Designer Karl Lagerfeld held a somewhat controversial pre-fall show for Chanel in Shanghai, China last Thursday, where he opened with a film, “Paris-Shanghai: A Fantasy,” which showed Caucasian models dressed up in “yellowface,” wearing traditional Chinese costumes and makeup to make them appear Asian. Considering the huge “blackface” debate over a few fashion features, this will surely come across as offensive to some, but if you’ve ever kept track of Karl’s comments about anything (such as “fat mummies”), you’d know being blunt is his natural forte, as well as his charm, albeit inconsiderable and politically incorrect.
In an interview, he explained, “It is an homage to Europeans trying to look Chinese… Like in ‘The Good Earth,’ the people in the movie liked the idea that they had to look like Chinese. Or like actors in ‘Madame Butterfly.’ People around the world like to dress up as different nationalities… It is about the idea of China, not the reality.”
Click here to see Style.com’s review and photos of the complete Chanel pre-fall 2010 collection.
Check out the short film, “Paris-Shanghai: A Fantasy” after the jump:
Last modified: December 8, 2009