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How Did This “Tribal” Vogue Australia Editorial Get a Racism Pass?

vogue-australia-2014-04-apr-1813404389891We’re not sure how we missed this in the April issue of Vogue Australia – covered by Abbey Lee Kershaw – but Vocativ has pointed out that this is one ethically dubious editorial.   

In a shoot titled “Tomorrow’s Tribe,” photographer Sebastian Kim lensed Brazilian model Marina Nery in a fashion trend that just won’t seem to fade: cultural appropriation. Which cultures? Well, quite a few of them. The 10-photo series features a large amount of face paint that seems to vibe very loosely off Aboriginal culture, but Australia isn’t the only country having its hottest #tribalcore lewks showcased.   

Other ingredients thrown into Kim's cultural potpourri include Kenyan-style beaded collars and bracelets (from ETHNIX Tribal and African Art in New York) and even two feathered headdresses.

What’s interesting is that just last week, W magazine released a striking yet ethically questionable editorial somewhat fittingly titled “Gilt Trip,” depicting Edie Campbell trotting around Burma in Prada sandals and traditional Kayan brass coil neck stretchers. W had posted two of the photos on its Instagram last week, although one has since been deleted, presumably in light of negative comments, leaving only an ambiguous beauty shot. The full editorial is still up on its website.

Perhaps if the Vogue Australia editorial had been more widely circulated around the Internet, more people would have called it out. It only appears on Nery’s Instagram, and she has a paltry 9,000 followers to W mag’s 315,000. But while blackface generally falls into the category of "don't do it ever," cherry-picking from your fave tribes does seem to be a grey area. What’s the difference between appropriation and appreciation?

Regarding the shoot in question, not much. Kim has landed himself in hot water before for shooting white model Ondria Hardin in blackface (for a spread in Numéro titled “African Queen”) and Franzi Mueller in “Geisha Chic” for Vogue Germany. Further, the stylist in charge of this cultural mishmash, Katie Mossman, worked with Kim on both those editorials too. It seems like both Kim and Mossman could do with a little ethical perspective. Or at least a geography lesson. 



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We’re Bored by V Magazine’s Bondage-Inspired Madonna and Katy Perry Cover (Forum Buzz)

Madonna and Katy Perry have landed the cover of V magazine's Summer 2014 issue, entitled #89 The Power of Pop. Steven Klein photographs the duo in a provocative set up as they both wear skimpy outfits for the bondage-style cover shoot, under the watchful eye of Arianna Phillips. This isn't exactly something new and we're accustomed to seeing Madonna dresed like this. Quite frankly, I'm extremely bored with every element here.

V Magazine Summer 2014 Katy Perry Madonna


According to our forums, it seems like I'm not the only one who feels the shoot is very repetitive:

"Yikes. It looks like Katy's addition was an afterthought. Creeping in there. On another note, I'm so beyond bored of seeing Madonna with next to no clothes on. This doesn't shock me. Seeing her in an outfit where she didn't have it all hanging out and looked great, well, that would shock me," writes honeycombchild.

Miss Dalloway shares the same sentiments: "I'm just bored, and it feels like nothing we haven't seen from Madonna before. Zzzzzz. And Katy should be pissed, not only is she in the back, but her face is hard to recognize!! What Klein did to it in post production is not necessary, ever!"

Migeulalmedia joined the discussion and wrote, "Madonna did this concept to many times, if it was something more light and romantic, now that would be a change in recent years' work for fashion mags. I would love to see her lensed by Cuneyt Akerolgu, simple background, light, soft and powerful shots, with the focus only on Madonna and on what she can bring to the shoot with no gimmicks, for us to see a more personal and light side of her. Madonna, you had your fair share of S&M/Dominatrix shoots!"

However, forum member TeeVanity posted: "Woo I am loving the cover, I know Katy looks cropped in but it's still likable for me. Yes for Rosie's ed. Okay I'll be getting this issue."

