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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.


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