E.very D.amn C.olor

Children do not remember you for who you are; children remember you for what you are…

In 1972–3 my Mother took me to see the Ebony Fashion Fair fashion show in the Sacramento Community Center: I’d no idea what it was going to be like? There was no set principal: criteria: or predilection in my 6–7 year old mind?

Well Ok I knew Ebony was a magazine that “Black” Women read (Mother included) and Fashion Fair to me meant the same thing as say “California State Fair” ? albeit without a hint of agribusiness (no tractors or oversized turnips and squashes); we were going to see FASHION!

Upon entering the reception area I was amazed at the number of people dressed better than a Sunday service in our A.M.E. church?! Everyone (practically all women) was beguilingly dressed with no talk of this “God” stuff… never got that get dressed up for Jesus thang? Still don’t…

Anyway a T-shaped runway; with the “bar” of the “T” being the stage; proscenium arch and all with the leg or ramp extending out the middle of the audience; a Jazz trio on one side; a podium on the other; from there an extremely elegant lady announced the models and what they were wearing as they stepped up the runway to display their vestments to us…

“Linda (Johnson) is wearing Yves Saint Laurent…” or “Pat (Cleveland?) is wearing…” then she said “Iman”! My ear went all blurry… yes blurry… (what does that name mean / come from?) then… a very very tall (to me at the time) lady made her way up the runway; increasing in size with each individual step rendering her a most elegant giant in my child’s eye… I was transfixed!

Upon completion of the event I implored Mother to meet this tall lady; why? I guess I thought she was more than a human? The desire to know if she were “real”?

Mom sated my desire by figuring out how to get to backstage (what better pass than a young kid for a backstage pass): “he would really like to meet the models” ? There was no security that I remember, just some guy to lock up after it was all done; “fine… wait here, the ladies will come around to catch their bus”… it’s weird to imagine an entire Greyhound bus jam packed with couture and the most alluring specimens of humankind disembarking ? “CAN’T YA SEE IT Billy!?”

Shortly thereafter the tall lady and two other models are approaching us;

Mother starts: “my son loved the fashion show and wanted to meet you” ? at that point this incredible creature (IMAN) descends to my level (as if transported via an imaginary elevator) she engages me in conversation!? I’m nervous; excited; scared? Though thoroughly elated simultaneously! especially when she expressed interest in my endeavors?! Not in adult child speak!! Une vraie Mensch! Smitten to bits… I was! Iman wished me luck

and complemented my mother on my person then retreated to wherever ladies of such UNMITIGATED beauty came from? They were just absolutely beyond! Entities that defied definition! to myself…

In my fantasy or child’s imagination I had no idea she or any of it was delegated “exotic” or “risqué” and least of all “ethnic” or even worse “urban” ? These words meant nothing to me nor did any word describing the things I felt when seeing and experiencing them ? The thought this beauty could ever be derided was lost on my young mind ?

Children do not remember you for who you are; children remember you for what you are…

Jean-Paul Goude is in his own words “not a photographer…” in-and-of-itself a seemingly flippant regard to one’s own oeuvre? After all his work; reputed from his days at Esquire Magazine (1968–76?) as artistic director (1st rule of jazz? “fake it; til you make it!”) a position for which he had no previous experience? on to; commercial ads for CHANEL: Citroën: KODAK: Perrier: Hermès: Louis Vuitton (privé) or Azzedine Alaïa to name a precious few…

His editorial work?

for: Galleries Lafayette (10 years and running): KENZO: H&M: V Magazine: VOGUE France: Harper’s Bazaar: O Magazine: Paper Magazine or Vanity Fair (all within the last two years!)

to his artistic works: books / exhibitions / installations: Jungle Fever (1982); or the So far so Goude collection of photographs and drawings released in 2005; the book’s release incurred an exhibition / installation that includes 240 pieces and has been touring the world for a bit more than 10 years?

Perhaps you know him for the donation of 100 pieces to the Society of Friends of the National Museum of Modern Art (Centre Georges Pompidou, 2017): the museum retrospective “Goudemalion”? which was at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris?

