Normally, Riga Fashion Week would be way beyond my sphere of interest -- babes on the edge of anorexia strutting down runways in far-out outfits you never see on the street or in offices (although Latvian women generally dress well). Good for them and on to the next subject...
But wait, it now seems that the organizers of Riga Fashion Week have expelled Agnese Kleina, a fashion blogger, journalist and editor of the magazine Deko (which is all about fashion, design, style and all that stuff). Agnese, it seems, criticized the poster for the event. I mean, that is what fashion/design/style journalists do, isn't it? They tell the rest of us why they think something is well designed or in good or bad taste, sort of like film critics write about movies and food critics about restaurants. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and seldom is there just one viewpoint. Take the film Amaya (a film shot in Hong Kong by a Latvian director who works in Lithuania). Some critics thought it was great. I saw it and I would give it five WTF?s (I found myself thinking those words at least five times, starting with when the camera panned down to actress Kristīne Nevarauska's legs so as not to show that she was not voicing the accented English lines she was supposed to be saying). So should I now be expelled from Latvian movie houses?
What makes the case of Agnese Kleina even stranger is that when she was declined accreditation by the organizers of the event, she went there as the personal guest of one of her favorite designers, just to see her show off her collection. Even so, she was escorted out of the event by security people. WTF? How about the right of a participant and exhibitor to invite whomever she wants?
While you could argue that private events do not have to follow rules and practices about the freedom of speech (this derives from the freedom of non-state actors to be total assholes if they so choose or are intellectually doomed to be just that), the fashion event did take place at Riga Airport, a public facility and with the moral support of the Riga City Council, a public authority whose reputation can be tainted by being dragged into, excuse the sexist terminology -- bitch fights.
Agnese writes about the incident in the English-language portion of her fashion blog:
Riga Fashion week? Been there, done that. Although with no press accreditation whatsoever as my official application was denied for the first time (I guess, some post on some poster is to be blamed), but still. Some birdie told me that similar ‘reasons’ have put TV fashion journalist Gundega Skudrina in the same list of persona non grata. Well, shit happens. I hope, it won’t go further down and doors won’t be showed to theatre reviewers, fallen in the disgrace of some theatre directors.
Oh well, this is Latvia, what else can one expect.... or am I wrong?