The resurgence of ethnic inspired fashion for spring/summer 2012, has caused the discussions on “cultural appropriation” to raise its head again. While the majority of us find it alluring, some groups are deeply offended by it and see it as more of a mockery than an honoring of the ethnic groups and cultures that the trend represents. [Trust me, google that term. There are entire tumblr blogs dedicated to this.]
Personally, I love the fact that ethnic prints are becoming somewhat mainstream, but as a member of an ethnic group, I can understand the “concerns” regarding cultural appropriation. For example, as you all know, I am from Jamaica and while I don’t mind seeing someone sporting a Jamekya Me Crazy, mesh t-shirt, or madras plaid item of clothing, the dreads on a hat thing, no bueno! There are other “trends” which in my opinion reinforces the negative stereotypes of some groups and this is why this is a hot and much discussed “topic”.
For those of you who are exploring ethnic printed clothing, the one advice that I can give to you is to please make sure that you have a good general understanding of and more importantly, respect of the cultural group that your ethnic print represents before you walk through your door. On that note, I applaud Refinery29 for posting this helpful guide: What Fashion’s Ethnic Prints Are Really Called. It’s not complete, but its a start.
I wore this to work on Tuesday:
This is my take on the current tribal and ethnic print trend for spring/summer 2012. The blouse, a thrift find, has two of my favorite elements: color and a wonderful Native American inspired print motif. Because of the bold print on the blouse, I paired it with plain (but textured) cream editor pants from Express.
Ossie took these photos.