Saturday, September 7, 2013

Leading By Example - Jason Wu S/S 2014

The issue of diversity in modelling reached fever pitch recently with a scathing New York Times reportage which highlighted the indifferent attitudes of casting directors and designers towards the poor representation of minority groups on fashion's runways. Modelling maven Bethann Hardison issued a letter in the lead up to New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014 to each of the major fashion design councils in the four fashion capitals condemning the seemingly whitewashed runway aesthetic of fifty fashion houses. During the Fall/Winter 2013 collections only 6 percent of the models featured in show presentations were black, with Asian models figuring slightly higher at 9.1 percent. Hardison issued the following scathing assessment, "No matter the intention, the result is racism. Whether it is the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models, reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society."

Casting director James Scully has been one of the industry's most outspoken voices on the issue of diversity, stating in an interview with Buzzfeed, "Some of the biggest names who move fashion to the forefront, like Dior, get a D- on ethnic diversity. I feel the Dior cast is so pointedly white that it feels deliberate." Scully who is responsible for assembling the show line-up for Jason Wu coralled a spectacularly diverse cast for the Taiwanese designer's Spring/Summer 2014 presentation. Industry veterans Karen Elson, Elise Crombez, and Hilary Rhoda led the charge alongside current it girls Amanda Murphy, Sasha Luss, Sam Rollinson, Andreea Diaconu, Ashleigh Good, and Karlie Kloss. Keeping his eagle trained on eye on the modelling horizon, Scully summoned the likes of Australian newcomers Maddison Brown, Holly Rose, and Kenyan born beauty Malaika Firth for their New York Fashion Week debuts. Without falling foul to accusations of tokenism, Scully interspersed a stellar selection of coloured models amongst the line-up including Asian supernovas Liu Wen, Chiharu Okunugi, and Ji Hye Park and black models; Jourdan Dunn, Anais Mali, Pauline Hoarau, Maria Borges, and Cora Emmanuel. The resulting effect was a sublime cast which left no doubt as to the beauty of diversity in all of its incarnations.

Pauline Hoarau
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Elisabeth Erm
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Amanda Murphy
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Chiharu Okunugi
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Irene Hiemstra
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Malaika Firth
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Maddison Brown
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Sasha Luss
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Marine Deleeuw
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Cora Emmanuel
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Ashleigh Good
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Holly Rose
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Jourdan Dunn
Jason Wu - S/S 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

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