Both ladies have a strong following, so I don't doubt the issue will sell like hotcakes when it becomes available on newsstands May 26. View two more covers within the thread here.

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Prada’s Fall 2014 Ad Campaign is Out… and It’s a Flop (Forum Buzz)

A thread has been active for 2 weeks on our forums, with speculation of a particular camera-phone snapped image as being part of Prada's official advertising campaign. Our suspicions were confirmed today when Prada finally released a few of its F/W 14.15 campaign images.

Prada's mainline campaign features Argentinian model Mica Arganaraz, who poses alongside Karl Kolbitz in a series of images to showcase Miuccia Prada's latest collection. The ads, which were photographed by Steven Meisel in New York, are a disappointment with our forum members.

Prada Ad Campaign Fall Winter 2014 2015


"To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement. Mica is not the powerful model who can carry this campaign on her own. She does NOT capture the mood of the collection," commented anlabe32.

GivenchyHomme wasn't impressed: "The house in the background is more interesting than she is. This is not good."

Check out the thread for more campaign images and join the discussion here.

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Alexa Chung is the New Face of Nails Inc.

Nails Inc. is celebrating its 15-year anniversary with two new collections, a new bottle design by Fabien Baron and a high-profile celebrity endorsement. The brand has tapped Alexa Chung to front the campaign for its new collections, one of which is a fabric-inspired six-shade set that Chung herself worked on. Also on tap for Nails Inc is a new line of polishes, NailKale, made with the actual greens.

Chung posted a snap from the forthcoming campaign, picturing her lying on a bed of kale (like a delicious piece of salmon might), holding an oversized bottle of the lacquer. "This is a thing," she captioned the image.

In addition to Alexa's range and NailKale, the brand will also release a limited-edition shade called Red Lace. Look for Chung's textured collection in August, the Red Lace shade in June and NailKale come fall.

[via WWD]

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Model to Watch: Rianne van Rompaey (Forum Buzz)

If there is one thing theFashionSpot forum members are truly exceptional at (in addition to their ability to share scans and insider news at light speed), it’s their talent to hype up the most promising new models before anyone else does.

Rianne van Rompaey at Louis Vuitton F/W 2014

image credit:

Dutch beauty Rianne van Rompaey’s thread on the forums was started in 2011 by subway123, who noted, “I have been seeing her in Paparazzi's site the last year but I don’t know her last name or if she is signed abroad. The only thing I know is that she is GORGEOUS!”

Almost three years later, Rianne landed her first major job: she closed Nicolas Ghesquière’s first runway show for Louis Vuitton.

“Sold me closing Vuitton — definitely one of the strong appearances of the season for a new face. Color me a fan,” posted youarearockstar about the 5’11” tall redhead who’s signed with the agencies Viva in Paris and London and DNA in New York.  

Last week, Rianne had the honor of opening the Louis Vuitton Cruise show, clearly establishing herself as a new muse for Ghesquière. We have yet to see her in any major campaigns or magazines, but her potential is easy to see and forum members have no doubt that this girl is on her way to become big. And, as TREVOFASHIONISTO pointed out, “The more you look at her, the more interesting she gets.” 

Rianne is one of the most buzzed about models on the forums this week. And indeed, we cannot get enough of her.

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Alex Gonzalez Joins Elle as Creative Director

Alex Gonzalez

Image: Getty Images

Looks like Elle has already found someone to replace Joe ZeeWWD reports that the Hearst title has tapped Alex Gonzalez, executive artistic director at Town & Country and artistic director at Marie Claire to fill the new position. Gonzalez says that with this new appointment, he will keep his job at T&C, but will leave his post at Marie Claire to make room for this new gig.

And it sounds as if this new addition is going to be the catalyst for more shakeups at the title. Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Meyers says that they will be "building a team" once Gonzalez starts, likely meaning there are about to be a lot of new hirings, and possibly firings over at the mag.

Gonzalez is set to start at Elle in early June, so you can expect word of lots of new appointments. Watch this space for updates!

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