As an international community, we are preparing ourselves for the eyes of many storms, as we go through some of the most controversial times in recent politics. Trump is in the presidential seat of America, the U.K. is leaving the European Union, and our planet is slowly being destroyed beneath our feet. On top of this, billions of people live in fear as they are subject to abuse for being, amongst a multitude of things, black, gay, transgender, etc.
So in turbulent times, what can the fashion industry do? It might not seem like much at first, but those who work in fashion do so for a reason; they are creative, opinionated and can make important statements about what they see through their collections. New York Fashion Week 2017 did exactly that. Here are the designers with some of the most prominent messages for the world to see:
Born in Singapore, raised in Nepal and now living in America, Prabal Gurung used the closing moments of his show to send his models out in political slogan tees. Bella Hadid wore a T-shirt emblazoned with ‘The Future is Female’, and Gurung himself took his post-runway bow in a T-shirt which read ‘This is what a Feminist Looks Like’.
Creatures of comfort
Long sleeved tops emblazoned with ‘We are all human beings’ are a cry for unity against Trump’s divisive policies on the Creatures of Comfort catwalk.
This was Raf Simons debut for Calvin Klein, as he recently joined the house after leaving Christian Dior. The collection itself was filled with block colours and androgynous tailoring; Simons said the collection reflects individuals, different styles and dress codes, representative of America itself. Simon’s added to the American element of the collection by playing David Bowie’s ‘This is Not America’ twice. The fashion activism was subtle but definitive.
Raul Solis is a designer with a Mexican heritage, whom many right-wing publications did not hesitate to point out, as he made one of the biggest statements on the catwalk with his show for LRS Studio. He sent his models out in underwear reading ‘No Ban No Wall’, or more explicitly, ‘Fuck Your Wall’.
Anna Wintour & Planned Parenthood
American Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour wore a pink Planned Parenthood pin on the first day of NYFW. The pin was the result of the Council of Fashion Designers of America initiative with Planned Parenthood which aims to raise awareness about the agency’s important work on reproductive health care and sex education.
Text by Katt Skippon
Picture research by Katt Skippon and Jonathan W. Espiritu; featured image taken from Vogue UK.