African fashion designers show off their works with 25 black Brazilian models during São Paulo Fashion Week

Note from BW of Brazil: I like this idea. Year after year it is blatantly obvious how invisible black models are at Brazil’s top fashion shows São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW) and Fashion Rio. This invisibility has been a regular complaint of black activists for as long as I’ve even paid attention to the events and that goes back to the first few years of the 21st century. The nation’s fashion industry, like its media, seemed to be saying, “we will present Brazil as a white nation regardless of how you people feel about it.” The industry continues to ignore demands of Afro-Brazilian activists and even with a judgement that levied a quota of 10% black model representation, they’ve managed to keep the shows overwhelmingly white. It’s actually pretty amazing. Even with African themes of past shows, black models remain essentially “blacked-out”!

For this year’s Spring-Summer collections presented at SPFW, the Afro Brazil Museum in São Paulo hosted a show featuring the latest works of several African fashion designers using all black models. For me, this is a great idea. Brazil insists on de facto segregation in so many areas of society that I see nothing wrong with essentially a separate event for black models. True integration is supposed to signal equality and as we’ve seen time and time again in numerous countries, groups that have power will never realistically share this power. In my view, activists need to stop deceiving themselves. Rather than always pushing for integration why not simply establish alternatives?

See the full report here: African fashion designers show off their works with 25 black Brazilian models during São Paulo Fashion Week


Look closely, these frilly mushrooms are made of books. Although they look like something Alice might’ve encountered during her adventures in Wonderland, they’re the creation of Chicago-based visual artist Melissa Jay Craig. Entitled (S)Edition, this delightfully strange installation features 99 books made to look like common Amanita muscaria mushrooms. Each bookshroom is made of cast and hand-shaped abaca, also known as manilla help, embellished with cotton rag paper.

From Craig’s artist statement about this installation:

Fungus is an agent of change. I’m fascinated with its myriad forms, and I love to go in search of it. I can become more excited by discovering a beautiful fungal growth than by perusing artwork ‘discovered’ for us by curators in contemporary museums. When I was a child, the first time I had the intriguing feeling that the planet carried messages (texts, if you will) for those who were curious enough to look, was when I came upon a group of Amanita Muscaria, huddled together in a dark, secret space under tall pines.

Visit Melissa Jay Craig’s website for additional photos of her fascinating fungal books and to check out some of her other creations as well.

[via Colossal]