lara stone en noir

carine roitfeld does it again. and this time, she has black faced lara stone.

what do you think? offensive, artistic, over-the-top? the argument is not "why didn't she use a black model?" obviously, she didn't paint lara stone because there were no black models available.

a better question remains: is there a place for this in editorial fashion? is it our social penchant to simply make a big deal out of everything?


  1. blackface refers to a specific kind of minstrel theater makeup with the red lips, white gloves, coat tails, that, yes, is offensive. but it really drives me crazy when someone is made up to look like a black person and everyone cries "BLACK FACE!!! BLACK FACE!!!" painting oneself black is not "blackface." period.

  2. It's bizarre... but I don't think it's particularly offensive to black people. Maybe I'm just naive, but for me there is no sense of any negative stereotypes being played on here. If you took away the makeup she would still be a gorgeous model being gorgeous. I'm still curious about the choice to do that though. If you run into any quotes or interviews about it from Vogue or the photographer would you please post it? What I don't particularly like about it is the treatment of skin tone as an accessory . That can go way beyond this editorial though. So much mental and physical damage has been done globally by people trying to lighten or darken their skin into whatever the fetishized skin tone is valued in that culture. -Diane H.

  3. fair enough -- i really appreciate both of your comments.

    @whitney: i think that what has been done here is the contemporary version of black face. and although we may not be completely reflecting on the history of minstrelry, i think it still resonates as black face today, and for many, calls into mind some sort of controversial perspective on ethnicity. on the whole, i agree with you -- for me, this conjures no aspects of racism, but merely an experimentation with beauty and the boundaries of makeup. i get really tired of efforts to impose prejudice and other social "isms" unto things that don't deserve it.

    @diane: agreed, agreed, so agreed. i really despise the impulse to use race or gender or whatever as an automatic excuse to cry out against injustice. i haven't found any commentary from carine or lara or anyone related to this issue of paris vogue about the editorial itself, but, although it relates to something that's been deemed offensive in the past, i just don't think that really applies in this case. i can't think of a fashion magazine that would make a blanket, racist statement like the one some assume exists within this editorial. and while perhaps offensive to some, i see it as an experimentation with skin color, just as many editorials experiment with hair color, etc. although i see your distaste with skin color as an accessory, i see their brazen treatment of such as a means of working to break that boundary. we also have to keep in mind cultural relativity: this is paris vogue, not american vogue, and i believe that this editorial is far less controversial there, in its native country, than it is here in the us.

    xoxo to BOTH of you -- and thank you for your fabulous, insightful comments. this is the commentary i'm looking for :).