A preference for people of color with lighter skin tones is endemic in the entertainment and fashion industries
The killing of George Floyd and the mass protests that followed opened more people’s eyes to the extent of systemic racism in society. But there’s one type of discrimination which still needs a larger reckoning: colourism – discrimination based on skin tone.
She received death threats as a young model, but that didn’t stop her. She refused Muhammad Ali’s proposal, inspired Dalí and set up her own agency – then became an artist
In the late 60s, Pat Cleveland was one of the most popular models in New York, working with the best-known photographers: Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Hiro. Yet she could not get on the cover of Vogue. The photographers “were all very upset”, she says, “because they’d shoot covers of me and sometimes the editors said: ‘Wow! This is the cover!’ Then they’d replace me with a caucasian girl. I just got fed up.”
She made a vow. “Why am I going to waste my time” in the US, she wondered, “when they don’t care about people of colour?” In 1971, she moved to France, promising not to return to the US until a black model was on the cover of US Vogue.
Talented, potty-mouthed staff are the saving grace of this propaganda-like series about the online clothing retailer known for its cheap, shiny wares
It’s the run up to Christmas and Missguided‘s head of buying isn’t happy. A “Satan is my sugar daddy” T-shirt sample has been produced in a lacklustre colour.
Such micro-dramas drive Inside Missguided: Made in Manchester (Channel 4), a documentary filmed in the fast fashion brand’s candyfloss-hued headquarters, a place where flamingo ornaments are omnipresent and meeting rooms are named after emojis.
As seen on everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker to Amber Heard, this aesthetic and virus-preventing statement is a win-win
The first must-have look of the “new normal” doesn’t have a designer label, or a hefty price tag. In fact, you probably already have what you need in a drawer somewhere. And while this may not stand as concrete proof that lockdown truly has ushered in a new era of shared community identity and mindful consumerism, I see no reason why we can’t take it as a cheering sign.
The scarf-mask is the status accessory of summer 2020. All you need is a square of fabric folded in half corner-to-corner to make a triangle, and wrap it tightly around your face from the bridge of your nose, securing at the back of your head. It began with hipsters and influencers on the streets of New York. One of that city’s ultimate style icons, Sarah Jessica Parker, introduced the look to her 6 million Instagram followers, wearing it to open her new boutique. And now Sienna Miller – the OG trendsetter, the woman who singlehandedly made boho chic happen with little more than a maxi skirt and a shaggy fringe two decades ago – has brought it to Britain on the cover of the latest issue of Grazia.
Every season comes with an ostensibly complimentary shorthand. But the one that has outlived them all is probably the most problematic
‘I’ve got loads of dresses that I bought because someone in the changing room told me they were flattering,” says Billie Bhatia, the fashion features editor at Stylist magazine. “In that moment, I feel lifted. My insecurities about my body are erased.” But Bhatia, 30, has been having second thoughts about the word. “Occasionally, it means a great colour that makes your skin glow, but most of the time ‘flattering’ is just a byword for ‘slimming’,” she says. “If someone delivered the same compliment, but substituted the word ‘slimming’ for ‘flattering’, would you think that was an OK way to talk to a woman? No, right? Everyone likes to hear a compliment. But ‘flattering’ is a dangerous word.”
In 2017, the perfect pair of jeans was “on-trend”. In 2018, it was “fierce”; last year it was “extra”. Right now, it is “dripping”. In fashion, every season comes with a new shorthand. But one compliment – “flattering” – has outlived them all, selling more jeans, more party dresses and more swimsuits than any other word. “Flattering” is fashion clickbait, an add-to-basket dog whistle.
Whether ‘Croc-verts’ flocking to the once-derided brand, fashionistas sporting pricey sandals or home-workers seeking comfort, the post-lockdown world is awash with waterpoof shoes
On a beach in north Devon, a local is talking to me about weever fish. These venomous creatures hide just beneath the sand, eyes peeking above to survey the surrounding landscape for potential prey. Bathers often succumb; if stung, your best bet is to plunge your feet into very hot water and keep them there for as long as possible.
This local has a simpler solution: waterproof sandals. Hers, a taupe pair by Merrell, are lightweight, waterproof, a special sort of elective ugliness. They are also just one of a litany of water shoes designed for use both in water and on dry land. Newly coined as amphibious shoes, they are not in themselves new, but along with the floafers (a loafer that floats), GQ-approved Hoka One One Hopara sandals, a new collaboration of wipe-clean sandals designed by super-stylist Lotta Volkova for Adidas, and later this month a neoprene pair in orange and red from a collaboration between Palace skateboards and Adidas, they have emerged as the sandal of now.
