More importantly, the Japanese built new and profound layers of meaning on top of American style—and in the process, protected and strengthened the original for the benefit of all.
As we will see, Japanese fashion is no longer a simple copy of American clothing, but a nuanced, culturally-rich tradition of its own.
“If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, bond with us, dance with us, have fun with us, twerk with us, rap with us, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us.
Meanwhile, Japanese designers have preserved “heritage” American workwear and Ivy League style, by using original creations as a jumping-off point for their own interpretations, as W.
David Marx writes in America may have provided the raw forms for Japan’s fashion explosion, but these items soon became decoupled from their origin …
I step out of the shower in the morning and pull on a vintage cotton kimono.
After moisturizing my face, I smear Lucas’ Pawpaw ointment—a tip from an Australian makeup artist—onto my lips before I make coffee with a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker that a girlfriend brought back from Italy.
As the Guardian points out, it’s anyone’s right to dress like an idiot at a festival, but someone else’s sacred object shouldn’t be a casual accessory.
(Urban Outfitters, take note.)Culture is fluid; it evolves—and improves“It’s not fair to ask any culture to freeze itself in time and live as though they were a museum diorama,” says Susan Scafidi, a lawyer and the author of .
But please, let’s banish the idea that appropriating elements from one another’s cultures is—in itself—problematic.
Such borrowing is how we got treasures such as New York pizza and Japanese denim, for god’s sake—not to mention how the West got democratic discourse, mathematics, and the calendar.
Lack of diversity is an issue for the entire industry, but the problem was particularly visible at Valentino, where the designers talked the talk of multicultural acceptance:“The message is tolerance,” Piccioli told , “and the beauty that comes out of cross-cultural expression.”If that’s the point, the faces on the catwalk—regardless of their hairstyle—should reflect it.
Engage on more than an aesthetic level with other cultures“What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we love black culture?
The exchange of ideas, styles, and traditions is one of the tenets and joys of a modern, multicultural society. There was a great deal of hand-wringing in advance of the gala celebrating the exhibit’s opening—a glitzy event for the fashion industry which many expected to be a minefield for accidental racism (and a gold mine for the cultural-appropriation police).