If not, I bet no-one can forget le défilé for France’s Bicentennial!?

…American drum corps; Jessye Norman on a pedestal as grand as the obelisk at the Place de la Concorde (merely a third of its original size; Napoléon simply absconded with the tip); toy soldiers (the actual CRS state police!); oh yes! Et Les Pompiers!! (we love the Firemen in Paris. They produced the rain for the English bit of the parade!)

a brief history of the connection:

I lived at that time of le défilé with Sonia Mercedes Cabrera (not far from where Jean-Paul lives today I find out decades later), a silver and goldsmith working freelance in Paris whom I met through our mutual ex-roommate Simon von Poppe; a Gaultier model / ex-boyfriend to my co-worker (Javier) at Nana’s in San Francisco…

Sonia was asked to help a Milliner by the name of Corinne Lucquiaud who made most of the hats for the parade; to aid in finishing (and in some instances designing) the head gear for Goude’s défilé: Sonia’s work can be seen during the Eurythmics performance… (mmm… les Pompiers!)

…all traffic in the first three arron­dissements of Paris was suspended for the entire week leading up to the event: Corinne’s atelier was sûr la rue St. Denis dans le 1ère arrondissement (still the heart of old school street walking honeys with eyes everywhere?)

I was enlisted to carry hats through the center of town to the Tuileries (oh how that seedy little film noire of a park is missed… Great place for late night commiserations a simple “bj” or a voyeuristic park of delicacies)… ok, so 1st: I balanced two of the big round / triangular Grace Jones chapeau’s one atop the other on my head then another pair for each hand; did that twice then stacked a bunch of toy soldiers head gear in similar fashion;

3rd trip to backstage in the park… The city was on fire…

back to our story:

J-P Goude was born to an American Ballet Dancer Mother and a French elevator repairman Papa; it’s obvious that at a very early age he was influenced by what is termed “ethnic imagery”: his Mom danced on Broadway with Crystal Waters’ Aunt (Crystal was happily shocked when I presumed; then asked if this lady was any relation to her) Ethel Waters!

Specifically here I want to touch on the subject of “race” along with what some deem “cultural appropriation” or “re-appropriation”… Baaaahhhh!

Utter shite!

Take the African Folk song out of “obla di obla da”? I guarantee you THE BEATLES would have had no hit! or how about the “western” numerals we hold so dear? Especially “0”!? Mmm… Andy Warhol without the advent of Peter Roehr??? OR… Grand Master Flash and Melle Mel’s (wait for ’em) “white lines”; did LIQUID LIQUID ever get paid?

That’s pretty special; a New York Rap group “appropriates” a “no Wave Dance Band”; when both hail from the same city plus most obviously, scene? ostensibly not the same “race”? What’s that called? stealing? Ah yes “appropriation”…don’t get me started on DURAN DURAN!

Or Scott Joplin without the guidance of Julius Weiss at the tender age of 11?

Children do not remember you for who you are; children remember you for what you are…

Vision; inspiration and fantasy are formed early on; continuing to direct the personal path far into adulthood… A few years after the Ebony Fashion Fair traveling fashion show; Mom showed me a video of Grace Jones onstage in a cage… Ooooh k…? What was I supposed to do with this?

She asked me what I thought of Grace Jones? I believe I looked for a minute and said something to effect of “why are you showing me this?” a bit later I said I liked whatever the music was that was playing and I think that’s when I realized she was Jamaican: for some reason I thought this was as intriguing as she? Not too many West Indians in Broderick during the 1970s…

“Artists” blatantly take from “cultures”; no one is impervious to the disease; we’re all sponges! ultimately the first thing people do when they meet is to ask “where’re you from?” it’s a loaded question as are queries about one’s work; just sizing up your abilities to be a contributor to their perception (desire) of what / who you are; how one identifies? shaking up this perception can lead to misguided and volatile conversations not to mention “movements”!

current day:

Jean-Paul in cooperation with his “stylist” (sometimes assistant, muse, right-hand man) Alex “Aikiu” they’ve worked together for approximately 12 years +; Their collaboration started with Alex wanting to meet one of his idols. Inspired by Jean Paul’s work with different ethnicities, Alex proposed his vision of a collaboration between Björk (for her album Volta, recorded in Mali) and Jean-Paul.

