Thursday, 3 April 2008

Ethnic dressing

Back in the seventies I was responsible for the overseas marketing of a range of home dyes manufactured by a small company in London, and we had the idea of running a campaign based on a photograph of some models from around the world wearing clothes made using our products.
I forget the names of most of the models, but the one wearing the silk batik sari was Persis Khambatta, a Parsi who had been Miss India at the age of 15 and later, with shaven head, played the part of Lieutenant Ilia in Star Trek: the Motion Picture; sadly, she never really achieved stardom in Hollywood or in Indian films, and died from a heart attack in 1998.

Those were days of (relative) innocence and simplicity in advertising and this photograph was a fairly banal concept. Nowadays we might have done it with a little more wit by changing round the clothes, with the Nigerian girl wearing the sari, the big Canadian redhead in the tie-dyed dress and head-dress, the blonde in the kimono, the girl from Tokyo in the green stockings, and Persis in the peaked cap.

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