Covers & Content Annual Review 2016, Part 3: Flare

The 2016 publishing year is over for our three favourite Canadian fashion magazines, so it’s time to look back on every issue printed this year by Elle Canada, Fashion, and Flare, to see how diverse they were overall compared to last year. Up next is FASHION!

For a review of the Covers & Content project, please check out the FAQ page here.

Closet Feminist Terminology

Whiteout Issue: an issue of a fashion magazine where neither the cover star nor models booked/used for any of the major editorials are people of colour.

Token Diversity Spread: When a fashion magazine books/uses an ensemble of models, including some models of colour or models representing other minorities in the fashion world (i.e., plus size models or visibly older models), but are careful not to allow the minorities chosen to make up the majority of the spread or the majority of models chosen.

Has FASHION improved at all over the years? Check out our data from the last three years.

FASHION 2013 Annual Review

FASHION 2014 Annual Review

FASHION 2015 Annual Review

Did you miss Part 1 of our 2016 review focused on Elle Canada? Check it out here.

Part 2 of our 2016 review focused on FASHION can be found here.

***

This review is bittersweet, because as of January, 2017, FLARE will no longer be doing print issues. Flare was not perfect, but it’s reporting was timely and interesting. We will truly miss this Canadian fashion magazine.

That being said, did this glossy go out with a bang or a whimper? Read on to find out.

JANUARY

The January 2016 issue of Flare was technically its Winter 2015 issue, covering December 2015 as well.

Grimes was on the cover. There was one fashion editorial in this issue featuring one thin, white model, making this issue of Flare a Whiteout Issue.

FEBRUARY

Ilana and Abbi of Broad City were on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial in this issue featuring one thin, white model, making this issue of Flare a Whiteout Issue as well.

MARCH

Rebel Wilson was on the cover.

For a third month in a row, Flare put out a Whiteout Issue–the one fashion editorial this month featured one thin, white model.

APRIL

The April cover of Flare featured Ania Boniecka, Sonya Esman, Alanna Durkovich, Kayla Seah, and Dajana Rads. It bears noting that the cover was really more of a tedious Joe Fresh advertorial.

There was one fashion editorial in the April issue, starring one thin, white model.

MAY

Shay Mitchell was on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial this month starring one thin, white model.

JUNE/JULY

The Summer issue of Flare featured Ellie Goulding on the cover.

There were two fashion editorials in this issue. The first starred a thin, mixed-race model, the second starred Caitriona Balfe who is thin and white.

AUGUST

Herieth Paul was on the cover.

Above: Herieth Paul in Flare’s August issue.

There were two fashion editorials, counting Paul’s cover story. The second editorial starred one thin, white model.

SEPTEMBER

Priyanka Chopra was on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial in this issue, starring one thin, white model.

OCTOBER

Bella Hadid was on the cover.

Above: From the second fashion editorial in Flare October 2016

There were two editorials in this issue including Hadid’s cover story. The second editorial featured three thin models, two of them were women of colour.

NOVEMBER

Mandy Moore was on the cover.

Above: Evy Jane stars in the one fashion editorial in Flare November 2016

There was one fashion editorial in this month’s issue, starring one thin model of colour.

DECEMBER

Aww, Flare’s last print issue 🙁

Anna Kendrick was on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial in this month’s issue, starring one thin model of colour.

Covers & Content Annual Review 2016, Part 2: FASHION

The 2016 publishing year is over for our three favourite Canadian fashion magazines, so it’s time to look back on every issue printed this year by Elle Canada, Fashion, and Flare, to see how diverse they were overall compared to last year. Up next is FASHION!

For a review of the Covers & Content project, please check out the FAQ page here.

Closet Feminist Terminology

Whiteout Issue: an issue of a fashion magazine where neither the cover star nor models booked/used for any of the major editorials are people of colour.

Token Diversity Spread: When a fashion magazine books/uses an ensemble of models, including some models of colour or models representing other minorities in the fashion world (i.e., plus size models or visibly older models), but are careful not to allow the minorities chosen to make up the majority of the spread or the majority of models chosen.

