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Random fashion thoughts - Part II (A New Hope) - Page 1134

post #16996 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

Agree on your comment about the more dangerous aspects of political correctness, but this is separate from critiques about cultural appropriation in fashion.

Have you read this Time article by Scafidi? It's probably the best, most sensible thing I've read on cultural appropriation in fashion, and directly touches on the use of Native American imagery

http://time.com/2840461/pharrell-native-american-headdress/

Also, Zizek is really insufferable.

Well cultural appropriation (I'll use CA from now on) really should be discussed using more interesting concepts like Rancière saying the crux of representation is who gets to say what and when (who gets to represent/who speaks and "where he is speaking from"-Lacan-), at least it addresses the current common wisdom that "images" are available in such a massive form that they're drowning discourse (a really foolish idea). The problem with it is I don't see how CA builts on that with anything but confusion. It is an ok concept for a blog post or a discussion (within reason) but too weak to function outside of that as it is basically just borrowing from a low power group in a way that the speaker thinks isn't respectful. It is also often yielded as an ideological bludgeon against what is, at most, a venial cultural sin. There's also the enormous respect many of the left give oppressive traditional cultures merely because said cultures are now themselves oppressed/minorities/disappearing. You know like the nice Tibetan traditional cultures where everything was owned by the clergy and you had to give them sons and that kind of shit?

Zizek is hilarious, especially when he's doing his comic duo with Badiou (the wise man and the fool). Some of his books are serious business, other are pop culture fun stuff.
post #16997 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post

Well cultural appropriation (I'll use CA from now on) really should be discussed using more interesting concepts like Rancière saying the crux of representation is who gets to say what and when (who gets to represent/who speaks and "where he is speaking from"-Lacan-), at least it addresses the current common wisdom that "images" are available in such a massive form that they're drowning discourse (a really foolish idea). The problem with it is I don't see how CA builts on that with anything but confusion. It is an ok concept for a blog post or a discussion (within reason) but too weak to function outside of that as it is basically just borrowing from a low power group in a way that the speaker thinks isn't respectful. It is also often yielded as an ideological bludgeon against what is, at most, a venial cultural sin. There's also the enormous respect many of the left give oppressive traditional cultures merely because said cultures are now themselves oppressed/minorities/disappearing. You know like the nice Tibetan traditional cultures where everything was owned by the clergy and you had to give them sons and that kind of shit?

Zizek is hilarious, especially when he's doing his comic duo with Badiou (the wise man and the fool). Some of his books are serious business, other are pop culture fun stuff.

This is getting to be way too big of a topic. IMO, when you broaden things out like this -- including everything into the left's treatment of minority/ oppressed/ disappearing groups writ large, even if they touch on anti-left issues -- then things become moving targets and it's hard to move forward on a conversation.

Did you read Scafidi's article? I think there are smart ways of addressing CA in fashion. It's both real, particularly since clothes hold special cultural meaning, and important in ways that aren't just about cultural discourse (which your posts seem to only focus on). There are political economy considerations since fashion is a market.

Zizek seriously is terrible though.
post #16998 of 17209

Scafadi article is claptrap. it doesn't really say anything. how can anybody cosign that garbage?

 

of course she neglects to mention (nor may she even be aware of) the link between the headdress and hip hop culture since at least the early 90s (google Polo Indian Head or don't what do i care?). 

post #16999 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by double00 View Post

Scafadi article is claptrap. it doesn't really say anything. how can anybody cosign that garbage?

of course she neglects to mention (nor may she even be aware of) the link between the headdress and hip hop culture since at least the early 90s (google Polo Indian Head or don't what do i care?). 

Nobody wears an actual headdress in hip hop culture. Putting a Native American man with a headdress on a Western styled sweater is exactly the kind of thing she exempts for.
post #17000 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

Nobody wears an actual headdress in hip hop culture. Putting a Native American man with a headdress on a Western styled sweater is exactly the kind of thing she exempts for.

PC is sometimes (once again most of it is fine) an attempt to expand common courtesies that we can use to facilitate friction-less social interactions into the much more stringent realm of absolute ethical necessity (you MUST do this) with consequences reaching, in some extreme cases, legal repercussions. I guess what the article presents is some sort of "good manners" guide (if the item is important in their religion don't pick it for profane uses, if blabla etc.).
post #17001 of 17209
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post

It is an ok concept for a blog post or a discussion (within reason) but too weak to function outside of that as it is basically just borrowing from a low power group in a way that the speaker thinks isn't respectful. It is also often yielded as an ideological bludgeon against what is, at most, a venial cultural sin. There's also the enormous respect many of the left give oppressive traditional cultures merely because said cultures are now themselves oppressed/minorities/disappearing. You know like the nice Tibetan traditional cultures where everything was owned by the clergy and you had to give them sons and that kind of shit?

The bolded part pretty much sums it up.  There is not a particular strong scaffolding otherwise.  Not to say that being disrespectful is something to be lauded.  But, as you said, it's certainly is a minor offense, at most.  I think that the left, on cultural issues, often shoots itself in the foot in two ways:

 

1) Conflating trivial stuff and actually important issues, which diminishes the important issues. Essentially setting up a smokescreen in front of yourself.  Not smart.

