-I am breaking my Monday blog writing hiatus on account of I needed to say something about this, and I am sorry for any errors I’m in between classes and needed to get this out there-
So, for anyone unaware of what’s been going on, Marc Jacobs recently debuted his SS 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week. If you follow Kendall Jenner or Bella Hadid on instagram, you’ve seen the crazy colourful hairstyle I’m going to be talking about, but before I start, I want to talk a bit about Marc Jacobs, and how he handled this situation.
MARC FRIGGEN JACOBS is one of my absolute favourite designers, not because his ready-to-wear Marc by Marc purses are carried at Aritzia, but because of what he’s done for modern day fashion. He was fired from his position at Perry Ellis for breaking boundaries, with a collection dedicated to the streetwear of people in Seattle. Have you ever worn a flannel shirt? Have you ever used the word “grunge”? You can thank him for that.
This was the first collection of its kind to ever be on the cover of Vogue magazine, and he was awarded for it.
Have you ever seen monogram Louis Vuitton bags? Marc was the creative designer at LV up until 2013, and he created the companies first ever Ready-To-Wear collection. Do you have a Louis Vuitton scarf or a monogram bag? Thank him.
So that’s all I’m going to say about Marc, other than the fact he named is perfume after his dog at the time, “Daisy”. I like the guy.
What I don’t like is how he handled the controversy over the hair style chosen for his current runway show. Marc like all designers, have the final say in how they want their clothing to be portrayed, what style they want the hair and makeup to resemble, how they want their models to walk. He would have been the final word behind the hair and makeup of this show.
What’s controversial about it, is his use of “dreads”. His team spent hours at a time on each model, twisting in bright and colourful pieces of yarn dreadlocks, resembling a “rave-art” and ultra 2000s sort of glam. If you remember that Fashion Police mess with Giulianna ragging on Zendaya’s dread locks on the red carpet, you can read all about why they are such an amazing part of her culture and heritage anywhere online - Z puts it brilliantly and I cannot explain it any better.
On my twitter feed, and on Marc Jacob’s instagram, all I was shown was hate. People of colour were disgusted by his use of dreadlocks, and that he didn’t use women of colour to model his clothes (I did however notice a range in model diversities). People are very upset, and Marc took to Instagram to defend himself, stating something along the lines of, “no one gets mad at women of colour for straightening their hair.” That was dumb.
For someone who revolutionized the fashion industry in many ways to completely disregard a huge portion of his customer base and the trials they have been through is inexcusable. He should have let his PR team handle it.
In my opinion, I do not think his use of colourful yarn dreadlocks was offensive. I feel that he should not have used them, this is a very sensitive time with so much progress being made for equal treatment and equal rights, and his use of a “black hairstyle” on white women is demonstrating - ever so slightly - white privilege. How come when Zendaya wore dreadlocks on the red carpet, she was criticized, but when white fashion models wear a crazy interpretation of them, they’re idolized and are “fashion forward”? This doesn’t make sense.
I don’t believe the first thought in Marc’s head was “how can I offend people all over the world with one hair style”. I do not believe it was intentional, I believe it was his creative expression on how he wanted his idea of “crazy hair” to look like. I understand how people are offended by it, and I absolutely believe he should have chosen something else.
I am upset that we cannot share between cultures- without an added stigma - self expressive elements as simple as hair, I am upset with what the world just generally is right now. I am upset his use of such a beautiful hair style and that his interpretation of it was not embraced - but without him recognizing where the hair style came from, he’s turned it into a position of white privilege, whether he meant to or not.
I would really love to hear your thoughts on this, and I think I might write another post all about people’s reactions. So if you would like to be a part of that, please send me a message!!