Has FASHION improved at all over the years? Check out our data from the last three years.

FASHION 2013 Annual Review

FASHION 2014 Annual Review

FASHION 2015 Annual Review

Did you miss Part 1 of our 2016 review focused on Elle Canada? Check it out here.

***

FASHION is such an odd magazine. It is by far and away the most popular Canadian fashion magazine, arguably featuring the more “aspirational” aspects of a traditional fashion magazine. As such, the content is usually quite dry and conservative. The reporting is a snooze, with the exception of the cover stories which are done by Elio Iannacci (whose feminist reporting and engaging interviews are a CF favourite).

This year, FASHION remained somewhat of an enigma. On the one hand, FASHION came out on top with the most issues featuring a woman of colour on the cover. On the other hand, it tied with Elle Canada for the most Whiteout Issues, which indicates the issues were either super awesome and diverse, or bizarrely whitewashed.

FASHION also stands out in 2016 for publishing two issues featuring an Asian woman on the cover (Soo Joo Park and Michelle Phan)–neither Elle Canada nor Flare managed to publish even one issue with an Asian woman on the cover, though they did publish issues with mixed race women.

That being said, FASHION is also unique in that it is the only Canadian fashion magazine this year that did not have a black woman on the cover solo. Elle Canada had Beyoncé, and Flare had Herieth Paul exclusively. Normani Kordei shared a cover with the rest of Fifth Harmony in the Summer issue of FASHION.

And now for the month-by-month breakdown!

JANUARY

FASHION does Winter issues, covering December/January. As such, the January issue of 2016 features the same data as their December 2015 issue. Chiara Ferragni was on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial in the December 2015/January 2016 issue of FASHION, and it starred one thin, white model. The editorial featured a racist collection, rather adding insult to injury considering this issue of FASHION was a Whiteout Issue.

FEBRUARY

Above: Natalie Dormer in the Feb 2016 issue of FASHION

The February issue was also a Whiteout Issue, starring Natalie Dormer on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial in this issue starring one thin, white model.

MARCH

For a third month in a row, FASHION produced a Whiteout Issue. Olivia Palermo was on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial in this issue starring one thin, white model.

APRIL

Finally, FASHION showed a little bit of diversity on their pages with Soo Joo Park on the cover (image from the shoot below).

There was one fashion editorial in this issue starring one thin, white model.

MAY

Olivia Munn was on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial in this issue starring one thin, white model.

JUNE/JULY

Fifth Harmony was on the cover of the Summer issue (covering June and July 2016), comprised of Dinah Jane Hansen, Ally Brooke Hernandez, Normani Kordei, Camila Cabello, and Lauren Jauregui.

There was one fashion editorial this month, starring one thin, white model.

AUGUST

Michelle Phan was on the cover.

Above: from the August 2016 issue of FASHION

There was one fashion editorial in this issue starring one thin, mixed-race model.

SEPTEMBER 

Karlie Kloss was the cover star of a boring Joe Fresh advertorial.

There are two fashion editorials in this issue. The first stars one thin, white model. The second stars Canadian mixed-race model Mackenzie Hamilton.

OCTOBER

Kate Bosworth was on the cover.

There was one fashion editorial this month, starring one thin, white model. This means that the October issue of FASHION was a Whiteout Issue.

NOVEMBER

Tatiana Maslany was on the cover.

Above: from FASHION November 2016

There were two fashion editorials in this issue. One starred one thin, white model. The second starred one thin model of colour.

DECEMBER

Above: from the FASHION Winter 2016 cover story

The December (and the January 2017 issue of FASHION) issue starred Hailee Steinfeld on the cover.

There were  two fashion editorials in this issue. One starred a thin, white model, and the second one starred one thin Latina/mixed race model.

Stella Jean: “I want to create new and unexpected cultural messages”

The Fall 2016 Stella Jean collection (example below found here) made me a little nervous for reasons mentioned on The CF’s Pinterest. Still, I’m always inspired by her thoughtful, conscientious creative process and the politics that go into her designs. I read an interview with her from last year and it got me pondering and contemplating all over again.

