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Friday, 02 March 2012


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The idea and the collection are beautiful.


Artistic outrage for the 100,000s of workers currently in North Koran gulags and the Iranian government's atrocities suppressing free speech would make this more than a banal regurgitation of First World whining lacking anything fresh, new, or constructive. 20s and 30s fashion-was it Stalin or Lenin or Karl Rove purging the workers then...?

Kingdom Of Style

Oxinsocks, I am so so disappointed in you for essentially saying one person's belief is less important than another, trival even. And then to go on to say that the issue he addressed is "First World whining" - forgive my bluntness, but what a shitty thing to say. Which I do hate saying because I normally really enjoy your comments.
The fact is, everyone is free to talk about the issues that mean most to THEM, and just because they don't happen to be of importance to you, doesn't actually make them not important.
He's using is work and art to try and bring awareness to issues, which is a lot more than can be said for the vast majority of people.

Geoffrey B. Small


Dear Oxinsocks,

I understand your First World whining statement. And in some ways, you may have some points. But there are now many in the First World who are being brought down to live like those in the rest of the world (that's over 80 percent of the world's population) and yes, even like those in North Korean gulags and Iranian prisons too. And there are also many many companies in fashion that are exploiting this very phenomenon by taking money from those who are being made more and more poor and powerless in the West in order to support and profit handsomely from a new form of slavery in the production systems of globally distributed mass-market merchandise around the world. And glossing it all over with loads of media bling and hype to make those people feel like everything is fine, so just keep on shopping.... you must understand that fashion touches well over a billion people in the world today, much of it negatively- devastating vast areas of the society, economy and the environment on a global scale in ways in which you probably have no idea. And while few of us inside the industry are willing to say anything about it, let alone do something, we have over many years steadily developed a working model that leads the industry in environmentally-sound, ecologically-sustainable and ethically produced design at the Paris designer collection level, and have always maintained a commitment to serve the needs of our community around us in everything we do including our Paris runway shows and the messages they communicate to their worldwide audiences.

And with the technology, weapons, and global machinery available now in this world, the concept of what Stalin, Lenin, and even Hitler were able to do to repress, detain, torture and eliminate human beings at all levels of any society will pale in comparison to what is being made possible today. And the fact, that in the U.S. it has just been legalized on the 31st of December, in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the US Military to indefinitely detain US citizens anywhere in the world without any charge or trial, but solely on the suspicion of a totally, at this moment, undefined criteria, and in direct violation of multiple articles of the Constitution of the United States of America, (viewed by many as the leading document of civil liberties and human rights in the history of western civilization) signifies a monumental change in the direction of where the world, (especially the First one) may be going. For your reference, you can read this article just out today by Jonathan Turley in Foreign Policy:

So yes, I believe the First World should be whining right now... and everyone in it who enjoys not living a life like one of his or her counterparts in a North Korean gulag, or an Iranian prison, or an American secret detention location anywhere in the world, or a Vietnamese Nike factory, or a Chinese iPhone factory, or a Romanian Zara factory, or a Nigerian uranium mine, or a Siberian town forced to host an open-air plutonium waste depository for French and UK nuclear power waste, or one of the dozens of new US private prison-factories that pays 20 cents an hour to compete with Chinese labor (if you perhaps happen to be the wrong color and caught smoking the wrong kind of cigarette at the wrong time) in the 'greatest nation on earth.' You see, "gulags" are springing up in new places now, right here in our backyards. And they are being filled by our own. So darn right, the people in the First World better start whining. Loud and clear. And get involved in their politics and get voting to save their own asses and freedoms, while they still can, and before it's too late. Because there are others who are on a mission to eliminate those protections and freedoms as quickly as they can. Even yours. You see, the benefits, freedoms and protections you still may be enjoying now in the 'First' world were made possible by those before you who paid the price to make it happen. And there are those who would love to return things back to the way they were before those those benefits, freedoms and protections existed. And believe me, they are in a hurry to make it so. So please think about it. Most people in fashion won't tell you this. Indeed, they wouldn't even touch the subject. But whether you like the clothes or not, that's a part of what this show was about...

Thank you for your kind attention and consideration to this matter, and many thanks to Queen Michelle and KoS for covering our show in Paris.

With respect and Best wishes,

Geoffrey B. Small


I like calling people out on their White Privilege or their "first world whining" as much as the next critical thinker but what I saw in this press release (and in the designer's response) had nothing of that sort. Just last Friday I attended a panel about sustainability and art practices, and one of the questions discussed was whether you can reconcile art production (and I would say any type of creative production) with more urgent sustainable movements. I think you can. As long as it's implicit in your argument that you know this one collection or this one artwork won't save the world, but that it will lead people to think. What I like about contemporary art production is that it is as much about the cognitive process as it is about the final product, one which makes you question your choices and the impact you might have. I see that in this collection, this isn't an attempt to erase history or simplify what is going on worldwide. It's a way of reconciling aesthetics with reality. Hopefully my comment won't put words in anybody's mouth, this is just my own interpretation.

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