A former Conservative MP has been convicted of sexual assault and another accused of rape. Given how serious this is, it has been a surprise to witness the muted public reaction
A lot of people are talking about Tory sleaziness with regard to the recent Lords nominations. But is there, perhaps, an even bigger Tory sleaze issue that should be addressed? Caroline, by email
I moved to this country in 1990 and one of the ways I got to grips with this strange new land was by watching Spitting Image. People tell me that Spitting Image’s heyday was in the 80s, but I loved it in the 90s, with grey John Major and demented Norman Lamont.
A recent Gucci beauty campaign, starring model Ellie Goldstein, who has Down’s syndrome, was a smash hit. But campaigners say they are still facing an uphill battle for disability visibility in fashion
“In a world where the mainstream concept of what is and isn’t beautiful becomes increasingly narrow, you have to be young, you have to be thin, you should preferably be blonde, and of course, pale skinned,” lamented Alexander McQueen in his 1998 guest-edited issue of Dazed & Confused. On the cover, model Aimee Mullins stood defiantly in prosthetic legs beside the headline “Fashion-Able?” The question mark was left hanging – challenging readers to recognise a vision of beauty that was unlike anything that had been seen before.
Within the issue, a 14-page fashion editorial was dedicated to models with disabilities. However, despite newspaper reports that the disability diverse photoshoot had broken down “one of the last bastions of body fascism”, very little changed. Two decades after McQueen’s groundbreaking recognition, is the fashion industry finally taking notice?
It is a truth universally acknowledged that anything the Duchess of Cambridge wears sells out. In the past week the so-called “Kate effect” was put to public health use when she was photographed, for the first time, wearing a face mask.
The £15 mask, from the London-based childrenswear brand Amaia, swiftly sold out, while the digital fashion aggregator Lyst reported a 185% spike in searches for “floral”, “liberty print” and “ditsy print” face masks within 24 hours.
Designed for practicality, the Speedo has delighted and dismayed in equal measure. Now the swimwear classics are back in fashion – but would you dare?
Back in the 1950s, the lifeguards of Bondi Beach, Sydney, were not only charged with rescuing surfers and scanning for sharks. In their role as “beach inspectors” they were also responsible for ensuring that swimsuits conformed to New South Wales state regulations.
At least 3in of fabric was required over the thigh, no navels were to be exposed, and shoulder straps had to be “sturdy”.
First it was moisturiser. Then waxing. Now guys are opting for nail polish after upping their grooming during lockdown
For many men, waxing beards, plucking eyebrows or having a massage have all been elements of a self-care routine for some time. Now, it seems, they are embracing a new grooming activity: the manicure.
Men’s nail art has become de rigueur in celebrity circles, with the likes of Post Malone, A$AP Rocky, Saturday Night Live‘s Pete Davidson and rapper Bad Bunny adopting the trend. Now salons are reporting a more varied clientele.
A dazzling look – for above your mask. Plus, summer scents and night repair cream
Yes, I know shimmery golden eyes (as seen at Tom Ford AW20) are usually for festive occasions. But seeing as we’re now a mask-wearing nation, let’s step up our eye game. Dab eyelids with Vaseline and brush on a mix of gold and bronze eyeshadow and highlighter. Line your eyes – kohl not liquid – for that slightly worn finish, coat lashes with black mascara, add a clearish lip gloss and consider this a trial run for Christmas. Because right now, we need something fun to look forward to…
People are taking advantage of home working and video calls by wearing what they want
Flip-flops, the footwear that conjures up barbecues and bad tan lines, are having a moment during this unusual lockdown summer when our lower halves have often been hidden, at least to colleagues if not neighbours, on video calls.
Searches for flip-flops have increased 53% since June, according to online fashion search business Lyst, with demand for Havaianas up 89% month-on-month. And while flat sandals in general are proving popular, “flip-flops in particular have seen something of a resurgence as an alternative to the classic Birkenstock”, according to Selfridges accessories and shoes buying manager, Josie Gardner.
The hallowed ingredient is everyone’s friend – any skin type, any product, any time, any place
So prevalent is hyaluronic acid in modern skincare that it’s easy for people like me to presume blanket awareness around the hallowed ingredient when, in fact, many people feel left behind. I get more questions around hyaluronic than ever before, from women not knowing how and where it should fit into their routines (and it definitely should). So allow me to start from an almost standing position.
In the most simplistic terms, hyaluronic acid – already present naturally throughout the body, to keep moving parts lubricated and fluids viscous – is used in skincare primarily as a humectant. It has the extraordinary ability to hold about a thousand times its weight in water, meaning it can keep skin hydrated, which both feels and looks better (imagine dropping a raisin into water and leaving it to soak, and you get the gist of what HA can do for skin texture).
Company suspends managers responsible after employees complain about use of N-word
The clothing company & Other Stories is under fire after using a racial slur to describe one of its products.
A leaked photo uploaded to an internal system used the N-word as part of the name for a purple beanie hat. After employees complained about the use of the racist term, the company apologised and the managers responsible were suspended. The product has been withdrawn.