual campaigns and all of that part of fashion can pursue people to do things or dress in a manner that is not appropriate which leads to a lot of problems and about the rape, in Colombia for instance the town where I used to live there was not victoria secret or any sexual campaign and there was a time where there would be a lot of rapes I think it depends on peoples backgrounds and how they are raised more than what fashion brings or shows.

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08-08-2013
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I never really think of the impact this could have, but I love when people adopt the aesthetics of another culture. It's statement making in itself.

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10-08-2013
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Originally Posted by models_vlada View Post
This Point.
Actually i was viewing some previous collections non-seen by me, and it was actually Dior Haute Couture Fall 2005 that brought me again to this thread, there's a part in the show that clearly states a background in Andean Culture (Peru and Bolivia), even if there's an inspiration or not about the culture itself... in the show, some of the outfits are exactly the same as the typical "Cholita" Garment, only with more expensive fabrics, the music of the show it's exactly music from those places, and the hats and hairstyle it's exactly the same as in the proper culture... so NOW there's a moment where you ask yourself, did Galliano really inspire himself from this culture ? or is this just some sort of a marketing strategy to show that the artist of the brand made a collection inspired in some foreign culture that everybody seems to know it exists, but nobody knows in what consists, which is safely enough to make it look exotic and salable/marketable.

When i saw the collection, it really angered me more than anything, because they're basically appropriating of a culture and selling it as it looks much more worked and expensive.

Probably i'm being too sensitive, because i know a little bit more about this culture, or maybe you agree with me. Would love to hear your opinion on this collection.

PD: Some of the dresses were expectacular i have to admit, on how he worked the fabrics, and the result was good... but others were just a simply more expensive imitation.
I just looked up that Dior HC collection to have an idea of what you were referencing (hadn't seen that collection before either, some of it was truly gorgeous I must say) and when I was looking at it I also noticed that in the looks that are very much found in Andean Culture's the model's seem to have a lot of bronzer (or darker makeup) on their face, it doesn't match the rest of their bodies skin tone. Which just makes this sort of appropriation all the more awful too. I don't think you are being too sensitive about the collection, I can see how one could be angry over it. It doesn't seem right that the house could have pretty much replicated the 'Cholita' garments just with more expensive fabrics and higher quality dyes. Especially since some people are living in poorer conditions where such 'Cholita' garments are common, and they don't receive any compensation for it. Selling or making such items can very often be people's livelihood and when designers do 'knock-offs' of locally worn clothing, well, it can be iffy at times.

I was thinking about this the other day but one analogy for fashion designers who borrow and don't acknowledge or give credit to particular groups of people, is that it is like not citing an author while writing a paper. That's plagiarism and this, while obviously a lot more messy and complicated, is a bit similar. Anyone else think that this analogy might work? I'm stilling mulling this idea over.

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11-10-2013
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Please see this thread ... we are taking nominations for brands in a category that relates to this topic: Nominations for the Honorary Award for Diversity for the 2013 "Tiffies"

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03-11-2013
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Quote:
Let’s promote a “Buy Native” trend!

(source: âpihtawikosisân.com)

A lot of attention has been drawn to the native fashion trend in the past year or so. From violations of the Navajo trademark, to No Doubt and Victoria’s Secret experiencing a long-overdue backlash to the all-too common misuse of Plains warbonnets; the issues surrounding ‘native inspired’ fashion are being talked about on a wider scale.

What a lot of people are asking is, “If we love native fashion, where can we get it without engaging in cultural appropriation?”

Jessica Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) has been answering that question for quite some time on her blog, Beyond Buckskin. Even more awesome, she launched the Beyond Buckskin Boutique which gives you instant access to legitimate native fashion, from haute couture to streetwear, modern and traditional.

In a recent article, Jessica Metcalfe was asked how launching a ‘native fashion’ boutique is any different than what Urban Outfitters and so many other companies are doing. I think her response is well worth quoting here:

I work with Native American artists – folks who are active members of Native communities. These artists are exceptionally talented. They are also very knowledgeable and smart about their cultures and cultural values and know which items (ie sacred items) are off-limits and shouldn’t be sold. They know how to translate the artistic traditions of their Native communities to be shared by people from ALL backgrounds. They don’t resort to stereotypes, and they present a new vision and a new version of ‘the Native’ in fashion. They are incredibly respectful of Native people. Profits from the Beyond Buckskin Boutique go directly to these artists and support small businesses, many of which are in Native communities and represent economic development strategies. I could go on.

This is pretty much as good as it gets, in my opinion. There is a difference between appropriation and appreciation, and Metcalfe pretty clearly lays out what they are above. Beyond Buckskin has a page devoted to a variety of native-run stores you can browse this holiday season for some kickass presents for you or others. Take a look at some of what is available out there, for natives and non-natives alike!

So whether you’re looking for someone awesome to spend your money on and treasure for always, or if you’re just sick of people asking you, “Are we allowed to wear ANYTHING AT ALL!?” you can use this resource as resounding, “YES PLEASE!”

Here's a link to the "Beyond Buckskin Boutique"

http://shop.beyondbuckskin.com/

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