New York Fashion Week 2016 ended last Saturday, and although the event started on such a high note, it still got caught up in a couple of issues and controversies. From Kanye West’s hot mess of a show to Bella Hadid stumbling in six inch platform heels, the nine day event produced dozens and dozens of headline fashion news. But the worst one may have just been saved for the last when the line between creative fashion and racial views got blurred during the much anticipated Marc Jacobs show when the designer used white models with fake rainbow dreadlocks right on top of their heads.
Marc Jacobs, who has always been known to be an out of the box thinker, first explained that his line is inspired by a mix of club kids, rave culture and Harajuku girls. But even if doing so, it did not stop the critics to call him out for not having enough culture sensitivity. It can be recalled that the main stars of his show are all while models such as Kendall Jenner and sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid.
Critics took to the internet and mainly criticized Jacobs’s knowledge when it comes to the culture and history surround dreadlocks and its importance. An article from the website refinery29.com surfaced and explained that even though getting inspiration from queer culture and the party scene is nice, not acknowledging the fact that the history of dreadlocks is a staple part of the African culture is disappointing.
And besides, it can also be remembered that dreadlocks have been used and is still being used to black shame people of color who are donning the said hairstyle. The criticisms towards it have gotten so bad it was tagged along with the impression of not being professional and or a pot smoker.
The show was further criticized as a way of showing to the world that dreadlocks are only okay once they are being worn by white people, specifically head-to-toe gorgeous white models. Twitter trolls also took this time to judge his collection and his taste before saying he doesn’t know how cultural appropriation works. However, one critic came in defense of Marc Jacobs and said that the designer looked at it in a fashion forward kind of way and to offend the African-American community is not his intention.
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