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You’re a designer, and you have a very important fashion show to prepare for and you’re thinking about inspiration. Old Hollywood? It’s been done. The ’70s? Everyone is doing that. 

DSquared faced this very difficult conundrum and had an idea for their recent show at Milan Fashion Week: “Squaws.”

A “Squaw” is an indigenous woman of North America, but it’s also a term that is plagued with controversy.

Let’s take a look at #DSquaw. Here’s how Dean and Dan Catan describe their vision:

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The collection is considered a play on contrasts between colonizers (British) and colonized (natives). In this play, Dean and Dan believe the collection evokes the “enchantment of Canadian Indian tribes” and the “confident attitude of the British aristocracy.”

So, if DSquared wanted to evoke the “enchantment of Canadian tribes,” let’s take a look at some “Squaw” facts to see if that description really makes sense at all:

 “Squaw” Facts: In 1882, Lt. James W. Steele wrote in his memoirs of the “universal squaw – squat, angular, pig-eyed, ragged, wretched and insect-haunted.”

DSquared

“Squaw” Facts: Even in 1826, the view of squaw women was not a flattering depiction. In James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, indigenous women were referred to as “the crafty squaw…the squalid and withered person this hag.”

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“Squaw” Facts: The term is so controversial, Oxford English, Miriam-Webster and American Heritage dictionaries warn about its place as a derogatory word.

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