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The Limits and Ambitions of the Fashion Industry's Protests


Fashion has always been about standing out, with designers forging innovative ways to separate themselves and their art from the rest of the crop. But now, it seems, designers are opting to come together and embrace gestures of solidarity. Tommy Hilfiger, Prabal Gurung, and Tadashi Shoji sent models down the runway with white bandanas tied to their wrists, a symbol of the #TiedTogether campaign's message of "unity and inclusiveness." Anna Wintour, Tracy Reese, and Diane von Furstenburg all showed up with Planned Parenthood pins, in accordance with a partnership between the organization and the creator of New York Fashion Week, the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Anti-fur activists protest outside the show for fashion house Max Mara during the Women's Fall/Winter 2017/2018 fashion week in Milan, on February 23, 2017.

This was the first fashion week since the election, so the anticipation for designers to make a statement was palpable. Fashion's matriarch, Anna Wintour, has been an active Clinton supporter, while designers like Marc Jacobs and Diane von Furstenburg contributed to Clinton's campaign last year with custom-designed T-shirts. But participation in protest doesn't necessarily mean alliance with one party or another; Hilfiger was also one of the few designers who openly declared he'd be proud to cocktail dresses Melania, and many in the industry remained silent following Trump's travel ban.

This doesn't say much about the industry's hypocrisy. Fashion-week shows capture the mood of the season, and if future trends can be deduced from runways, then it's clear that protest — or the spirit thereof — is in style. Mara Hoffman opened her show with the organizers of the Women's March, while Prabal Gurung's models wore T-shirts saying "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like," as Huma Abedin looked on from the front row. A recent story on the Guardian claimed that brands understand that sex doesn't sell anymore, but activism does. During the Super Bowl, for example, commercials from Airbnb to Coca-Cola used diversity and inclusion as main themes. It seems that the fashion industry — an industry that's mastered the art of selling sex — has come to the same realization.

Walking through the streets of Soho, I can't quite tell whether a throng of loud young women are convening for a Planned Parenthood protest, or a Kylie Jenner pop-up shop. Political and social statements in fashion can be powerful, but the industry's inherently commercial pull ensures that any critique can be countered.广告

Ring of Honor WrestlingTICKETSSat., Mar. 4, 7:00pmIn this divisive climate, neither politics nor companies can get away with not choosing a side. Not reacting to the travel ban can get a designer in trouble, and offering to cheap cocktail dresses Melania Trump might do the same. Fashion magazines have already taken their cue: Vogue featured the organizers of the Women's March in a photo shoot, while Teen Voguehas developed into a reliably critical voice, spearheaded by editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth and driven by writers like Lauren Duca, who infamously took on Fox News.

Cynics believe that nothing can take down global neoliberalism, while pragmatists are convinced that, no matter how fraught the system, every little contribution helps; in between these two extremes is a space where we can separate what fashion can accomplish as an industry and how fashion can function as art.

Fashion, as an industry, is no less damaging than the sharing economy that abuses its workers or the oil companies that pollute the earth. Whatever protest the industry mounts, the effort may seem bleak. Initiatives were put in place after the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh that killed over one thousand garment workers, yet very few believe conditions have actually improved, or if fashion companies even intended them to. In this case, fashion operates within the framework of capitalism: Should we be surprised when an industry preserves business and profit, whether it's protest-flavored or not?

But fashion is also a mode of expression, a collection of symbols sitting at the intersection of individual identity with markers of the times. After the French Revolution, Parisian youths from elite families started wearing exaggerated shapes to go against the revolutionary spirit. The black and ripped clothes of punks in the 1970s projected the discontent of the youth. In contemporary Iran, where women are required to be veiled by law, the position of a headscarf or the length of a coat can be a subtle act of political subversion. An example closer to home is Raf Simons's spring 2002 collection, "Woe Unto Those Who Spit on the Fear Generation… the Wind Will Blow It Back," reflecting on post-9/11 culture.

Fashion has always been used as a tool to express dissent in fraught times, and it will continue to be used as such. One of the most memorable images of the Women's March is of the pink pussy-hats, donned with pride and defiance, but it shouldn't be forgotten that it was the individual marchers who knitted and wore them. Fashion as an industry can only sense where the public taste is shifting. What happens with the symbols that it produces is up to us.


