Kate and Laura's newest collection referenced the "dreamlike landscape" of Juarez Mexico, saying they were inspired from a road trip they took to El Paso Texas and were heavily influenced by the maquiladora workers in Juarez. Makeup artist James Kaliardos also threw in words like "sleepwalkers" and "spirits" when describing the collection. But did anyone throw in words like "murder" "rape" or "death"? Doubt it.
Actually have been in Juarez myself, I can tell you there is no dreamlike quality about its landscape. The impoverish factory town next to the boarder was anything but dreamlike when I went to visit. Family there told me not to dress like you had money otherwise you'd be at risk to get abducted, robbed, and killed. Much like the fate of the maquiladora workers living there.
Juarez is the worlds most dangerous city excluding war zones and many women have to get up in the middle of the night to work at the factories. This was Rodarte's inspiration. Mixed matched pieces being layered on top of each other giving a "dressed in the dark" aspect to the look, ghostly pale skin, candles being lit at the beginning of the show, and the collection glowing in the dark to represent spirits of the dead workers were praised by many, but left a bad taste in other people's mouths.
I would have understood if they have just said their inspiration was sleepwalking spirits but instead they made up this dramatic and quite controversial description of their inspiration. How could you glorify the horrible lives some women have to endure everyday then produce $4,000 dresses as a result of it? Rodarte has pulled inspiration from the most obscure places (Japanese horror films and "luxxe woman dying in death valley and being reborn as a condor") "But there's a huge difference between aestheticizing fictional violence and aestheticizing real violence." says JEZEBEL.COM And they're completely right.
I'm not saying I'm appalled, as a person with Mexican heritage I'm not even offended. I just think they could have chose to leave the factory working women dying theme out of their description. A little tasteless Rodarte, just a little.
Rodarte even has a COLLABORATION WITH MAC coming out September 15, 2010, naming their products with things like "quincenera, factory, badtown, and juarez". Although, Kate and Laura did say some of the proceeds from their collaboration with MAC will be given to help the people from Juarez:
Shining light on the actual collection though, I thought it was repetitive with the knits but I did enjoy it. I was actually impressed by the pieces glowing in the dark. I wasn't impressed by the very 2006 looking ugly pointy pump though.
Do you think their efforts in creating a faboosh collection this year was tacky and controversial? Or do you not care about my peoples* and loved it?
*not actually from Juarez y'all.