Misrepresentation or Acknowledgement
For this week’s topic I will be discussing the influence of Asian fashion and how ambiguous it is for celebrities and politicians to wear Asian clothing. According to Suzy Menkes, many Asian American designers have gone global if not national. Alexander Wang is one well known. He and many other Asian Americans tell the story of how their mothers were seamstresses and taught them to sew. However, I don’t think that people should assume that all Asian American designers have this background. Yes, many of their parents were immigrants, but not all of them. People shouldn’t generalize all Asians to having one history. If they do, then it should be a very broad history.
In the reading “It’s hip to be Asian,” I read about how famous celebrities and trendsetters were wearing South Asian clothing in the UK. One example that I’ve known was Princess Diana wearing the salwaar kameez when she visited India. Parminder Bhachu lists many women ranging from aristocrats to movie stars, all of European descent, who wear the salwaar kameez suits or Punjabi suits. Bhachu’s reasoning for this is that these women are acknowledging that they live in a multicultural world (55). This makes sense since there are many South Asians in the UK. I also wonder if the reason why Asian fashion is more prominent these days is because there are a few Asians leading the fashion industry.
I understand that Asian fashion is growing, but I don’t think it’s always right for people to wear a national costume. For example, whenever famous people go to visit India or South Asia, they seem to always be wearing the national costume. It’s fine if they are wearing the outfit to show respect for the culture, but I think people over do it. If every time a celebrity went to Asia and wore the national costume, then I would think they’re trying to say that they must wear the countries national costume every time they visit that country. If so, then every time someone from a foreign country visits the western countries, then that foreigner too must wear western clothing. It creates this perpetuating situation where the east is still the other, reinforcing Orientalism. However, what do I know about why celebrities dress a certain way.
Lastly, my progress on being green is doing quite well. For thanksgiving that mainly means buying food to eat which is allowed for this project. On Black Friday, I stayed home all day taking a very VERY long nap. I’ve never gone Black Friday shopping, so me not shopping on that day has no effect on me.
Bhachu, Parminder. “It’s hip to be Asian: The local and global networks of Asian Fashion entrepreneurs in London.” Transnational Spaces. Ed. Steven Vertovec. New York: Routledge Publishing, 2004. 40-59.
“Mark Zuckerburg in a sherwani, Princess Diana in a salwar kameez: 20 photos of foreign celebrities who looked stunning in traditional Indian attire.” Ibnlive.in.com. 27 October 2014. Web.
Menkes, Suzy. “The Asian Wave.” New York Times. Web. 8 February 2013.