It was a moment that I didn’t see coming whilst I sat through the Lisa Blue spring 2011 catwalk at Australian fashion week, but the swimsuit below fast became the most popular photo on our publication. And it still is. Not because it’s the most loved 2011 swimsuit, anything but. Instead it’s the swimsuit that caused the most outrage, resulting in hundreds of abusive comments being left on Fashionising.com.
The swimsuit, as you can see, features a print representation of Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess. Visual representations of deities are nothing new, when applied to swimwear though, they can certainly provoke an emotional reaction. And provoke this one-piece did. Since the image ran on Fashionising.com our editors have been filtering out hundreds of comments about the piece, none of them pleasant. Largely aimed at the label and its designer Lisa Burke, they’ve ranged from statements of concern to mild slurs, and at the other end of the spectrum have also included curses and all out death threats.
For their part, the Lisa Blue label has apologised for using the image of the Goddess Lakshmi in such a way. They have also confirmed that the swimsuit that has caused the outrage will be removed from their spring 2011 collection and shall never be produced or offered up for sale.
The full Lisa Blue collection from this year’s RAFW can be seen by clicking on the associated thumbnails and browsing through the photo gallery.