Finally, we have a full fashion editorial to go a long with those mesmerizing gifs of Jessica Stam, Abbey Lee et al donning ridiculous, over-the-top hair and makeup. The spread stars March cover girl Joan Smalls, along with more of our faves: Jessica Stam, Karen Elson, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Lindsey Wixson, Daphne Groeneveld, Guinevere van Seenus & Coco Rocha. However, thanks to some incredible makeup by Pat McGrath, they’re barely recognizable.
Phrases like “over the top,” “trash-tastic” and “ghetto fabulous” come to mind. It also reminds us a little bit of Beyoncé’s “Party” video, and, well, drag queens. According to Vogue Italia, the latter was their main inspiration. However, some are already saying the spread could be racist. From Vibe:
Many are raising an eyebrow at the photos because the women seem to be projecting some stereotypes. For example the hair styles of the models can be seen at almost every black hair show…I will give Vogue Italia the benefit of the doubt that it was not their intention to be racist or offend anyone, but let’s keep it real for a minute: How many white girls [or any other ethnic backgrounds for that matter] do you know that dress or look like this? Exactly. Racist may be a little harsh of a word to describe this editorial , but it was definitely done in poor taste and judgement.
There’s also this ONTD forum, titled, “Hot racist mess by Vogue Italia, again.” By “again,” they are likely referring to last year’s blatantly inappropriate “Slave Earrings” feature. This magazine clearly isn’t afraid to push boundaries. Last year, they pushed them too far. But have they done it again? Tell us what you think!
See part of the spread below. You can see the full editorial and a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot at Vogue Italia.