TOM FORD vs. Romanian ‘IE’

TOM FORD – Spring 2012

This is what Tom Ford has to say about his Spring 2012 collection.

“My focus is really old-fashioned,” he declares. “I want to do classic clothes. I don’t want to do trendy collections that swing around from season to season. I want to do things that will stay in a woman’s wardrobe a long time—quite ‘forever’ pieces. So I’m looking for consistency.” But what, exactly, is a Tom Ford classic?  Something sexy, naturally. “Blouses with a loose, slouchy quality; something fitted at the waist, and with a bondage-y thing on the foot—my favorite is the wedge with the chain-strap!” he says, mulling over his oeuvre. “I’ve streamlined things more this season. I think I’m very classic, because what I do is always based on something you’ve seen before. And yes, maybe there’s something YSL about it. When I left off designing for women, I was at YSL so I’m working through that to be me, asking myself, What do I like? What defines your brand?”

 By “classic clothes” and “something you’ve seen before” does he mean folkloric clothing that has been preserved and hand-crafted from generation to generation in Eastern Europe for hundreds of years? You make your own assessment
Exhibit A:

This is only the latest example of cultural misappropriation of Eastern European folklore – I will be posting more examples and analysis on this blog. Hopefully I can work up to my ultimate goal of starting a fair trade workers cooperative in Romania.

A lot has been written about cultural appropriation in reference and defense of Native American culture. Especially here, here, here, and here. Also, read this Open Letter to Urban Outfitters.

The discussion on Eastern European (mis)appropriation is suspiciously mute.