Here we go again. From the same magazine that declared ‘slave earrings‘ as an it trend to shop (they described the oversized hoops as ‘decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern Unites States during the late 18th century’), and also the same fashion mag that had that all black issue four years ago, comes the March 2012 issue of Vogue Italia, featuring a questionable editorial entitled Haute Mess.
The mag features Puerto Rican beauty, and self identified black latina, model Joan Smalls on its cover.
Simply titled #OVERTHETOP, Joan is featured on the cover wearing excessive makeup, excessive nail art, excessive earrings, and although the Vogue title covers it, excessive hair, too.
The first time the magazine features a black model on its cover in four years, and it’s for this issue. When it comes to being active player in the modeling game though, landing a cover is landing a cover, I guess.
Across thirty-two pages, American photographer Steven Meisel captures some of the industry’s current top models wearing some of the top fashion pieces of the season.
Though you’d be hard pressed to find any of that designer gear beneath the over the top nails, hair, and makeup.
I’m sure you’ve seen the pics all over your Tumblr dashboard at some point or another. The woman who turned her hair into an Easter basket, complete with grass, and plastic eggs, she’s featured in the editorial, reinterpreted by model Lindsey Wixon:
That pic that’s been circulating the ‘net of the pink and green haired lady who has a bag of skittles featured in her ‘do? She made it into the Vogue issue, too, stylized as model Abbey Lee Kershaw.
The point is the editorial features several different models attired in hair pieces, or clothing, or poses that were obviously inspired by a certain demographic of the African America population.
View more pics from the editorial, below in the gallery, and you’ll see these hair shots that have been pointed out, are the least possibly offensive of the bunch.
The question though, after you’ve viewed more from the editorial, is this offensive, or merely culturally unaware satire?
An argument (a weak one) could be made that since this is an Italian magazine they aren’t as culturally aware.
Well, photographer Steven Meisel is American so he at least should’ve been aware of what type of image this editorial would send out. But then again, maybe he was exactly aware.
What do you think?