Feminism, an accessory to fashion?

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Maria Grazia Chirui's debut at Christian Dior saw the excitement which was femininity. Not the make up and design of the clothes themselves, but the trend that was set to take Spring 2017 by storm. A cotton t-shirt reading 'We should all be feminists', paired with an embellished midnight blue tulle skirt - there was no doubt why this look became the most talked about part of the show on all social media outlets. As soon as the shirts hit stores, Dior were immediately criticised for cashing in on politics, by trying to sell empowerment.

This raises the question, is there a place for both fashion and politics?

Following Dior's Spring 17 show, the shirt was seen on three of the brands ambassadors, Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Portman. It was Portmans appearance at the Women's March back in January which caught attentions, as she gave a speech in Los Angeles calling out President Trump for his behaviour towards women and then encouraging women to take on leadership roles and support other women. Personally, I love the idea of empowering women through fashion and this trend does exactly that by encouraging women to join the current feminist revolution since the election of Trump. Natalie Portman presents a powerful message in wearing the shirt to the march and continues to wear the slogan tee long after, as seen earlier this month.

Dior ambassadors - Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence & Rihanna 

It didn't take long for feminist merchandise to appear on the high street and soon it was embraced by the worlds fashion bloggers and other women in society. I even picked up a shirt myself from Topshop which simply reads 'Feminist' - as mentioned I love the trend but it does make you wonder just how politically engaged consumers are?

I will admit that when I wore the shirt, my main concern was what it was going to go with. I had no regard for the message it was to portray, showing myself, like many others didn't necessarily support the meaning of the movement or its political nature. The shirt just became an accessory to fashion. This is not me in anyway saying that I don't support feminism because I really do, I just bought the item thinking it was nothing other than a t shirt which I believe isn't what designers including Dior or Prabal Gurung had in mind when putting their designs out there. 

Now of course the trend has dispersed and has developed into other slogans 'Females are the future' and 'Girl power' as females become hungry for the high street option. What I wasn't expecting when browsing similar designs online was to find shirts on well known brands websites reading 'Boys lie and 'No f*** boys'. Since when did it become okay to bash other genders through fashion? These shirts may not be displaying any sort of political message but it makes you wonder why women are empowered through these statement tees and not men?

The fashion industry should answer to all gender struggles and reflect society around us, which I do  believe is evident in high fashion NOT on the high street.

Would you spend £490 on a designer t-shirt? 

Since the famous Dior shirt hit boutiques, the label has pledged to donate a percentage of the items proceedings, to charity The Clara Lionel Foundation - an organisation founded by Dior ambassador Rihanna.  The singer was named Humanitarian of the Year 2017 by the Harvard Foundation. The aim of the charity is to benefit those impoverished in across the globe, pushing children into education and giving them access to healthcare. Of course it makes sense to partner with the Clara Lionel Foundation, especially as many of the rights embrace by the charity are under attack in both the Western and developing world. But then why the 'We should all be feminists' quote if the proceeds are not going to charities which focus their work on helping young women in impoverished states - charities such as the invisible girl project and the Global Women's Project?

 "My position in a house as influential as Dior, but also my role as a mother, reminds me every day of my responsibilities and the importance of my actions." - Maria Grazia Chirui

While feminism as a trend seems to be going nowhere this season, I cannot help but wonder whats next for fashion and politics? Will the two ever become the perfect fit?

Thank you for reading

BroganRose. xo

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