Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Our Diggers



The use of medals in New Zealand designer Kate Sylvester’s SAFW show this morning has caused an up roar "This demeans the whole purpose of the commemoration of Anzac Day," the national secretary of the RSL, Derek Robson said this afternoon in the Sydney Morning Herald.

This is a tough one – fashion week personnel have retaliated that Sylvester would be “devastated if people said there was a lack of respect."

I’m as true blue as they can get and although I don’t find it particularly disrespectful I can see where our servicemen are coming from. I could imagine Kate would have spent under 30 seconds considering all of the above when putting her collection together and I took more of “An Officer and a Gentlemen” inspiration over a Gallipoli theme from the show. None the less she has caused a stir and so close to Anzac Day the timing is truly unfortunate.

Your Thoughts?

9 people have commented:

Beau in Boston said...

I'll admit, the timing is not that great, and there could have been a few subtle things she could have done to avoid controversy.. Like designing her own medals rather than copying current models, and placing them in other strategic positions on the outfit. But there goes all your free publicity.

Disrespectful? No. What I think is disrespectful is every RSL in the country being a cash cow for gambling powerhouses like Aristocrat, chock-a-block with pokies squeezing every last penny out of honoured veterans.

This could be Ms Sylvester's way of honouring ANZAC heroes in one of the biggest arenas in her chosen profession. Did anyone even bother to ask her?

Kim said...

She sould be glad it wasn't something against Muslim, otherwise she'd be second on the list after Salmon Rushdie

London_Dude said...

Just out of curiosity. Does anyone know of a designer incorporating religious symbols in their show?

susie_bubble said...

Disrespectful and offensive? Not really...
A little tactless...perhaps.... still, I'm liking the clothes....

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Rachel said...

I'm all for telling a story through fashion, but I tend to think the use of these particular medals was poorly thought out. I think given the current climate, and that Australia has just lost a digger in Afghanistan (another badly timed coincidence), that this could have been themed somewhat differently. It's not like she was doing a protest of war or sending any kind of pro- or anti-war message (a la Viv Westwood), so in that regard I think she has trivialised the heroics involved in getting the medals she splashed across the chests in her show. But I think it was an innocent mistake.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it was not the designer's intent to be disrespectful, and in fact, may have been her attempt to honour ANZAC Day within her profession...however if it leads to the wearing of war medals by fashionistas young enough not to comprehend the meaning of them, let alone stop to think (has been spied here in Oz) then that is disrespectful.

Especially seeming as in some cases the owners of authentic medals earned literally through blood, sweat and tears were spat on for wearing theirs with pride once upon a time.

London_dude said...

I don't think it's a big deal, consdering they were not even the real stuff.
What about the army surplus stores, I've seen one in Camden that sells everything from a beret to a medal on its case

Anonymous said...

The fact that two of the models are wearing the medals on the left side of the chest shows ignorance in itself. If you earned the medals you can wear them on the left side of your chest. If you are wearing the medals someone else earned you wear them on the right side of your chest. I am fairly sure you can be court marshalled if you are a member of the armed forces and you wear medals on the incorrect side (therefore holding yourself out to have earned the medals). The 1000s of ANZACs who died at Gallipoli would probably care about that. It appears a fairly thinly veiled publicity stunt to me.