03:45 Publié dans Fashion | Tags : fashion, dresses | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


3M Post-it Notes inspire fashion


3M Cos. maybe better known for tape and sandpaper but that didn't stop it from taking a big leap into the world of London's fashionista elites.

Inspired by the colors and shapes of Post-it Products, Fyodor Golan Autumn/Winter 2017 at LFW (Photo ...

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In honor of London Fashion Week, the Maplewood-based conglomerate has lent its world-famous Post-it Note know how to a design project that is summoning the iconic colors and shapes of 3M's notes into designer clothing.

For this project, 3M's design team partnered with the cutting-edge Fyodor Golan collection. The label derived inspiration from the look and design of Post-it Notes throughout the garments, officials said.

"The designers’ drive and expressive approach established recognizable brand image. Playful undertones with experimental cuts focused on bold colors and digital-like textures" that invoked the idea of 3M's paper Post-it Notes.

In a statement, 3M Chief Design Officer Eric Quint said, “We believe in the power of creative ideation and translating concepts in imaginative new ways and are excited to bring the Post-it Note, a mainstay in homes and offices around the world, to life on the runway.”

Following the London Fashion Show, the garments are traveling to Paris for display in showrooms for buyers.

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03:29 Publié dans Fashion | Tags : fashion, dresses | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


The prom-dress fashion on “The Bachelor”

The January premiere of the newest season of The Bachelor—the twenty-first for the ABC ratings hit—got off to a more awkward start than usual.

When the 30 women contestants arrived to greet the smiling young bachelor, Nick Viall, the mostly floor-skimming evening dresses they wore showed an alarming preponderance of red. Mostly it was a bright rose red, but there were also a few in a deeper cherry or crimson. While hardly a cause for panic in most situations, on The Bachelor it stirred anxiety and became a talking point on the episode.

But the similarity among the contestants’ dresses wasn’t really so surprising. Particularly during the big rose ceremonies, the elimination events in which the show’s lead hands out roses to the women he will keep another round, the gowns the women wear—and they are pretty much always gowns—might vary in their color and details, but they are all figuratively cut from the same cloth.

Body-hugging, usually one solid color, and conventional in design, they suggest an adult version of prom, and help play out a limited, conservative view of femininity that casts women as part sex object, part princess in The Bachelor’s addictive and regressive fantasy-reality welter.

At this point, 21 seasons in, The Bachelor style is pretty much codified, even though the contestants mostly dress themselves. Producers only approve dresses on the first night, according to a former cast member who spoke with Fashionista, or occasionally tell women if something looks bad on camera. (Solid colors are a safe bet, which is why they’re so common.)

The women are costuming themselves for a quite specific role on the romance-themed television show, says Linda Grindstaff, a professor of sociology at the University of California-Davis and an expert on gender roles in media and popular culture. “They’re all being informed by a similar cultural sensibility of what it means to perform a sexy yet respectable young woman,” she says. And that role, Grindstaff points out, is “a particularly narrow vision of femininity.”

It is remarkable how uniform the women can look in a scenario where cast members, who vary at least slightly in age, race or ethnicity, and background, will otherwise resort to all sorts of displays to stand out. The cast members are always thin, usually with long hair done in a similar style, and plenty of makeup.

The show has also drawn criticism for being overwhelmingly white, though it just announced it’s first black lead on The Bachelorette, in which a woman selects from a group of male suiters. Fashion gimmicks, including a shark suit recently (in the back row of the image at the top of this post), do pop up, but you’re more likely to see a woman in trousers on a Hollywood red carpet.

“I think people have watched the show before,” says Emma Gray, executive women’s editor at The Huffington Post and host of a podcast about The Bachelor and its spin-offs. “So you tend to have people evening dresses uk similarly, in a similar vibe to what they’ve seen before.”

Caila Quinn, who made it to the top three on season 20, told Fashionista that she shopped with clear intentions for her stint on the show. “I looked for things that showed skin on some part of the body, whether it’s the legs or the cleavage,” she explained. “It’s a flirty moment, and it’s just that kind of show.”

Gray calls the style “prom-dress chic,” and adds that “there’s an element of traditional fairytale and fantasy, but it’s also a little bit reality-TV gaudy.” Cast members spend a large portion of their time in bikinis. (The men’s equivalent plays out on The Bachelorette, where the men are often in similar-looking suits or in swim trunks and a tank top or no shirt.)

04:16 Publié dans Fashion | Tags : prom dresses, fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)