Oh boy. Alright, everybody? Hey. Team meeting. I'm pretty sure we're all on the same page here, but let's give it another whirl: cultural misappropriation is not okay — even in the name of fashion.
Unfortunately, Karl "King of Controversy" Lagerfeld did not get the memo, and his Metier d'Art 2013/2014 Collection show channeled the age-old "cowboy and Indian" schtick.
And he committed. Oh, how he committed: feathered headdresses, turqoise, Native-style prints — it was all on display. And, after being called out, a spokesperson for Chanel only offered this:
"The Chanel Paris-Dallas Metiers d'Art 2013/2014 collection is a celebration of the beauty of Texas," they told Fashionista. "Native Americans are an integral part of Texas' rich history and culture and the feather headdress, a symbol of strength and bravery, is one of the most visually stunning examples of creativity and craftmanship. We deeply apologize if it has been misinterpreted or is seen as offensive as it was really meant to be a tribute to the beauty of craftmanship."
So . . . wait. They're sorry — and let me get this straight — for US misinterpreting THEM? For us (for the audience and/or Native Americans and/or anybody with a sense of right and wrong) misunderstanding THEM (the French fashion company). Did any Native Americans even walk in the show? (Of course not.) Did they sanction this? (Nope.) Is Chanel even sorry for taking aspects of the culture our society has repeatedly either only stamped out or misappropriated and using it for their financial gain? No. They're sorry that we didn't understand that what they were doing was a "tribute."
A tribute it was not, my friends. But obviously Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel don't really care.