racial issues

To Discuss: Dolce & Gabbana’s Blackamoor-Inspired Earrings

Photo: Imaxtree

Walking in Milan over the weekend, Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2013 collection was a campy homage to colonial Sicily, or, more accurately, “Sicilia,” as one burlap sack-dress proclaimed. At first overlooked amid the kitschy conquistador prints: earrings resembling Blackamoor statues, which popped up nine times in the 86 looks. (A similar print also featured repeatedly.) Decorative arts in this style were popular across the Mediterranean, particularly in Italy, during the time period, as trade routes and expeditions crisscrossed the North African continent. But the imagery soon came to represent the slave trade, specifically, in the region and the Western world at large; bloggers at Fashion Bomb Daily described Dolce & Gabbana’s pieces as using a “Mammy” type character and Sara Ilyas at the Guardian cited Aunt Jemima dolls. To add more fuel to the brewing shitstorm, the show featured no black models. Do you find the accessories jarring given the lack of girls of color on the runway? Or, you know, regardless of the context?

To Discuss: Dolce’s Blackamoor-Inspired Earrings