The trend (because it is a trend, unfortunately) of putting Asian models in your advertising and your couture shows and your magazine spreads is a welcome change from the whitewashed fashion photography and casting of yesteryear. But is it enough simply to evoke whatever feeling you think the East evokes in order to claim diversity?
Apparently it is. Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott created this spread for Interview Magazine called China Girls, in which models lounge around what appears to be a very chic opium den (because that’s specifically an Asian narcotic) hiding coquettishly behind very fancy lace fans. And yet, whoever did the casting couldn’t be troubled to hire more than one Chinese model for the job. Runway darling Fei Fei Sun, who is actually a girl from China, is among the models in the spread. She’s joined by Japanese model Tao Okamato, Crystal Renn and two other white chicks.
Like, what? Really? Throwing a little chinoiserie on a girl from Eastern Europe does not make her a China Girl in any way, no matter how pretty it is. We’re glad magazines want to include Asian women in their pages. But the thing about including Asian women, or any race underrepresented in the modeling industry, is that you actually have to include them.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.
‘China Girls’ by Mert & Marcus for Interview Magazine March 2011 [Fashion Copious]