Now then the idea of having poor Indian people who live on 65p a day photographed in designer accessories that cost up to thousands is perhaps an interesting work if there was some serious political or artistic intent, (cf. Lars Von Trier’s Five Obstructions where Jørgen Leth is tasked to enjoy a luxurious meal in the red light district of Mumbai surrounded by its oppressed inhabitants but is not allowed to show them) however this is Vogue we’re talking about-
A spokeswoman for Indian Vogue editor Priya Tanna tonight said the magazine had been taken aback by reaction to the photographs but defended the decision to publish them, and said the poor ‘models’ had been paid ‘a significant amount.’
Their critics should ‘lighten up.’ Fashion thrives on “fantasy, aspirations and above all, fun,” she said.
“For our India issue we wanted to showcase beautiful objects of fashion in an interesting and engaging context. We saw immense beauty, innocence, and freshness in the faces of the people we captured. This was a creative pursuit that we consider one of our most beautiful editorial executions. Why would people see it any other way?” editor Priya Tanna told The Independent.
Leading Indian fashion designer David Abraham jumped to the magazine’s defence.
“This kind of juxtaposition is always there in India – the servant who serves a glass of wine which costs more than his monthly salary,” he said.
“When I saw these pictures, I thought the people looked sweet. I’m not convinced it’s offensive. In fact I think the high moral tone is a bit patronising. Wealth next to poverty is just a reality in India. Both have always existed. As long as you don’t humiliate or ill-treat poor people it’s OK. Lots of models can’t afford to buy Fendi handbags either.”
Yeah, well you’ve certainly refuted any charges of banal shallow appearance obsessed idiots with facile little sensationalist tricks to provoke attention and make more money. “Lots of models can’t afford to buy Fendi handbags either.”- Wow that’s like the best argument evah for massive inequality and exploiting it to sell shiny tat to credulous conservative morons terrified of emotional or psychological depth. It’s the breadth of intellect that finds Sex and the City a feminist meditation. Yes fashion can be fun and frolicksome but let’s face it, the history of even the richest designers using sweat shop labour is not exactly crowned in glory. Nor is the record for using models of colour. Worst of all at least designers have some creativity, these are just hacks who mindlessly cheer lead capitalist exploitation in order to look good.