Dolce & Gabbana mocks Chinese tourists in Spring Summer 2016 catwalk show

Dolce & Gabbana’s last week’s Spring Summer 2016 catwalk collection during Milan Fashion Week featured three models in a row, all of Asian decent wearing distinctly Chinese-inspired outfits that looked nothing like the rest of the frilly, feminine collection. All three looks featured collars in the style of a cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress. One of the models would also carry a Dolce & Gabbana shopping paper bag.

The collection was otherwise a very clear tribute to Italian style; in addition, the designers were inspired by tourists who visit the country. A section of a press release sent out after the show addresses these looks specifically:

”Because of their travels, [the designers] have rediscovered how people and global travelers see and enjoy Summer in Italy (for example during the show, Chinese and Japanese models wear traditional clothes with Italian embellishments and jewels): they represent tourists that have just arrived in Italy and cannot wait to absorb the local mood and culture.”

That Italy hosts a lot of Chinese tourists (not to mention residents) is true, but there are a couple of problems with this. For one, the outfits are Chinese-inspired, not Japanese. And a Chinese tourist traveling to Italy in, say, the spring of 2016 when this collection hits stores, would not wear anything like this. It feels icky, and represents an outdated and stereotypical view of Asian culture.

adapted from Fashionista