I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’m less politically correct than I used to be. It certainly would be difficult to watch nightly reruns of offensive-to-everyone Family Guy were I hypersensitive. Still, when dealing with the fashion world, I sometimes feel like I need to reiterate the warning that Will Ferrell, playing a beleaguered Alex Trebek on Saturday Night Live’s Celebrity Jeopardy skits, issued to the contestants: “Before we begin the Double Jeopardy round, I would like to ask our contestants once again, please refrain from using ethnic slurs.”
Back in 2008, I cringed over the headline “Playing the Lace Card” on a story about the use of lace on the runway. The headline riffed off the phrase “playing the race card,” which means making a false or exaggerated claim of racism. The design house that was being reviewed, incidentally, used its first black runway model in years at that show.
Speaking of skin color, later that same year, I noted that “beige” clothes and accessories were now widely called “nude.” Sex sells, and “nude” is undeniably more erotic than “beige,” but it seemed strange to me that decades after Crayola renamed its “Flesh” crayon in acknowledgment that people come in a variety of shades, the fashion world has gone in the opposite direction.
This February, Christian Dior suspended designer John Galliano after he was accused of making anti-Semitic comments to a couple in a bar. Galliano attempted to refute the incident until a video from an earlier occasion surfaced in which he drunkenly slurred, “I love Hitler,” causing Dior to fire him outright.
As Galliano’s implosion dominated the industry news, a strange aside from one of my favorite fashion writers flew under the radar. Find out what it was by reading me on The Huffington Post. Don’t forget to leave a comment there!