2) Having too much veneration for oppressed cultures and the products of oppressed cultures simply by virtue of their being oppressed.  Not everything is of equal value.

post #17002 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post

PC is sometimes (once again most of it is fine) an attempt to expand common courtesies that we can use to facilitate friction-less social interactions into the much more stringent realm of absolute ethical necessity (you MUST do this) with consequences reaching, in some extreme cases, legal repercussions. I guess what the article presents is some sort of "good manners" guide (if the item is important in their religion don't pick it for profane uses, if blabla etc.).

No, I don't think that's what the article was saying at all. CA in fashion isn't about extending common courtesies. It's about identity and political economy.

A breakdown:

1) Clothes hold special meaning. They're much more tied to personal identity -- both in how we express ourselves and how others perceive those cultural signifiers. As Scafidi puts it, "putting on another culture’s clothes is a greater claim to ownership and belonging than sampling sushi or buying a burrito for lunch." This means that clothes should have special consideration -- apart from topics about common courtesies, cultural exchanges, or the distinctiveness of experiences (e.g. the stuff you wrote about above).

2) For Scafidi, staying on the right side of cultural awareness in fashion follows three things. Respecting significance (e.g. sacredness), source, and similarity.

Putting on a headdress is wrong because, again, it's both a sacred item and you're claiming ownership and belonging. And in doing so, you also work to remix the item's meaning -- diluting it, essentially, of its original significance. This is particularly important when you're talking about taking symbols from marginalized groups.

The other part is a political economy argument. When a large, privileged group comes and takes minority group's items, and reproduces them in the market, they essentially crowd out the market for those original producers.

This isn't really any different from what other people here seem to be hyper sensitive about: big companies ripping off small and independent designers. So Urban Outfitters, let's say, will hop on and take some upcoming designer's item, which then steals the wind out of that designer's sails. Similarly, think of how many faux Native American weavings there are on the market, which makes it both hard for people like me, who want to buy NA weavings, to identify the real thing. And more importantly, it's hard for small NA weavers to make a business when Big Joe X brand will flood the market with cheaper goods.

Scafidi totally recognizes that culture is fluid and that borrowing symbols and cultural items isn't just inevitable, it's good. She celebrates that and lists a bunch of examples where "cultural borrowing" in fashion has lead to good things. Jean Paul Gaultier's China and Spain collage and So British collections. Ralph Lauren and his use of WASP culture. Alber Elbaz, a Moroccan born, Israeli raised designer, and his toga-inspired Lanvin creations. Etc etc etc.

What she's saying is: consider the sacredness of the item, the source, and the similarity. Are you adding anything to the conversation? Are you just taking sacred items from minority groups and claiming them as your own? Are you basically producing rip offs and crowding out the market for the original creators?

The last bit is important when you think of how money (e.g. the economy, market, etc) is very much connected to social and political power.

To bring this back to Visvim: Sacfidi would probably say it's fine since the items are remixed enough. But to take some big brand reproducing Native American jewelry and putting it on some white model sailing a ship or whatever, she'd ask -- why not just buy Native American jewelry from the many Native American producers who made those items cool in the first place?
post #17003 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


Nobody wears an actual headdress in hip hop culture. Putting a Native American man with a headdress on a Western styled sweater is exactly the kind of thing she exempts for.

 

it's okay when Ralphie does it (as content) on a sweater but not when a photographer incorporates it (as content!) into a shoot with Pharell or whoever? nonsense.

 

critics and bloggers. too cute. 

post #17004 of 17209

Realtors dress like flubby menswearhouse models and have the attitude to boot.

post #17005 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by double00 View Post

it's okay when Ralphie does it (as content) on a sweater but not when a photographer incorporates it (as content!) into a shoot with Pharell or whoever? nonsense.

critics and bloggers. too cute. 

What?

Pharrell is a human being. He was criticized for putting on a headdress as a way to look edgy and cool on the cover of Vogue. Sort of like how white girls at Coachella will wear it to be a "sexy Indian," without realizing the sacred meaning of headdresses.

The drawing on that RL sweater isn't a sentient being. It's a cartoon. The people behind that sweater -- Ralph Lauren, the designers, the knitters, etc -- are taking a piece of cultural semiotics and turning it into something new (a preppy Americana sweater with Native American imagery). That drawing didn't put on a headdress; it was drawn.
post #17006 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


What?

 

it's pretty simple. the photographer is responsible for the creation of the content. the magazine is responsible for publishing it as such. 

 

or are you actually conflating a photo shoot with real life? 

post #17007 of 17209
Quote:
Originally Posted by double00 View Post

it's pretty simple. the photographer is responsible for the creation of the content. the magazine is responsible for publishing it. 

or are you actually conflating a photo shoot with real life? 

Good grief. This is a really dumb counterpoint.

People are featured on the cover of magazines because they're the feature. They're the center of the story. He was the cover feature that issue on Vogue. This isn't an art magazine trying to make a statement. It's a magazine trying to tell you to buy an issue because they have an interview with Pharrell. And whether it's his idea or not, he decided to wear a headdress.

By definition, you can't criticize the cartoon on the RL sweater because it's not a sentient being. It's like criticizing a rock. Or I don't know. A cartoon.

Nobody criticized the photographer. The critique was on the subject, Pharrell, who put on the headdress
Edited by dieworkwear - 3/20/17 at 6:04pm
post #17008 of 17209

are we doing this via edit? fine.

 

you're ascribing the responsibility of content to the subject of a work (it's a non-sentient cartoon!) instead of to its author. that's just nonsense. 


Edited by double00 - 3/20/17 at 6:11pm
post #17009 of 17209

dww right now 

 

post #17010 of 17209
That's not a very typical (read cute) k pop star
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