(Photo by Kristi and Scot Redman)

Controversy for Karl Lagerfeld over Chanel Headdresses in Dallas?

The latest installment in inappropriate Native American-inspired attire.

We’ve been down this road before. Victoria’s Secret sends a model down the runway in a headdress. Outrage, apologies, revisions to the national telecast. H&M sells hipster headdresses. Outrage, apologies, items removed. Nicole Richie wears headdress, posts photo on Instagram. Outrage. Karl Lagerfeld sends models down the runway in headdresses for the finale of Chanel’s fashion show in Dallas Tuesday night. Cue outrage? Not really. In Dallas itself, not only has there been no outrage, but there’s also been little to no discussion. FD Luxe’s recap didn’t mention them, nothing from Paper City either, and we did but didn’t swim into the controversial waters. Nationally, there’s been talk. Huffington PostNew York, etc. Were we all just too grateful that the fashion show of fashion shows had graced our fair city with its presence? I sure hope not.

(Photo by Kristi and Scot Redman)
(Headdress #2. Photo by Kristi and Scot Redman)

When the first of the two headdress-donning models appeared Tuesday night, the more modest of the two, my mind didn’t dart to outrage. When the second appeared, the look with the floor-length headdress, so long that the model held the two flaps in place behind her back while walking, again, I wasn’t fuming. Headdresses are beautiful, and Lagerfeld’s versions were especially so, but they’re not fashion pieces. Or shouldn’t be. Still, the reason my mind didn’t go there was because I was already puzzled. Puzzled and intrigued and perhaps even slightly overwhelmed. The show was stunning, the music loud and tribal, the models beautiful, even the one with the funny, stomping walk who wore the sheer skirt and no underwear. But I was more amazed by what had already come: the barnyard, honky-tonk setting; the Native American-inspired face-paint makeup; the hair feathers; the toy gun carried by Lagerfeld’s godson. I was hoping for a beautiful, tasteful collection, and there were certainly elements of that. But this was not what would ever appear in Paris, New York, or Milan. This was Texas, and we were getting a Chanel fashion show in Texas. No one would let us forget that. But last time I checked, we don’t wear headdresses around these parts. Or face paint. Or boots 365 days a year. Dallasites are kind, respectful people. The show, for the most part, reflected that. But the headdresses didn’t belong. Not here. Not anywhere.


  • WmBTravis

    In a town that loves controversy but with an electric World-Class-City inferiority complex — chill. Look at the gold coinage of the early 20th century; our beaux-art minting of American beauty. It worked then, and it works now.

  • GlennTheHunter

    Have to disagree, Cristina. As I understand it the whole show was a fun, over-the-top take on the cowboys/Indians/country-and-western motif, as interpreted with affection by some European fashion elites. Maybe some of it was cornball, too. But why in the world should Native American headresses be considered off-limits in such a spectacle? Seems like another faux controversy trumped up by the PC-police types, who really should consider doing something productive.

  • David Burrows

    I guess being overly PC is the ‘new black’. Oh no.. here comes John Wiley.

  • no_really

    This is so predictable. It’s art. It’s an homage. It’s an exaggeration of Dallas stereotypes and Cowboys & Indians-culture. NO, we don’t wear headdresses (though some of us DO wear boots all year!), but this is fantasy. It’s KARL. I don’t want him to be safe or politically correct, OK?

  • Susan Anderson

    Feather headdress do not belong to the Indian culture alone. I thought it was a beautiful touch. Wild west yes had Indians etc but to be critical is a little lame…it was a beautiful show and Chanel brought excitement and drama to Dallas…. check this out for some enlightenment …http://avalon-medieval.blogspot.com/2013/07/did-only-native-americans-wear.html

    • BvK1126

      Actually, the precise type of feather headdresses (more accurately, war bonnets) that Lagerfeld was mimicking in his show were worn exclusively by Plains Indian tribes. Not only that, they were worn only for very specific and important religious and ceremonial occasions. In that sense, the kind of headdress on display in this show DOES belong to the Indian culture alone. Check this out for some enlightenment: http://nativeappropriations.com/2010/04/but-why-cant-i-wear-a-hipster-headdress.html

  • Daily Reader

    I wholeheartedly agree with you Cristina. As much as Native American regalia is copied, I certainly hope that each of the designers makes a generous donation to a deserving organization such as the Native American Scholarship Fund.

  • H.E

    Dallas is not a world class city, never has, never will be. Dallas couldn’t spot real fashion if it punched you in the face. I do believe Ms. Daglas is right on the money. Why was Dallas the only area where there was no outrage or apologies? Obviously,they are probably looking at this and saying, Dallas was the only place Chanel could do this type of show and not catch flack for it. Only in Dallas would they see it as a “fun, and over the top take on fashion”. My hunch is people that know real fashion left that show saying “that was not a fashion show”.

    Whatever way you want to look at, wearing a headdress is offensive, even though it may not look like that, it is. Cover it up with some Chanel and all is good. You are not paying homage to the Native Americans. Those headdresses were worn by chiefs of tribes. They have meaning, status, tradition, and history embedded in them. Do I need to make a reference to the Washington Redskins?

    These comments are disturbing to read. Let me guess, all of you are homegrown Texans, own cowboy boots, and have never traveled outside of Texas in your Chevrolet Silverado (worst commercials ever by the way). What is wrong with being politically correct? Did you all vote for George W too? Oh no,someone who values equality and respect, has seen and understands different cultures. This is what is wrong with the world these days, people with narrow-minded views and no respect. It is sad for Texas, and sad for society.

  • Roger Diamond

    Finally someone gets it!

  • No_really

    No, I was born in the Midwest and only moved to Dallas a few years ago. I didn’t vote for W. I’ve been a democrat my whole life. Not sure what that has to do with my taste in art or fashion, anyway. But, go on.