After watching the recently released short documentary “The Colour of Beauty” – a view on ethnicity models within the Fashion Industry – I caught up with Director, Elizabeth St. Philip, a Medical TV Show producer by day and film director by night, to discuss her approach on this documentary and her interest on the question.
The Color of Beauty marks Elizabeth second documentary, the first one was “Breakin’ In” in which she followed three girls/hip hop dancers, to uncover their respective lives outside the hip hop industry. In “The Color of Beauty”, she raises questions on the lack of diversity in the Fashion industry. “The world is a rainbow of colors and ethnicity, so why are the runways reflecting this vision of all white uniformity?” she says, when I asked her why she picked this subject.
Was there ever more diversity in the Fashion industry? Why is there a form of tokenism when it comes to ethnic models? Find out after the jump with an Exclusive Video of Elizabeth elaborating on the matter.
“I did a lot of research on the question, we spent a day and half with Renee in new York City, following her to as many castings as possible – during my vacations -, talking to a lot of industry insiders to present the issue from a model’s perspective.” Elizabeth was relentless to get the story out, and to make people think.
This begs to ask why there is still such a small representation of ethnicity in the Fashion industry, as if the runways couldn’t contain more than one Top black model. “There were more black models in the 70′s, and now the “no-demand” line keeps coming back and only few are anointed and used over and over again, i.e.: Naomi and Tyson…everyone is pointing the finger, but no one seems to have the answer.”
Below, a short clip of Elizabeth talking about The Color of Beauty with NFB.
This short documentary only last 17 minutes, but the industry will need more time to really come around this notion of ethnic beauty. The Color of Beauty may not bring the answer, but it certainly takes the viewer into a world of Fashion beyond the collections, the labels and the frills.
“With The Colour of Beauty, I just wanted to present the issue, raise questions and talk about it. And I would love to do a longer version on a worldwide basis, to touch on every ethnicity”.
We look forward to what she will cook up next, until then, let’s keep the debate going.