StellaJean_Fall2016

And while being part of a multiracial family in Italy in the Eighties not only shaped me as a person, but also inspired my professional path, however, it has been neither simple nor painless.  Actually, my cultural background made it harder for me to find an identity. As I am the result of a mix of different cultures and races that could appear completely opposed, but I want to promote a sophisticated and alternative multiculturalism through fashion. Blending traditions that are so distant.  I want to create new and unexpected cultural messages. Fashion gives me ample space to maneuver and find a place where both of these cultures can coexist. This weak point has become both a strength and a fresh start.’

– Stella Jean in an interview with The Fashion Plate Magazine here

I Wore Feminist T-shirts 7 Days In A Row…And Everything Was Fine

This is what a feminist looks like–literally.

This past summer I decided to try a little wardrobe challenge: wear a feminist t-shirt every day for seven days in a row.

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

Luckily, I happen to actually own seven feminist shirts (yay no repeats!). My biggest worry about this challenge was wearing these outfits to work–wearing a band tshirt to the office felt like one thing, but wearing my political and philosophical beliefs on my sleeve 9-5 seemed like an entirely different affair.

There was some strategy for this–I was careful to wear my more wild shirts for the weekends, like the VDAY tank I wore on the first day of the challenge (see first picture above).

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

I had actually been planning to do this challenge for a while, but was waiting for a stretch of warm, sunny weather–it would have to happen during the summer. My rationale here was I wanted people to actually see my shirts. If I had done the challenge during colder months, I would probably cover up the shirts with sweaters and cardigans in effort to stay warm, which rather defeats the purpose. Plus, practically speaking, its wayyyyy easier to take outfit pics when its not freezing outside.

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

I admit, I was a little nervous about how people would react in my day-to-day life. I’m happy to report though that absolutely nothing bad happened at all. Nobody even questioned me (“soooo feminism, eh?”).  I get tired of answering the “why feminism?” question, so largely, I just don’t do that anymore–I leave that up to my allies. Wearing the shirts was a quick, easy way to signal (as if its not already obvious) ‘hey I’m a feminist’.

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

I’m assuming that no one talked to me about my shirts for a few reasons:

  1. I’m always dressed up. Wearing a colourful outfit and fun tshirt that happens to be relevant to feminism really doesn’t change my general wardrobe aesthetic
  2. They couldn’t be bothered–in talking to me, it’s obvious I’m a feminist–what difference does it make if I have a shirt on that declares it? It’s like wearing a religious jewellery, like a cross necklace. It indicates part of your identity, but most people aren’t going to bother to ask you about it.
  3. The privileges I enjoy (visibly mixed race, thin, cisgendered, etc) tend to effectively guard against any particularly invasive questions with regards to my wardrobe

 

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

Since all was fine, I’m thinking I will do it again this summer (different outfits, naturally). If I’m being honest, I only actually enjoy wearing a few of these shirts–the others are uncomfortable, don’t fit right, etc–specific notes below.

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

 

  1. I Love <3 My Vagina tank – got this at an actual Vagina Monologues performance years ago, so I can’t offer any current purchase details. I looove this tank top, fits so nicely. Wear it often as a pajama top.
  2. Women In History tshirt – I love this tshirt! I especially love how diverse it is, and where else would you see these women being honoured in such a fashion? You can buy it here, but they only ship within the US (boooo!)–I was only able to get mine via my girl ST who lives in the states right now. I will say though–it fits really long and covers my butt which is kinda annoying
  3. …And I’m Not Sorry tank- this one was made for me by my sister-in-law! I love it, and wear it often on the weekends (the super-thin straps make it a little unprofesh for work and necessitates layering). It’s about taking up space and not being sorry of course.
  4. Women Belong In the House…of Commons! tshirt – I’ve had this one for years, and while I think the graphic is clever/awesome, I hate the fit–its that thick, ribbed cotton tshirt material that bags easily after too many washes.
  5. feminism tshirt – While I love the simplicity of the statement, this shirt also fits poorly–too small, so its rather uncomfortable. Also, it says ‘humanism’ on the back which I didn’t picture because I don’t like that aspect of the tshirt–I’m a feminist, and don’t identify with humanism.
  6. Feminism tshirt – This one is so comfy, plus I really like it because it is made by Only Child Apparel, which is a local, Vancouver-based line!!! Also, this was probably my favourite outfit of the week.
  7. got consent? tank – This one, like shirt #4 is that unfortunate fabric. Also, it has shrunk over the years so it doesn’t fit well–neckline is too high for my taste, and its short on my torso. I got this while I was at UBC while I was working for the campus sexual assault support centre, but it looks like they are no longer for purchase.

