Dear… Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey dead in American Beauty | Photo Property of Jinks/Cohen Company – DreamWorks Productions

Dear Kevin Spacey,

The queer community does not claim you. We hear by spit in the face of queerness which you used as a shield to soften the blow that you are indeed a vile predator. How dare you use the act of coming out, which, for some within the community, is one of the most important and vital moments in their journey to self-acceptance. To stand before your fans, peers, and millions of victims of sexual abuse, and try to use a man’s suffering at your hands is by far one of the most ludicrous and destructive acts I’ve had the displeasure of witnessing this year. Don’t think the hammer of justice won’t fall upon your smug face because you’ve now come out as a queer man. No! I still have some trust in the judicial system and with the recent string of celebrity sexual predators being exposed for the vile human beings they truly are, I trust that you won’t be able to hide behind your queerness for long.

And while we’re on the topic of disgusting human beings, recently, Actor Corey Felman stepped forward and brought much-needed awareness to one of the most shocking (but not really that shocking cause this is Hollywood we’re talking about here) topics that are rarely ever brought up in today’s society. And that’s pedophilia. In recent interviews, Mr. Feldman claims to have been sexually violated as a teenager by actor Jon Grisom and others. His goals are to call out an extensive list of Hollywood pedos who have either approached him as a young adult or those he has knowledge of who’ve inappropriately surrounded themselves with Hollywood’s A-list teen stars of the ’80s. And God bless him for it. Just as Anthony Rapp and Harry Dreyfuss came forward to finally condemn Spacey, Hollywood’s male and female actors who suffered at the hands of A-list pedophiles should find the courage to come forward and bring out the people who have silenced them and damaged them to the light of justice they deserve.

Dear… Donna Karan

Dear Donna Karan…

You’re cancelled. On behalf of anyone and everyone in the fashion industry, as well as the millions of women who have purchased and felt empowered by your clothing, you’re cancelled. On behalf of abuse victims, assault victims, and rape victims around the world, you’re cancelled. On behalf of everything that is righteous and pure in the world, you’re cancelled. Anything you choose to do from here on in has no value to the world, as well as everything you’ve done in the past carries no value. Why? Because it seems that the same women you aimed to empower with your clothing all those years ago, the same women who gave you your title and career, carry no value to you.

It’s baffling to see how a woman whose life mantra was empowerment for women, could so easily dismiss the claims made by women who only want to seek empowerment and justice for themselves and for the countless other women who fell to the disgusting hands of Harvey Weinstein. How could a woman who knows the brutality of finding success in the male-driven world of fashion so easily place the blame on women? On the same women who supported your success and contributed to it? It’s a shame to see that someone who could have been an ally to these women, whose mantra could have been to Weinstein’s victims support and a source of reassurance that they will get through this and that their attacker will be met with justice. It’s a shame to see her take the side of the villain and sow the seed of doubt by putting the blame on his victims and not crucify her BFF for what he’s done.

And how funny it is that 2 weeks later, Ms. Karan is now singing a different tune. Begging those around her to forgive her careless words as a mere misunderstanding in a tumultuous time. However, the truth of the matter is that life isn’t that simple anymore. Today’s society has enough sense to know that certain things are not so easily forgiven. And stating that “women who dress a certain way had it coming” isn’t something that should be easily forgiven. What if some of those women were wearing designs from one of your collection when they were attacked? Would that be inappropriate to you? Or would it be something you sweep under the rug in the way you want everyone to sweep what you said under the rug? Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way anymore. Times are changing Ms. Karan. In the same way that Harvey won’t be able to escape his fate, neither will you. That’s all.


Dear… (A Comprehensive Look At The Most Questionable Moments in Fashion)

As a lover of fashion, I’m well aware the often times, many designers veer into the cringe-worthy territory of problematic life choices. Recently, the Novella team sat down for a brainstorming session on some new weekly pieces we could all bring to the boardroom table. Among the friendly banter and ideas being thrown around, we came up with an interesting concept. Why not call out those within the fashion industry that need a little slap on the wrist. In the end, we came up with the concept of Dear… Where I have the wonderful privilege of being able to discuss (and tear apart) some of fashion’s most epic nose dives for all of our reader’s gossip needs. So without further adieu, here’s fashion’s Hot Goss.

Dear Marc Jacobs…

The question we’re all asking after New York fashion week isn’t whether or not you’re one of the most talented and influential designers in the world, instead, we’re all asking why you seem to focus all of your design talents on making collections that are essentially culturally appropriative marching parades. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve made some jaw-dropping collections in the past. Louis Vuitton Spring 2012, Spring 2003, and Louis Vuitton fall 2011 all come to mind. So I know he has the potential of creating collections that are beyond beautiful, so why is that Mr Jacobs has been insistent on creating collections that take vital aspects of minorities cultures, specifically black traditions and culture. There really is something inappropriate about placing women who aren’t women of colour in dreadlock wigs or 70’s and 80’s Harlem inspired clothing. This subtle borrowing of black cultural without having black designers assist in the design process is just careless in the fact that a designer, no matter how experienced the designer may be, will never know the personal experience of the culture they’re borrowing from unless they were born into that culture or grew up in that culture.

However, Mr Jacobs seems to look past the complaints of those around him and continues to push the boundary on what is acceptable as inspiration and what is full blown appropriation. Recently, for his last show in New York, Jacobs focused all of his design talents on creating a collection fit an elegant woman of colour. Sadly, the collection had only a handful of black women walk the show. Which wouldn’t seem out of the norm in the fashion industry, but it’s extremely unsettling to see so little black women walk a show where the models are dressed in African inspired prints and head wraps that resemble those worn by African and African-American women. Now to some, it may not seem like such a big deal, however, when a show includes models like Kendal Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Taylor Hill wearing traditionally styled Gele and Ankara headdresses worn by women from countries like Ghana and Nigeria, it becomes extremely problematic because those specific headdresses are seen as foreign and are often gawked at by westerners. But when white models sport them it then becomes fashionable and trendy. The same can be said for his collections that featured heavy hip-hop inspirations and dreadlocks. On one hand, “urban” clothing and dreadlocks are worn by black men and women every day and it’s seen as ghetto and lower class, but when people outside of a traditional black environment decide to grow their hair into dreadlocks or wear clothing heavily inspired by black culture. It then becomes extremely forward thinking and ambitious.

What the moral of this entire gong show is, is that Marc Jacobs should look into the social consequences caused by the appropriation of culture, especially that of black culture in the United States. And then look into the global repercussions of appropriating the cultures of minorities around the world are before creating collections that are culturally and socially insensitive.Remember Mr Jacobs,

Remember Mr Jacobs, black women were laughed at and made the butt of the joke for taking pride and wearing their Gele’s and headwraps in public for decades now. Making them feel as if they shouldn’t be wearing their traditional cultural dress outside of their own country and making them feel shame and embarrassment for doing so. So why make it harder for black women (and all POC who takes pride in dressing in their homeland’s traditional garb) by making them feel as if the one thing they have to take pride on, isn’t even their own anymore. Because someone else can buy and be praised for it, while they get shunned and mocked for it.

Sincerely,

Chris Zaghi