Nobody was happy to hear Leslie Jones had a tough time finding someone to dress her for the premiere of Ghostbusters earlier this month. And though we’re happy Christian Siriano finally stepped up to the plate — and there’s no denying Jones looked a-mazing in that red dress with the thigh-high split– we can’t help but ask, was this a missed opportunity for a designer of color? Reco Chapple thinks so.
The founder of the House of Chapple took to Instagram to relay his frustrations as a black man in the fashion world and suggested the comedian should’ve sought out a black designer once it became clear the household names in the fashion industry weren’t checking for her.
As respectful and insightful as Chapple was, that didn’t stop some from taking too many liberties with his words and accusing him of being overly critical of the SNL star, which prompted this response.
When I read Chapple’s first post I thought, he has a good point. Because of Hollywood’s fickle “it today, no one tomorrow” nature, everyone trying to climb tinsel town’s ladder to success wants to be included among the best of the best, and, unfortunately, in the fashion world, that means aligning one’s self with the most coveted (white) designers. While I don’t fault Jones for following suit, some aren’t being as forgiving.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, a number of stylists said Jones had no one to blame but herself for her lack of options for the movie premiere:
“This is nobody’s fault except Leslie’s,” said stylist Jessica Paster, who works with non-sample size Nia Vardalos, as well as Emily Blunt, Olivia Munn and Miranda Kerr. “She should have known four to five months ago the date of premiere, and said, ‘I’m not a sample size, I need to go to designers early or buy myself a dress.’ Don’t be blaming designers and saying they don’t like you.”
Mmm maybe Paster, but funny how Siriano was able to make magic at the last minute. Wouldn’t it reason that other designers could do the same — if they actually wanted to? And that’s what brings us back to the question of black designers. While it goes without saying designers of color could’ve done themselves (and Jones) a favor by proactively reaching out to the comedian about dressing her, it’s also valid to encourage Jones to seek out designers of color exclusively. Given the troubles she’s had with the fashion and social media world, doing so would be a win all around. What do you think?