In leiu of the recent finale of Project Runway, I can't help but notice the heavy Orientalism that is going on in the mainstream fashion world. First, the finale was awful. Michael Kors (whose current collection isn't much to scream about) and Nina Garcia (who is "editor at large" because she isn't good enough to be an actual editor anymore) pissed me off, especially in their critique of Andy's collection.

Not that I believe Andy had the winning collection, I don't. But to say that because he drew upon his Asian heritage and his culture as his inspiration for this collection made him "outdated" is just offensive and culturally insensitive. Nina called his collection "Orientalist," which is not exactly the choice of words to describe these clothes. Not only does she clearly not know the definition of that word, but this collection isn't screaming "I AM ASIAN" in anyway either. In fact, it's very contemporary and absorbs significance from print use and his pant styling. That's about it -- everything else is perfectly modern, just occasionally lacking more "umph." Not only this, but to say "Oriental" clothing is "stuck in time" is just wrong, and implies that Asian cultures are not still living, relevant, or part of the modern day. There's probably a lot the Western fashion world could learn from what is being produced in countries outside of the accepted fashion belt, and not all of it is "old" history but new, creative things people in many different countries are producing right now. That is a main idea behind being an ethnic contemporary artist -- drawing on your heritage and culture while producing contemporary (not "outdated") pieces in your work. But clearly Andy was marked as the "innovative Asian" role this season by shitty Lifetime producers, which is unfortunate because obviously he should be looked at first as a designer and not just Asian. Lame.

Also related, today I was lurking around the blogsphere and found this article: "Yea or Nay: Turbans for Spring 2011" (Hint: the answer is apparently Yea). WTF? Seriously? It's bad enough I have to walk around seeing white girls with dreds and hippie dudes in dashikis (thanks college for helping people really "find" themselves ...), but now fashion is going to try and culturally appropriate the turban? It's like someone wanted to bring back the pill hat but with some new, hip "ethnic" twist. Or somehow it's really innovative because, you know, the Middle East is really in this season. Lame and a half. But you know you've really hit the fashion jackpot when Kourtney Kardashian's rocking your new trend:

Bitch looks dumb, though I don't think that takes much.