May 10, 2010
By WGSN Insider
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I like her shoes!
LOVE the first look! so good 🙂
Using the word “tribal” to describe materialistic entities such as clothes is just as irksome as the words “native” and “primitive,” that are often ubiquitous in the descriptions of primarily Western-made clothing. The word tribal essentially supports the whole idea of “exotic,” or rather anything that appears vaguely non-Western as something that is different, or even inherently primitive. I am a big fan of this blog, and frequent it weekly, however this post and title underlines the Eurocentrism that often plagues our society. I don’t mean to start any rants, but this is just my opinion.
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.
Many anthropologists use the term to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups (see clan and kinship).
Some theorists hold that tribes represent a stage in social evolution intermediate between bands and states. Other theorists argue that tribes developed after, and must be understood in terms of their relationship to, states. Some criticize its connotations as a way of attaching “backwardness” and the racist notion of primitive since the term “tribe” is largely used to describe non-White peoples.
*edit: replace entities with objects
Gobseck–purely curious, but given your feelings, how exactly would you choose to describe these fashions instead? I know words like “tribal” and “native” are touchy, and for good reason more often than not, but that tends to leave a gap in fashion terminology that I wonder how best to fill?
They all look really cool and each with there style. Always like coming back to your blog.
I suppose the word “geometric” could be used instead – it’s a feature of “tribal”-like patterns.
I really like the first outfit!
Maybe you can follow my blog?
Although I do thoroughly enjoy fashion, I’m not sure if using words that may conjure such strong sentiments should be used solely to fill a void in fashion terminology. As Keevy said, the word geometric could effectively replace the word “tribal.”
I’m in no way suggesting that the term “tribal” should be kept merely to fill that void, I’m just asking: what do we call them instead? I agree that geometric seems like a decent option. Would you say it’s acceptable to refer to them as specific prints or techniques, like Ikat or Batik, or is that still not PC enough?
I agree. “Tribal” was the most apt and general phrase to use to describe these 4 vastly different prints. While “batik” would be accurate for the first look, the second is a screen-printed knit (in a tribal vein), the third is obviously stripes which are not tribal but complement the other prints, and the fourth is a jacquard woven with an ethnic-inspired print. Calling them “geometric” for the sake of being PC is not accurate and using a more specific phrase like “batik” or “ikat” (the latter of which there are none in these 4 examples) would be further misleading.
My Moonie you rock !!
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