V Style: Is Blackface the New Black?

Lifestyle

By: John Kennedy / November 3, 2009

First Vogue Paris, then Trya Banks’ America’s Next Top Model and now V magazine. It seems one of the biggest trends in fashion these days has nothing to do with the clothes and everything to do with the models–specifically painting them black.

V magazine is just the latest in a group of offenders to pull out the black body paint. For their December issue, Mario Sorrenti photographed Sasha Pivovarova and Heidi Mount. The two natural blonds are seen pulling on each others hair in some sort of erotic slap down.

With its roots in Vaudeville Theatre, the blackface tradition is steeped in racism, which begs the question of why the fashion industry is so enamored with the antiquated device. Can’t they find an actual dark skinned model for the shoot? Was Chanel Iman on vacation? –Adrien Field