BONUS: Looking for other awesome places to find feminist tshirts? Check out the list I have going here.

Homage vs. Outright Racism in Fashion: The Case of the Maison Kitsuné Pre-Fall 2016 Collection

maison-kitsune-pre-fall-2016-lookbook-09

I’d like to make a distinction between an homage or the general idea of “taking inspiration from” versus racism and cultural appropriation in fashion.

Take the case of the recently-released Pre-Fall 2016 collection of Maison Kitsuné, a design house helmed by Gildas Loaëc. According to Vogue Runway reviewer Amy Verner, the collection is inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s film The Wind Rises:

“Maison Kitsuné’s Pre-Fall and men’s collections once again shared the same source material: Hayao Miyazaki’s film The Wind Rises. It’s a resourceful tactic that also presents well in stores, especially when couples decide they want matching Mount Fuji sweaters.”

Amazing/awesome/totally fantastic idea right? Except….no. Maison Kitsuné’s execution of this “inspiration” was laughable at best, and plain racist at worst.

maison-kitsune-pre-fall-2016-lookbook-04 maison-kitsune-pre-fall-2016-lookbook-22 maison-kitsune-pre-fall-2016-lookbook-11

The Pre-Fall lookbook had the model of choice–a white woman–sporting bright dots of pink blush no doubt winking at both the stylized illustrations of anime and Geisha makeup whilst posing in camouflage, sweaters festooned by prints of Mt. Fuji, and even geta. She’s seen waving about the Japanese flag, flying toy airplanes with blissful naiveté, and painting pictures of apparently nothing at all.

There are two things particularly egregious about this Maison Kitsuné collection.

maison-kitsune-menswear-fall-2016-lookbook-21

First, they actually did manage to book an Asian model for their Pre-Fall 2016 Men‘s collection lookbook–so why not for the women’s lookbook? Also, as you can see, he’s not sporting caricatured makeup like the model in the woman’s lookbook.

maison-kitsune-pre-fall-2016-lookbook-18

Secondly, we’ve seen very strong collections inspired by anime, Japanese culture, and Miyazaki’s work specifically. I suggested that the Comme des Garçons Spring ’16 collection was inspired by Howl’s Moving Castle, and there is nary a wooden sandal or grossly overused and abused Japanese art print in sight. As such, this collection is just plain l-a-z-y and kinda gross to be honest.

MaisonKitsune_Fall2014

The worst part is, is I actually like Maison Kitsuné designs usually. Take the look from their Fall 2014 collection above. This is pretty much what I wear every day, especially the white tights (no for real, this is actually my uniform). To add insult to injury, the Fall 2014 collection above was modeled by Yumi Lambert–who is actually of Japanese descent. So it’s not even like Maison Kitsuné could claim the ignorance of  not knowing any Japanese or Asian models….

maison-kitsune-pre-fall-2016-lookbook-17

Really though, looking at this Maison Kitsuné collection, you can see how garrish, surface-level, and cheaply stereotypical it is compared to collections arguably based on a similar concept that are true works of art. Gildas Loaëc shame on you–quit while you’re really not ahead, and go learn from a master like Rei Kawakubo.

BONUS READING

Did the SP 16 Comme des Garçons collection remind you of Howl’s Moving Castle, Too?

Valentino’s Pre-Fall 2016 Collection Had An Uncomfortable Amount of “Borrowing”

Olympia Le-Tan’s Spring 2016 Show x Japanese Cultural Appropriation

I’m Ready for a New Conversation on Fashion & Cultural Appropriation.

 

 

All pictures from Vogue Runway here, here, and here.

 

 

 

 

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