Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fijian or Aztec design?

from w
It's obvious to Pacific Island people that the design is Fijian yet the fashion designer called it 'Aztec' and the dress sells for $700F. Hmmm. Appropriation isn't something new.  Look how Ausralian Aboriginal motifs have been used for years on tablecloths, tea-towels, etc.

 August 7, 2013  Posted by  at 5:55 am Current AffairsMatilda's BlogPacificUncategorized Add comments
The Aztec dress in question
The Aztec dress featured on Nanette’s website
A well known New York fashion designer, came under a slew of criticisms on her Facebook Page after passing off her new line of clothing which had designs that bore striking similarities to the native iTaukei masi/tapa designs for an Aztec dress.
Apologising on her Facebook Page with a note said simply:”I am truly sorry for misnaming the Aztec Dress. I respect local artists everywhere and I apologize for any offense this has caused”  did little to calm the fury that erupted from a number of Fijians slamming the designer for mis appropriately passing  off their cultural designs for another culture .
Nanette Lapore’s apology came a day  after various Fijians such as Hibiscus Queen Drue Slater who  raised the issue on her Facebook Page. “Miss Nanette Lepore, I understand there are often overlapping motifs and designs throughout cultures worldwide, especially since the world is now more connected then ever before. However, the so – called Aztec Linen Dress you have going more than $FJD 700 is misappropriation of traditional tapa designs and I hope that you will take note of the outcry from Fijians everywhere and give credit where credit is due, as well as acknowledge this exploitation of our intellectual property,” posted Ms Drue on the Designer’s Page.
Also in the mix was the Fiji’s fashion keeper, Fiji Fashion Week stating that it stood by the indigenous people of Fiji and the Pacific who owned these Masi/ Tapa designs and expressed their disappointment “at the blatant disregard for the intellectual  property rights portrayed by Nannnette Lepore.” FJFW added that it hopes Ms Lepore will acknowledge the source of these designs.
A Kalisiana Buliruarua further posted:Like many Fijians around the world, I was deeply offended by the misappropriation of our masi patterns in your piece ‘Aztec Linen Dress.” There are similarities between some Aztec and Fijian motifs however to any Fijian person, traditional masi designs are instantly recognizable. Please understand our concern and take time to make it known that these patterns are actually Fijian.”
The dress in question is a printed polyester dress featuring a V-neckline and darts at front and back and had a Made in New York label. It’s sold at US$398.
Fijian or Aztec, it’s not known exactly how Ms Lepore came about the prints of her dress. A Faraaz Mustapha further posted on the designer’s page calling on the complainers to do their research. “To all “Fijians” claiming their Tapa/ Masi designs are stolen by this company, take some time and do a mild research. You will see great similarities between Aztec art and the art of the Fijian Masi/Tapa. I feel there is no real infringement on cultural heritage. And if it is, it will only go to the Aztec people, since they are referenced in it. This bickering is like fighting who made the first spear.”
We  let you decide. Put forth here are photos of the Aztec and Fijian designs along with the print designs on the dress.

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