It's widely known that fashion magazines and designers revel in provocative runway shows and editorial spreads. All that envelope-pushing undoubtedly garners press attention, but when stylists and photographers attempt to represent a model in a different race than his or her own, it tends to generate indignation. In the fashion world, blackface controversies have become an old hat, but this time it's all in the eye.
The current Vogue Nippon features the extremely beautiful, plus-sized model Crystal Renn resplendent in Dolce and Gabbana's Fall 2011 collection. Oddly, stylist Anna Dello Russo taped Renn's eyes back using scotch tape, creating an upward slanting eye. What's especially strange is that the rest of the spread is styled in a very straightforward manner. It's just a pretty model wearing normal make-up, wearing outfits that cost six months' rent, but with this weird, stretched eye. But perhaps this is what makes it more acceptable.
The spread isn't exploiting racial stereotypes; Renn isn't dressed in a kimono or as a harajuku girl. It could be argued that the stretched eye's purpose isn't even to denote race, but is to tip a very straightforward shoot into the surreal with a small, unexpected detail. What do you think? Does Crystal Renn's styling strike you as racist, or is eye-stretching acceptable?