Written by Casey Milano
When fashion meets feminism great things happen, many things influence designers collections but when a headline relating to women and sexism shocks the world, female designers take to their drawing boards to show the world their passion for female empowerment. As women what we wear is judged much more harshly than our male counterparts, if we wear something revealing we’re “asking for it”, our dress code is stricter especially if we happen to be working in a male dominated industry. Although in the past few years we have seen some amazing steps forward in equality between the sexes a lot of things have a lot of catching up to do, and sometimes we as individual women feel like we can’t do much in the fight but maybe the clothes we decide to wear is helping the cause.
Many people would say that sounds like vanity, playing into anti-feminist hands but for me I feel much more confident to take on the haters in clothes I love. Going against dress codes, expectations and other people’s opinions to wear what I want, what I love, what I feel passionate about is what feminism means to me. Isn’t feminism being able to do what we want without judgment, without our morality coming into consideration if we wear a mini skirt? Is what we wear not our own prerogative? I think so and a lot of designers seem to as well.
Don’t get me wrong there are feminist male designers out there but are there any more relatable ones than that of the same sex who know exactly what it is to be a woman in 2018? Jil Sander known as fashions first feminist is perhaps one of the most memorable designers to change the way women dress and think about dressing altogether. Jil not happy with the way women were expected to present themselves, changed the game. In her own words “I was looking for more supportive ways to dress myself as a working woman”. And by doing so she reinvented the era of all working women.
No longer resigned to skirt suits and heels the uniform changed.
A plain white slogan tee with the statement “we should all be feminists” the first women to helm Christian Dior Maria Grazia Chiuri made history in more ways than one. Her debut collection for Dior had us all talking, and we loved it! Never before had a simple tee made us all rush and pre-order one.
Could a piece on feminism and fashion be done without mentioning the original punk? Now 74 the iconic British designer Vivienne Westwood transformed British style for decades with her weird and wonderful designs. She may not call herself a feminist, but she certainly had given women the choice and freedom to wear whatever they want at any age (multi-coloured heels included).
Have you ever thought that calling yourself a feminist but drinking cows milk might infringe on that statement?
Stella McCartney does, a feminist through and though Stella’s designs are famous for their simplicity, old school meets new and of course being vegan. Stella shows us feminism isn’t just for us 2 legged females but for every female specious and buying clothes that are beautiful and cruelty free.
There are many more designers who I could have mentioned, all doing their bit for feminism even without realising it and as we wear their collections we also do our bit. Although there is much more to feminism than fashion, as every morning when we get dressed we decide how we want to look that day, what we want to portray, express, what we want others to know about us and surely that is something we can thank feminism for.