FROM WIRE REPORTS
The clothes at Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2013 Milan Fashion Week show may have been inspired by Sicily, but the slave-imagery-inspired earrings—well, they’re a whole other talk show. Design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have come under fire for showing Blackamoor-inspired earrings on their spring runway.
The Guardian newspaper wrote last week: “The earrings are reminiscent of Blackamoor statues that can be found in Italy, but more recognizably to non-Italians, Aunt Jemima dolls. That’s the same Aunt Jemima that, initially conceived as part of a minstrel show, became an image that romanticized slavery and plantation life. There’s no denying they’re offensive.’’
The Guardian’s Sarah Ilyas added, “There wasn’t a single Black model in Dolce & Gabbana’s show, and it’s hard not to be appalled by the transparent exoticism in sending the only Black faces down the runway in the form of earrings.”Dolce & Gabbana posted an article on the website Swide, which explained the historical context behind the “Blackamoors.’’
“The head is inspired by Moorish features,” it read. “Moorish is a term used to define many peoples throughout history…In Sicily’s case it defines the conquerors of Sicily [from 827 to 902 AD.]”
The article goes onto to say that these Blackamoor figures can be found all over Italy from homes to hotels. These figures are made from glazed ceramic, called Maiolica.