For spring 2013, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana sent out a collection inspired by their native home of Sicily, but some of the accessories, specifically several earrings, read more as questionable references to colonialism.
On Sunday, the designers sent out models dressed in burlap sack-esque dresses, oversized embellished tunics, and striped ensembles. Their hair was accessorized with colorful scarves, and some girls sported earrings in the shape of a black woman’s bust with a bright turban and fruit on top of the head. The earrings seem to reference Blackamoor statues, a common icon in Italian art of the colonial era — but one that is considered by many today to be an offensive relic of the past.
In the context of the show, the accessories are extremely questionable. This is a luxury brand owned by caucasian men, and a runway lineup that didn’t have a single black model. If we saw the earrings on any of our black friends, we’d probably think that they looked pretty rad. In other words: the earrings themselves aren’t inherently racist. But does that mean we’d feel comfortable wearing such accessories ourselves? Probably not. Which makes the whole thing a little murky.
Take a look at the earrings below, and tell us if you think they’re racist:
this is some kind of spaceship or something.
[via Refinery 29]