Serendipitous post on absence of black models in fashion magazines, plus comments section — one of which quotes O’Grady’s “Olympia’s Maid” — show the article’s concerns remain alive and well today.
By Choire, 9:20 AM on Mon Oct 22 2007
While American Vogue came up with exactly zero black women in fashion editorial in their October issue, at least Italian Vogue did better in September—they had one! Just one. Except turns out she wasn't a model, as the New York Times assumed.
[from “Corrections,” New York Times]
An article last Sunday about the fashion industry's reticence to use black models referred incorrectly to a black woman in a maid's outfit pictured in the September issue of Italian Vogue. She was, in fact, a maid at the hotel where the pictures were taken, and was included, the Vogue photographer said, because of her attractiveness and her ability to underscore the pictures' theme of a stereotypical rich white woman who hires ethnic servants; the black woman was not a model dressed as a maid.
COMMENTS Show: most popular
1:52 PM on Mon Oct 29 2007
okay, this is AMAZING! i am so glad someone at gawker reads the nytimes "corrections" to point
out such supreme ironies. i'm taking a grad seminar on performance art and just read this fascinating essay by lorraine o'grady called "olympia's maid" about "the legions of black servants who loom in the shadows of european and european-american aristocratic portraiture" as exemplified by the black maid in edouard manet's famous painting of "olympia" (in which the black maid's body represents the negative opposite of the idealized white lady's body -- google it!) and basically italian vogue just demonstrates that the world of fashion has not progressed very far in its concept of race relations since 1865! pathetic!!
2:56 PM on Mon Oct 22 2007
"...because of her attractiveness and her ability to underscore the pictures' theme of a stereotypical rich white woman who hires ethnic servants..."
Tell us "more" about this "ability" please.
Or didja just mean: "We have no black models because there is a
. . . .
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