Fashion. Feminists. Can these two coexist? In past years, it seemed impossible. The fashion industry has often been criticized for using models who are extremely tall and thin, and don’t represent realistic body images for women. Although there has been a movement in recent years to change this, there are still some serious issues. Aerie, for example, vowed in 2014 to stop using Photoshop on their models, and to only use models who represent “real life women.” This vow from Aerie has received a tremendous amount of support and other companies have begun to follow in their footsteps. However, there is still a serious issue in the high-end fashion world of runway models.
Even though change still needs to be made in the high-end fashion industry, it is not fair to say that runway designers or models are not feminists. Anyone can be a feminist, and in recent years the fashion industry has used fashion week as a platform to bring light to issues important to designers, models, and feminists around the world. With thousands of guests each year from all over the world, fashion week is the perfect time to grab the media’s attention about certain issues.
In 2014 Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne, and Georgia May Jagger were just a few high-end fashion models that led a feminist march down the runway during the Chanel Fashion Show. The models held megaphones and signs that read things such as: “Ladies First”, “History is Hers”, and “Feminism Not Machoism”. This moment at the Chanel runway may have been the first real moment in high-end fashion where feminism was brought to light, and shown as something we should all be proud of.
With fashion week just ending on Saturday the 14th, here’s my top three badass feminist moments that happened this year at New York Fashion Week.
1. Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Show
Rihanna’s Fenty show had the most diverse and inclusive cast of models that any high-end fashion show has ever seen, and is now being hailed as the new Victoria’s Secret show.
“I don’t care about any skinny Victoria’s Secret model…I want to be that woman on the inside. I want to feel that confident, I want to feel that bombastic… That is the Savage brand,” Rihanna shared in a recent interview.
Feminists around the world are applauding Rihanna for using such a diverse cast that shines light on all types of women and spreads body positivity in an industry where traditionally only one body type has been celebrated. We love a body positive queen.
2. Daisy-May Demetre
This nine year old girl touched the hearts of everyone around the world as she made history as the first double amputee runway model. She was born with fibular hemimelia and had to undergo a double amputation at just 18 months old, but this did not stop her from walking the runway for the children’s brand, Lulu et Gigi Couture.
3. Prabal Gurung’s Political Statement
Prabal Gurung is a Nepalese-American who uses his platform as a well-known designer to speak his mind about certain issues, and his 10th anniversary at this year’s New York Fashion week may have been his biggest one yet.
Models took to the runway wearing Gurung’s designs, as well as a sash that read: “Who gets to be an American?” Later Gurung took to twitter saying, “…this is a choice that one needs to make now. This is about choosing between two sides, the right or the wrong sides of the history.”
Photo from unsplash.com