Image for post
Image for post
Right look, wrong model

Stella McCartney, And The Case Of The “Trashy” Ankara

For Whites it’s “trash”, for Africans it’s treasure

So, I wasn’t there, but I heard that esteemed British fashion designer and offspring of Beatles member, (Sir Paul McCartney)— flooded her runway at Paris Fashion Week with White figurines — dressed in the cloth of Nigeria’s consistency.

Turns out the rumors were right on the money!

Stella McCartney did hijack the precious fabric of Ankara — and sliced the varied portions into roomy shapes that draped the bodies of models that looked essentially odd in their assigned garments.

Image for post
Image for post
The colors of our ancestors who were Black

I mean, yes it’s a fashion show — and creativity mixes with snobbish references and the freedom of orgasmic exploration — to produce whatever the creator wishes to bequeath privileged minds — who judge — based on zip codes.

But, we’re talking outright thievery in broad daylight — and the worst part isn’t the robbery, but the audacity of the perpetrators who despite being dressed to impress, can’t escape the societal persecution — that is warranted when guilty parties inadvertently turn themselves in.

When it comes to cultural appropriation — there is a clear assumption that if you wear your hair the way Black girls do without the burden of ethnicity that could cost you everything — then you’ve definitely crossed the line.

We can’t stand the imitation of cornrows with credits given to The Kardashian sisters and the like — because that’s a deliberate assault on a culture that has endured its share of tragedies within the confines of braided styles — that work better with our texture for a damn good reason.

The “Ankara hijacking” is a brutal one — because it forced me to face my demons.

Witnessing bone-thin White women decked out in the fabric of my past was beyond inconceivable. It recalled a time when I was immersed in the traditions of my people — and yet I had no desire to view it that way. When you’re young, it’s easy to predict a lifetime that won’t include the invaluable exposure you receive as a kid.

So, I sulked each time I was forced into various outfits that bled out multitude of hues all at once — like a disturbingly vile acid trip.

Nigerians love to party. And we also invest in the imagery of our fashion sense — that is rooted in the practice of coercing fabric to flow according to our will.

Image for post
Image for post
Don’t come for us…
Image for post
Image for post
Unless we send for you!

There’s hardly a weekend that goes by — that doesn’t require adherence to the jubilant staples that mark our templates — as we politely gyrate to the call of King Sunny Ade or whatever Fela is digging from the grave.

Image for post
Image for post
Naija life

Nigerians are also resourceful as fuck — and they’re always dutifully well-donned in their pursuits — with the armor of the gorgeous pulse of our nation.

We can take anything and make it into something in record time. The cunningness that Nigerians are globally revered for — should’ve been translated into the transcripts of worldly dominance.

But, that’s a rant for another time — right now it’s all about Ankara and why it’s not okay for a British lady who isn’t a champion of diversity to feature it — as if the permission to do so was granted.

During my very short and careless research for this piece — I came across The Telegraph via the title that struck me as wildly odd:

Stella McCartney makes ‘trashy’ look chic in her latest Paris fashion week show

Image for post
Image for post
The lead photo for the “trashiness” of the 80s

I clicked on it and discovered the lead pic of a White model doused in a jumpsuit dipped in Ankara — and a denim jacket to ease the hype. I read the article — and there was really no honorary description of my national symbol — just a hazy summation of how awesome McCartney is — for regulating the ‘trashiness of the 80s” in an unexpectedly futuristic way.

And herein lies the issue. Africans were always ahead of the curve.

There was an inherent grunt from the seconds of evolution — that projected our earnings far beyond what we’ve presently realized. The lies of colonialism still infect the narrative of the “White Savior” complex that pollutes mainstream media with shitty fare like Victoria & Abdul — and the other damaging fables that aim to convince the blind that Whites were meant to save us.

Ankara is supposedly from the Dutch and while I won’t get into specific details of the transfer — you can access the meat — here.

In the meantime — I will pick up the baton and exclaim that Stella McCartney at the very least should’ve used models of color — specifically fiery African ones — to elevate the merchandise she stole.

Image for post
Image for post
Striking a pose was never a challenge

I will also say that the reactionary tweets were epic as usual and it would be sacrilege for me not to share the ones that appealled to me:

So, here’s the thing, the fashion and beauty industry has done an impeccable job highlighting the aesthetic value of White features. All the globally-renowned cosmetic companies have relied solely on the prized paleness, and demure qualities, that have failed to maintain the arousal of a rapidly evolving market.

The Black aesthetic, has been superbly neglected with the pompous attitude of authoritative elders who won’t recognize the deepness of darkness at its most refined.

The status quo is shifting as the age of diversity overwhelms and the pressure to concede gives way to spotty appearances — byway of It Girls that fade and the reassurance that things will revert back to the stringent norm.

That is until an icon’s daughter with the imprint of her naughty ancestors decides to colonize the wares of the colonies that are still begging for release.

Image for post
Image for post
Whatever happened to this shit? And who’s that Black dude??

Inspiration is not a crime — neither is the steady course that truly embracses the manifestations of ancestral responsibilities — that impress your sensibilities into living the existence of a warrior of art who lives and breathes the guilt.

Image for post
Image for post
Andy Warhol using Basquiat for presence

The British — fundamentally don’t believe that invading resourcefully blessed lands — far, far away — with the intent to trick and hamper — is both a crime and sin. The invasion is still ongoing after all these centuries and as far as we can tell — the results mirror the devastation that initiated permanent bondage.

That is the reason why Stella McCartney’s decision to display the badge of Nigeria’s varied lifestyle through the hills of Enugu and the perfected dips in Jos — is a potent “fuck you” to those of us who were mandated to be outfitted with a smile — and then grew up to actually love the shit!

You can’t have White models sashaying to the colorful threads of Ankara in masterful cuts and cinches when the number of Black beauties sprawled on the map — surpasses the race that tried to kill us off — but failed.

The unfortunate “trashy” reference aside, there is no mistaking that White people don’t have the information needed to reference mounds of cloth that represent the veins of stubborn Blacks who couldn’t hold out for the day of freedom. The chains that tattooed their ankles and the wrists that writhed under the blaze of sun and the lace of cotton fields — gifted future generations with lyrical fancies and the coverings that speak the language of relentless lashings.

What Stella McCartney accomplished in front of the Union Jack — was the ability to take a dump on historical travesties that were coined with the raids of her people. As a designer — she is free to implement whatever rules her expensive palate dictates — but she can’t be allowed to benefit from the religion of Africans who continue to be persecuted for the right to be so.

Image for post
Image for post
Again, wrong model

Unless of course she’s participating in the ethnic revolution that demands full submission to the models that were conceived at twilight and left for the sun to fondle into a crisp version of perfection.

If those prototypes aren’t covered in the dignity of Ankara and the traditions of baptisms that intercept with the ritual of soup making in all its trashiness — as the fabric barely misses the tip of the pot — then Whiteness has surely hit a new low.

Caucasian-motivated industries that primarily cater to White people can’t just steal the markings of indigenous ceremonies — and conform it to the avenue of choice as if its the most natural thing in the world.

If Stella McCartney and all the others who make their case on the souls of smothered spirits — can’t register any family members that were killed into living for their death with legal abandonment — then they can’t have Ankara.

Anything other than that — is simply trashy.

Written by

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store