Model Diversity ‘Not Necessarily A Criteria’ At Luca Luca

True to form, Luca Luca designer Raul Melgoza was all calm efficiency during the backstage preparation for his fall 2011 runway show, held Thursday afternoon at Lincoln Center. While hairdresser Teddy Charles wound 15 models hair into high buns and Revlon Global Creative Director Gucci Westman applied a bright red lipstick to those girls’ lips, Melgoza talked with reporters about his collection, and didn’t seem to be bothered by the crush of activity swirling around him.

“I’m usually calm the day of the show,” Melgoza told us. “But I was in the office until 2 am frantic because our shoes just arrived this morning from Milan.”

Those shoes were particularly important to Melgoza’s vision, a woman walking through the woods. The clothes interpret that idea both literally and figuratively: An evening skirt embroidered waist to floor with leaves looked right at home alongside lace dresses that evoked willow branches (without tearing them off the tree).

But we couldn’t help but notice — because we always notice this — that all of Melgoza’s models were white. So we asked him how important it was for his cast of models to be diverse.

“I think sometimes it’s important to have diversity, but at the end it’s who fits the clothes best, who carries the clothes. Because at the end of the day, we’re trying to show the clothes in their best light,” he said. “In one season it may be important that it’s very ethnically diverse, but if it’s not then it’s not necessarily a criteria.”

We would have asked if in some seasons black or Asian women shouldn’t buy his clothes, but we ran out of time.

There’s no doubt that Melgoza’s clothing is beautiful, and there’s also no questioning that not every woman looks good in every dress. But if a designer who isn’t white himself doesn’t think it’s a priority to promote non-white modeling talent, what hope is there for diversity on the runway?

Check out our favorite looks from the stunning, (if whitewashed) presentation, below.

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