UCD Fashion Show producer defends use of just two black people in Black Civil Rights section

By Stephen Keegan

Credit: UCD Fashion Show

The producer of this year’s UCD Fashion Show has come to its defence after the Black Civil Rights Fashion section of the show only featured two black models.

Photos of the section posted to Twitter and Facebook that attracted negative comments were “a bad choice,” producer Dave Finneran said.

On Twitter, former UCD Politics and Economics student Nicholas Ndlovu wrote:

“UCD Fashion show put up a picture of their black civil rights section- featuring not one, but a whole TWO black people what a fucking joke.”

In a statement to The College View, Finneran said: “The Show was a celebration of social change movements. White people should celebrate the black civil rights movement and also look to it for inspiration. They shouldn’t be prioritised for casting for it and weren’t, I can assure you.”

In addition, Finneran stated: “we did have a diverse cast for the different sections of the Show.”

The Black Civil Rights feature began with a white model, which the University Observer’s Otwo magazine’s writer Shane Cullen said: “at first to a confused audience seemed odd… (but) it indicated the show’s inclusion of a range of cultures and ethnicities.”

While the segment focused on the fashion of the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s and 70’s, a number of parallels were made to the present day Black Lives Matter movement.

Footage of Donald Trump and protests played behind the models and a performance by Newbridge hip-hop artist JyellowL followed the feature – he covered Somali-Canadian rapper K’naan’s “Immigrants (We’re getting the job done)”.

The suffragette movement and the LGBTQ+ Pride movement were amongst the other social change movements featured in the show.

This year’s UCD Fashion show was held on the 15th and 16th of February in UCD’s Astra Hall. This year was the show’s 30th year in production and proceeds from the night went to youth mental health charity Jigsaw.

Stephen Keegan 

Image Credit: UCD Fashion Show