So I’m leafing through the March editions of British/Europe fashion magazines (Elle, Vogue, etc) and I’m irritated. I’m irritated that whenever European runways do a play or interpretation on Africa, especially today’s’ Africa, it is replete with lions and tiger cubs sashaying down the runways alongside the models and all the prints are still of tiger, cheetah, or bloody zebra designs as a recurring theme. Why oh bloody heck why?! No sense of imagination? Dearth of ideas? Why is Africa still belittled, represented and viewed through the interpretation of wild animals? With all that Africa has to offer in its mere vastness, a continent so rich in diversity and beauty, surely there has to be more to Africa than thoughts that evoke fantasies of safaris, animals and jungles? And it’s positioning and accessibility in today’s global arena, it’s just shallow and disappointing.
Note to Alexander McQueen, Roberto Cavalli and John Galliano et al: repeating a decades-long practice of thinking that the use of wild animals and the Masai on prints and runways representing Africa is not sexy anymore. I’m sure one can find reptiles in the swamps of Europe if they swam in it long enough!