Alex is the one who made the skirt / dress that covered Kim Kardashian’s ass in the image that “crashed the internet” plus designed the gloves on her hands during the photo shoot! He consults and designs in J-P’s dichotomous world) together they’ve developed a “capsule collection” for the Spanish brand DESiGUAL: they’ve shaped; reshaped; plus rethought the world of commercial imagery; through editorial; now through fashion itself!

So let’s return to the subject at hand “cultural appropriation” or “race” in fashion:

Alex being of French / Vietnamese origin; raised in Senegal; Morocco; Guinea; Gambia; Lybia; Portugal; New York; Munich and Paris?! working in the d­i­cho­tomy of a French man (Goude) who ad­mittedly has a penchant for exaggerated things, but ­is ostensibly ethnic of American / ­­­French parentage for a Spanish fashion house owned and run by an international team headed by a Swiss / ­­Mexican couple?!

That together with the requests from artists / celebrities as varied as Oprah Winfrey; Pharell Williams; Paris Jackson; Chance the Rapper; Janet; Mariah; Beyoncé; Jodie Foster or Dianne von Furstenberg ? plus campaigns for brands or publications the world over… it’s actually hard to see an argument for diversity when cultural diversity is within the movement (from a given perspective naturally); André Leon Tally; Winnie Harlow or countless “behind the scenes” workers that can and do hail from all corners of the world! add that to the fantasy inherent in each of us and this argument of “race” or “cultural diversity” (in fashion) dissipates without the slightest whimper; as it fkn should!

Children do not remember you for who you are; children remember you for what you FKN are!

Starship 17: Cover Park McArthur, Martin Ebner
  1. Shibuya/Sumida Martin Ebner
  2. Some follow up questions Park McArthur
  3. Editorial #17 Starship, Gerry Bibby, Ariane Müller, Nikola Dietrich, Henrik Olesen, Martin Ebner
  4. New York City in 1979, shot in 1981 Anne Turyn, Chris Kraus
  5. E.very D.amn C.olor Eric D. Clark
  6. Then I wanted to make a happy end for once Ariane Müller, Verena Kathrein
  7. Answering Lagos Dunja Herzog
  8. Fashion Fiction Eduardo Costa
  9. Hello world Vera Tollmann, Stephanie Fezer
  10. Social bodies Mercedes Bunz
  11. Saint Lucy Luzie Meyer
  12. The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress Robert McKenzie, Matthew Linde
  13. Untitled (waiting for trouble) Tony Conrad
  14. #PLZ, RESCHYKLI$CCH Karl Holmqvist
  15. Life, Liberty, and Data Antek Walczak
  16. Eine schmutzig-weisse Schweizerin Hans-Christian Dany
  17. Butterrr Mikhail Wassmer
  18. Botanical Quinn Latimer
  19. Marie Angeletti; Les veaux, les agneaux Marie Angeletti
  20. Insect Love Tenzing Barshee
  21. In the Name of Jakob Kolding
  22. Pavilion-in-Parts. A Logbook. Florian Zeyfang
  23. 2017, Year of the L.I.E. Jay Chung
  24. Schriftproben bei Vergiftungen Stefan Burger
  25. Flightless Gerry Bibby
  26. Der Beautiful Books Club (BBC) Stephan Janitzky
  27. The Provenance of Privilege in the Primary Market Mitchell Anderson
  28. MD / NS Natasha Soobramanien
  29. Time Warner Some Notes on Now Monika Senz
  30. Image is an Orphan Shahryar Nashat
  31. The Bavarian Vampire 1–4 Veit Laurent Kurz, Levi Easterbrooks
  32. Indefinite Violence David Bussel
  33. Because of you I know that I exist Viktor Neumann
  34. Discarded Sounds (Intro) Robert Meijer
  35. Verweile doch Theresa Patzschke
  36. rare fragments from the notebook of an unspecified archetype Scott Cameron Weaver
  37. Starship 17 Julian Göthe
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