Top Designers Don Blackface For Milan Halloween Party
Milan's annual Halloweek masquerade party took place last night, and the theme was Disco Africa. While many attendees kept it neutrally jungle-themed — like Dolce & Gabbana's Steffano Gabbana (pictured on the left, and in other photos on Vogue Japan editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo's Instagram) — others took it to a pretty racially offensive place.
The man in the middle, who apparently took "Disco Africa" to mean "Minstrel Show," is purportedly designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua.
Halloweek is an elaborate costumed event that draws Milan's fashion elite and inspires some pretty over-the-top getups (see photos from two years ago and the year before that).
But while 2009's party was full of Liza Minelli impersonators, this year's event had multiple attendees dressed in blackface [more photos here and here and here and here], and at least two men with artificially darkened skin dressed as slaves in chains.
And while the idea of blackface on Halloween is complicated — the line between "tribute" and mockery is a dicey one — the blackface costume here, a white man dressed as the kind of white men who made a living mocking black men, falls resoundingly in the offensive box.
I feel like there is a big difference between dressing as Trayvon and doing traditional Jazz Age style blackface as exhibited at the party in Milan. Everyone just needs to calm the fuck down. There are many more important issues affecting the well being of African Americans and disadvantaged people worldwide. The media choses to whip this up, knowing it will distract us from the real problems they're told not to discuss by their corporate masters.
[quote]I feel like there is a big difference between dressing as Trayvon and doing traditional Jazz Age style blackface as exhibited at the party in Milan.
The one thing they have in common is that they should never be done in the 21st century by anyone anywhere.
As a black person, I've never understood why people get upset about Halloween costumes. Do women get upset at all of the men who dress as women on Halloween? Do whores and sluts get upset at women who dress like them on Halloween? Listen, I get why some people get upset about this stuff. But Milan doesn't have the same history as the US. Save your energy for real problems.
I remember in college, these two white guys, friends of mine, got sliced and diced because they went as Venus and Serena for Halloween. They darkened their skin. It was a huge stink. How else were people going to know they were Venus and Serena if they didn't darken their skin? There is a difference between darkening skin and blackface.
I second R4, they come off as ignorant boobs
I agree with R5 up to a point. Dressing up as real people is cool (unless they are recent murder victims.) Dressing up as some kind of offensive stereotype is not. Nor is making light of historic tragedies that still evoke powerful feelings.
Minstrel and slave costumes, I think not. They are on a par with dressing as a Nazi or a concentration camp prisoner or a 9/11 victim.
[quote]I feel like there is a big difference between dressing as Trayvon and doing traditional Jazz Age style blackface
Seriously?!? "Jazz Age"? More like "Lynching Age". Don't dress it up in quaint nostalgia. That's what blackface REALLY looked like, in the days of Jim Crowe.
"Jazz Age", boy that's RICH. You make it sound like they're dressed as harmless flappers or zoot suiters. Why the fuck is it ok if it's "Jazz Age?" That's what historical black face actually looked like when black people were lynched and beaten, not some frat boy in a hoodie and grease paint he bought at the Halloween store.
The ridiculous lengths some of you go to to justify your racism...the mind reels.
Regardless of who gets offended, how can anyone dress up in blackface and NOT feel unfomfortable? And how can you go out and think no one will have a problem with it?
[quote]Regardless of who gets offended, how can anyone dress up in blackface and NOT feel unfomfortable? And how can you go out and think no one will have a problem with it?
Perhaps my friends are not as uptight as yours.
It always surprises me how Italians keep doing racist things like this, given how close their own country is to Africa. Freud was right about the narcissism of minor differences.
This is no surprise. Have you ever seen what they do to black players at a soccer match? Fascist scum.
I have never heard of Don Blackface. Who did he design for?
What is it with these fucking guineas and their racism?
he's apologizing on twitter. Non-americans aren't that sensitive about black-face, tho.
BTW, he was dressed as a character from a very famous italian 80's tv ad (a cartoon)
The excuse that they're not all Americans is a very bad one. It's fucking 2013, almost 2014. No one should be doing blackface anymore. No one should be doing the "squinty eyes" gesture to "imitate" Asians either.
There is no defense of it and I hope black celebs stop supporting these racist pieces of shit.
i think he's barely completed high school, you think he knows about blackface and squinty eyes? not that it matters, but he's no t a racist, he's an idiot
Typical. of ALL the things you can be (and believe me, I've seen it all) why do that? Why do you people have the need to ridicule other groups? It's bad enough, the slavery and colonialism but you have a NEED and a RIGHT to display yourselves in such a way that is obviously going to offend some people in these groups, that really don't need it (considering the history of this *and* our shared history).
I am NOT speaking of all White/European people but to whom this applies.
Obviously, I don't just mean people in Italy, Denmark, and some of the universities and such here but the practice, overall.