On this side of the pond US Vogue plays it safe for their November 2009 issue, with yet another cover featuring top-tier celebrities in fancy dresses. However, in Paris we know that an issue of Vogue isn't complete unless Carine Roitfeld has inspired some sort of fashionable controversy. This month, Roitfeld's artistic direction is no exception, as Paris Vogue features an editorial shot by Steven Klein featuring Dutch supermodel Lara Stone…in blackface.
Stretching the boundaries of race, the magazine connects their choice to blackface Stone to her own controversial status as a model, praising Stone for the "radical break with the wave of anorexic models" she represents. Although they did forget to mention that Lara has reneged her "curvy" figure (by curvy, they mean she's a size 4 with legs for days) in the past, lamenting that she's tired of being the "fat" model. As the editorial features only other white models, including: Kate Moss, Kristen McMenamy, Yasmin Le Bon, Eva Herzigova, Claudia Schiffer, Anna Selezneva, Diane Kruger, Constance Jabloski, and Eniko Mihalik, is it cause for alarm that the only non-white ethnicity represented is painted on a model's face? Or are we too quick to judge the racial implications of everything we see? Clearly Vogue Paris is making a statement and pushing the boundaries of costuming and aesthetic, but I don't think we need to worry about any sort of inherently racist commentary. Despite this, many are offended, and it calls into question: what are the boundaries between tactful political correctness, and art?
– Amanda Aldinger
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Image Source: The Cut