Vivienne Westwood's 'gypsy' show criticised
By Malcolm Moore and Tom Chivers
Last Updated: 4:13PM BST 24/06/2008
The British designer Vivienne Westwood has caused controversy by using Roma gypsies as catwalk models, complete with gold teeth and enormous medallions.
Image 1 of 2
Gold teeth and heavy jewellery were among the themes
One of the outfits that offended Milan council member Tiziano Maiolo
A member of the Milan council criticised the show, saying that she has a "romantic" image of the Roma that "no longer corresponds to reality".
The models, dressed as "rough, stylish and hardened" Roma, were part of Ms Westwood's show's theme of "tolerance".
Council member Tiziano Maiolo said "I think the designer has a romantic notion about gypsies that is one hundred years out of date.
"These people do not want to work, they live by thieving and they have no respect for the law.
"I worked in the gypsy camps around Milan and believe there is no chance for integration while the men play cards and the women and children steal and beg.
Italians have launched a series of xenophobic attacks against immigrants in recent months, who they blame for much of the crime in the country, and a class of Naples primary school children shocked Europe recently by submitting homework backing the burning of gypsy camps.
One child wrote that "the gypsies steal children to transplant their organs," while another stated that "We are not racist, but if they want to stay they have to stop stealing."
Vivienne Westwood's 'gypsy' show criticised - Telegraph