Blog: Champagne is the new nude

Joe Ayling | 24 May 2010

The description of garments as being 'nude' is facing the scrapheap as designers realise it simply doesn't do the job.

The phrase, commonly used to describe the Champagne colour often used for dresses, obviously only appears as 'nude' on just a few skin colours, and is therefore racially-biased.

However, it took the exposure of Michelle Obama's latest frock - described by designers as nude - to show that when worn by an African American, the dress is clearly not nude.

The matter has raised the attention of international press, and could prompt a change in terminology.

As the debate unfolds, and whether use of the word ends up being termed racist or not, one certainty is that the word Champagne does a far better job.

You can't, for instance, have a colour, like nude, that by definition changes colour depending on who wears it.

Although this might not prove to be her grandest achievement in Washington, with very little intention the first lady has certainly opened people's eyes a little wider.


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