Anna Dello Russo does a great job of deflating the politically-correct, American blogosphere criticism of why she taped Crystal Renn’s eyes in a recent Vogue Nippon editorial. FashionEtc, a driver of the headline, sat down with Russo to chat up her new Macy’s campaign and her new life as the Anna Dello Russo brand.
Now, about taping Renn’s eyes:
FE: You recently sparked some controversy when a video came out from a shoot with Crystal Renn for Japanese Vogue, where you taped her eyes.
ADR: Ah, this was controversial? Why?
FE: Well, some wondered why you didn’t cast an Asian model rather than using a white model and manipulating her eyes to look Asian.
ADR: Really? I didn’t know. I put it on my blog, but I didn’t read the comments.
FE: What was your intention by taping her eyes?
ADR: To make them look longer. Not Japanese. This is typical in the movies, you tape the eyes to make them look longer. It was [nothing to do with being] Japanese. I wanted to make this look really cinematographic. This is typical. I learned from makeup in Hollywood—I used to work with Paul Starr, who was an amazing makeup artist who did celebrities and Hollywood people. I learned from him the idea to tape the eyes to go a little bit longer. Then you put the liner to make them look longer. It’s interesting.
Lady Gaga and the Age of Artifice
Ironically, Lady Gaga was quoted in Harper’s Bazaar US this week that we are living in the age of artifice, morphing into one expression of self and personality on Monday and another over the weekend. Especially young people are using makeup and clothes to express different versions of themselves.
This trend makes sense to me in the age of the Internet and globalization. It’s also not new among creative people and in the history of humankind among artists and the upper class who regularly engaged in masquerade parties.
Here’s Crystal’s eyelids are unmasked before the world and also her absolutely beautiful recent beauty editorial for Vogue Nippon (Japan).
Vogue Nippon should only use an Asian model for a photo spread like this one, say bloggers and the Daily Mail UK. No makeup tricks, white people or theatrical drama allowed!
Branded ‘offensive’ by Stylite, the script reads: ‘Leave it to Vogue to insult BOTH cultures, near and far. Do you really think the Asians are going to be “fooled” by the taping? Do you really think anyone in America is going to be “fooled’ by the taping? No, and no.’
Fashion Bloggers, Political Correctness & International Women’s Rights
Like Jezebel, I think Stylelite should issue a composite list of their list of rules for what is acceptable in printed media, when the subject is culture. I’m curious to understand the totality of their intellectual framework — should one even exist.
Meanwhile, the Japanese girls have been lined up around the block for the last 20 years to get into Prada or Chanel stores in Paris. The Japanese are known for speaking multiple languages — unlike Americans who believe English is all that is required to survive in life — and they readily embrace and incorporate many inputs from other cultures into their own lives.
Many of us believe that sharing cultural traits is a fine way to live and we are not racists or American imperialists. In fact, many of us admire the eclectic mix of other cultures and choose (if that’s still allowed in 21st century America) to incorporate elements of their dress into our own closets.
With a long history of standing for race relations and the advancement of African Americans, and also women’s rights worldwide, I suppose I should be shot for running around New York in African caftans on the weekend, when I wore Bill Blass to the office back in the day.
With this pc crowd, I was as bad as any southern plantation owner, given my off work choices of dress and jewelry. I won’t explain my experience of going into a total trance with a piece of jewelry at the Ashanti Bazaar on Lexington Avenue. My own experience with enlightened concepts and realities around the human condition are far too complex for today’s politically-correct minds to consider.
Mind you, these are the same people who defend female genital cutting as local custom and criticize people like me for working to eradicate it. If poor women want to change the practices that allow their husbands to pop them in the oven in India, that’s up to them, says the pc crowd.
For me to work to change these customs — with the local leaders in charge — is Western imperialism at its worst.
From our point of view, political correctness in America and Britain is off the charts these days. Can you imagine if these people were teachers of our children, trying to inspire creativity in the classroom? No wonder America is becoming a dullard nation!
My conscience is clear on global political correctness? And yours, lady fashion bloggers? Anne
Crystal Renn | Giampaolo Sgura | Vogue Japan October 2011 AOC Private Studio