This new Alexander Wang video features a slew of famous faces: Alessandra Ambrosio, A$AP Rocky, Shannan Click, Simon Doonan and Natasha Lyonne — and an extremely fake pregnancy belly. But the main star is Anjelah Johnson, who reprises her “Mad TV” character Bon Qui Qui as a new salesperson in Wang’s flagship boutique. In this clip, directed by Gavin McInness (who believes he knows a lot about racism, sexism and homophobia), Bon Qui Qui is a stereotype of a sassy, back-talking Latina woman. And though it’s being lauded as “hilarious” by outlets like Huffington Post and New Mag, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable watching this. Johnson’s caricature is the only representation of a woman of color in the video — she’s effectively the butt of the joke, and portrayed as an uncultured, unsophisticated, rude person. That seems pretty shitty to me. And Johnson herself seems to have a pretty unnuanced understanding of race. In a 2010 New York Times profile, she said: “Deep down inside, I’m really a black girl stuck in a Mexican girl’s body.” She then went on to mock an audience member’s disapproval of the Bon Qui Qui character: “Once I was doing Bon Qui Qui in Miami, and this black girl was in the audience and she yelled out, ‘That’s not funny!’ which was really funny because she sounded exactly like the character I was playing.” So, yeah.
In any case, if the only thing that Wang is selling is a humor based on ridiculing the “other,” I’m not buying. [YouTube]
“I don’t hate anything in fashion. Everything is okay as long as you do it with enough conviction. Hating on stuff is what causes mediocrity and conformism. It makes people nervous and cautious and they start reining in their flamboyant impulses. So you could say ‘I hate hating.’”
– Stylish stylist Simon Doonan explains his philosophy on fashion. [Refinery 29]
Forget about “Mexican diet pills.” All Gay Men Don’t Get Fat author Simon Doonan says you need to get rid of that holiday heft is a “marathon of the Ks.” No, he doesn’t even say “Kardashians.” He just says “the Ks.” He’s that gay. [Queerty]
We would read Simon Doonan’s grocery list if he published it. Fortunately the Barney’s creative director writes much, much more compelling reading! His new book is Gay Men Don’t Get Fat, a diet guide spoof of Why French Women Don’t Get Fat, that dippy book that suggested we all eat leek soup (and nothing else). Simon Doonan suggests America’s obesity problem is tied to all the macho male chefs cutting big slabs of steak meat. So how are the gays losing weight? By only eating “gay food” — sushi and macarons, of course. That’s the gay diet? Sign us up. [$15.49, Amazon.com] Keep reading »
Snooki may have gotten punched in the face by a gym teacher from Queens, but being a D-list celebrity is not all rough on our girl. Apparently, she gets so many designer purses sent to her for free even Posh Spice is getting jealous. Style writer Simon Doonan warns us something nefarious is afoot, though. “Allegedly, the anxious folks at these various luxury houses are all aggressively gifting our gal Snookums with free bags. No surprise, right?” Doonan wrote. “But here’s the shocker: They are not sending her their own bags. They are sending her each other’s bags! Competitors’ bags! Call it what you will — ‘preemptive product placement’? ‘unbranding’? — either way, it’s brilliant, and it makes total sense.” I guess nothing warms a cold fashionista heart more than seeing a girl who just got arrested for public drunkenness during the daytime carry the competition’s wares on her arm as she trots out of the slammer. Still, that is so mean. [New York Observer] Keep reading »
Why, oh, why don’t we have cable?!?! We missed the first episode of Simon Doonan’s new show, “Beautiful People,” a BBC series that ran for the first time stateside last night on LOGO, the gay and lesbian network. Simon is Barney’s creative director, as well as our favorite style writer (we heart his “Simon Says” column in the New York Observer, plus numerous books), so this is kind of like a nerd missing the midnight showing of “Star Trek.” Keep reading »
Michelle Obama could only continue as everyone’s favorite woman for so long. An itty bitty backlash against the First Lady has begun, and it stems from her fashion choices. Last week, in a WWD article, designer Oscar de la Renta lashed out against Michelle’s clothing choices:
American fashion right now is struggling. I think I understand what [Obama and her advisers] are doing, but I don’t think that is the right message at this particular point….I don’t object to the fact that Mrs. Obama is wearing J. Crew to whatever because the diversity of America is what makes this country great. But there are a lot of great designers out there. I think it’s wrong to go in one direction only.
And he’s not the only one who wishes Michelle would stop favoring young designers… Keep reading »