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Ivanka Trump Accused Of Cultural Appropriation (Photos)

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Ivanka Trump was accused of cultural appropriation during a visit to India after she reportedly wore clothes with Indian patterns that were made by Western designers.

The first daughter was pictured wearing a British-designed dress with oriental-style flowers, as well as two dresses made by American fashion designer Tory Burch. All of the dresses included embroidered patterns that were similar to Indian embroidery.

Following the trip, she was criticized by members of the Indian media -- including Vogue India senior editor Bandana Tewari.

"If Ivanka’s clothes are to be an acknowledgement of an ancient and rich culture like ours, especially as she arrives as a dignitary, then the sartorial ‘tribute’ should be authentic in its intention," Tewari told The New York Times, Independent reported.

"We would rather see her wear a hand-woven sari made in our country or a handmade gown made in her own country. But to hybridize the two, in an era of unfiltered diversity, is a superfluous nod to half-acceptance."

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New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman also criticized the first daughter's fashion choices during her trip.

"The selections had echoes of orientalism and ornamentation -- just as Ms. Trump’s choice of a kimono-inspired dress, complete with obi belt, by the Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz, did in Japan earlier this month," Friedman wrote. "And just as Melania Trump’s Gucci gown with faux Chinese embroidery did during the Trumps’ state visit to China. Instead of wearing work by a designer that spoke to the nuances of the country (a tactic adopted often by Michelle Obama, for example), Ms. Trump opted, at least initially, for the most obvious: clothes by outsiders who dipped into their fantasy of India as opposed to its reality."

Ivanka Trump's visit to India also prompted confusion from locals, who noticed that during her visit to the city of Hyderabad, billboards with her face quickly went up and homeless people were removed from the streets.

"Ivanka may not be a household name here in India but her visit would certainly promote the India-U.S.A. business relationship in the informal way," local Damaynti Basu told NBC News. "This trip certainly helps her own promotion and also our city."

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Many readers, despite the allegations of cultural appropriation, dismissed the criticism and defended the first daughter.

"No such thing as cultural appropriation. The expression was invented by social warriors looking for new ways of taking offense," one Independent reader commented. "Throughout history Western culture has taken elements from other cultures and cooperated them into its own. In fact most cultures, including the Indian culture, do the same."

Sources: The New York Times, Independent, NBC News / Featured Image: Michael Vadon/Flickr / Embedded Images: Getty Images/Independent 

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