Thursday, February 2, 2017

I just haven't been able to... (but now I have, and WOW! - more to come)

Update: Now that I have seen this exhibit (today, in fact), I stand ABSOLUTELY corrected.  It was absolutely AMAZING! I will grow this post, and repost with current date when all of my thoughts are gathered.

For the first time, there's an exhibit at FIT that tickled an uncomfortable spot for me...  I'm hesitating to visit the Black Fashion Designers exhibit.  I don't want to not like it.  

But really, what is a black designer doing differently than anyone else with a head, heart and hands? When I looked at comments online, I saw the same reaction.. "What?" So I will go very soon... and I will try to keep an open mind.

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At February 2, 2017 at 4:04 PM , Blogger Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

I don't know what online comments you saw but how about my opinion which may will help. The exhibit was comforting to me as a black woman. A lot of the things that are exhibited were things that were known to me as someone who has celebrated fashion by all designers. However, it was nice to see these black designers being celebrated. I've been once and will go again and I won't listen to Andre Talley in my head this time! *LOL* Try it and see.

At February 2, 2017 at 6:56 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

So glad to hear another voice on this. I will try to not hear anyone else's but my own when I see it. My general feeling is more, "Hey, why would we separate "black", when we know that there is such variety among black people? I could see doing a regional thing/ a country/ a culture... but a loosely defined race? Why would the suit I make differ from the suit any (equally capable) one else could/would make?"

At February 2, 2017 at 11:15 PM , Blogger Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

I think it's done more to honor them because they've been so marginalized. Having worked in the fashion district I know that it's harder for black people to do anything than for others. There is a section on how hip hop influenced fashion and also a section on black models. See it.

At February 3, 2017 at 1:06 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Well... is it harder than in other professions? My early jobs were all in the garment business, and post college I made the jump from the financial industry (which I hated), to the export business because I understood letters of credit and bills for collection, currency exchange rates, dealing with banks, etc. I felt like the garment industry felt more like a bootstrapping meritocracy, and I absolutely appreciated that. I just worked with people who were GOOD AT their jobs. Nothing else. I think fashion is one industry that won't let you fake it and succeed. You can get the publicity, but it will all come crashing down if the products don't live up to the promise. I could be wrong, and maybe I need to hear the stories, but I do think that this is nan industry that will serve you if you are strong, talented, and savvy enough to do it, regardless of race. But I'm sure that probably not what this exhibit is about anyway, and I'm adding my own layer... I do appreciate your thoughts, and I am taking in your point of view as well.

At February 4, 2017 at 11:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its important to have a show with only Black designers. Would you have the same concerns if the exhibit was: Chinese Designers, or Japanese Designers, Male Designers or even one particular designer? Every gender and culture has a unique voice that is often hidden if only one or two are included as tokens in an exhibit.
This attitude about what's different strikes me as very similar to the Black Lives Matter movement. They sure do. Does that mean I have to lessen the importance and message by constantly adding that I matter too?

At February 4, 2017 at 3:11 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Wow. Today i went... and wow, do I stand corrected! Thank you for your comments. It was unbelieveable! Update to follow!

At February 4, 2017 at 8:55 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Saw it today... and WOW! Okay, I stand absolutely corrected, and I will go back. Lots to digest, take in, realize... I was overwhelmed by the beauty of it. I will post more later!


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