Spectacle and Rick Owens’s Black Female Steppers

by Zinzi

Marjon Carlos writes of the pleasures and problems with designer Rick Owens’s use of female step teams in his Spring/Summer 2014 show in Paris:

“…the Black female has continuously been positioned as a source of spectacle and pleasure, primarily existing outside the canonized idea of femininity. Owens’s use of these steppers as models tows this precarious line, with the designer certainly underscoring these young women’s strength, skill, and passion, but equally using their unexpected presence (racially, physically, spatially) to stir. As Owens was quoted of saying after the show, ‘I was attracted to how gritty [stepping] was, it was such a ‘fuck-you’ to conventional beauty. [The steppers] were saying, ‘We’re beautiful in our own way.'”

Read the rest at Saint Heron.