Crystal Renn Tapes Eyes for Vogue Japan - Racially Insensitive?

Classic Hollywood stars like Marlene Dietrich used tape on their faces to fake a younger appearance. But did Vogue Japan go too far by using tape to give model Crystal Renn an Asian-style, almond-shaped eye?

A behind-the-scenes video of Renn's Dolce & Gabbana-focused shoot for the magazine—styled by none other than Anna Dello Russo—shows makeup artist Jessica Nezda applying tape to the sides of her eyes, creating a slanted appearance in a nod, we presume, to the tome's Asian audience.

So, is the makeup trick a harmless homage, or offensive mimicry akin to "blackface"? It's not uncommon to see models sporting severe flicks of eyeliner in Asian-inspired fashion spreads, but the overt use of the tape takes things a step further. And, as fabulous as Renn is, it also begs the question of why Vogue Japan (which surely has no shortage of Asian beauties in its Rolodex) didn't hire, say, Ming Xi if it wanted a model with Asiatic features?

It's not the first time fashion has been accused of insensitive portrayals of Asians. Two years ago Karl Lagerfeld drew complaints after it emerged that he used "yellow face" makeup on Caucasian models to make them look Chinese in a short film for Chanel.

If nothing else, hopefully Renn's shoot will start a dialogue about where the line between "celebration" and "mockery" gets drawn. Who knew fashion could be this deep?

For more style controversy, check out the war of words between Lady Gaga and Cathy Horyn.