I’m generally the last person to focus on the race of a model, but while perusing the Halston Spring 2011 photos on Style.com I realized how distracting it was to have five black models walk the runway one-after-another wearing the only black garments in the collection.
Though I know the initial implication is slightly scandalous. I am not attempting to make some statement about Marios Schwab’s morals though black models in all black will insight waves of revolt, I’m writing about this to show why we shouldn’t always jump to conclusions when the question of race is at hand.
In my mind, the distraction had nothing and everything to do with race. If Schwab had sent five black models in completely different looks down the runway one-after-another, I would have been taken by surprise, not being used to seeing such an abundance of black models walking a runway. However, it was the entire look, the shadowy figures wearing pops of gold that caught my attention. It was the odd, yet beautiful contrast of it all.
I’m not sure why, but quickly flipping through the images of lanky, highly-oiled black models— all different shades of cocoa— wearing black outfit after black outfit gives me chills. It’s like staring at a haunting image at an art gallery. It also made me wonder what other patterns were hiding in the runway arrangement.
It seems there was a bit of a pattern going on: brunettes with hair slicked back wore shades of blue, while the blondes, hair long and flowing, wore blush tones. The models with ruddier toned hair wore gold, and the Asian models wore white. The brunettes with long, straight hair finished the show in oranges and reds.
What does all of this mean?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you, but had I not been distracted by the sudden juxtaposition of a parade of umbral beauties, I wouldn’t have noticed in the least. Though it may be sad that having more than a couple black models in a row is attention grabbing, I think it’s what the collection needed for people to take a second look. It’s a collection I will remember not simply for the magnificently crafted and luxe-looking garments, but also for the thought behind the entire presentation.