According to the International Women’s Day website, today is a day to commemorate the “social, political, economical and cultural” achievements of women in society. It is about uniting and recognizing the equality that women have worked for centuries to attain. Some say that fashion and feminism do not and should not mix while others applaud at the diversifying evolution of the industry. With such a large modern feminist movement in fashion (the second biggest industry in the world), is feminism in fashion here to stay?
“Let’s all be feminists” is a phrase you’ve probably seen a lot these past couple of months. Particularly on many celebrities and fashion influencers who are wearing the iconic Dior shirt, which was first showcased in the Dior SS 17 runway show. This new window into fashion broadens feminist’s doors and designers are now looking at creating garments specific to the empowerment of women. New, strong and powerful ladies are now taking charge as editors in chief, creative directors, head designers etc. for major fashion houses. This just gives us another reminder that the XX chromosome is taking over the industry and doesn’t seem to plan to step down any time soon.
Not too long after the Dior collection came out, President Donald Trump was elected into the United States Oval Office. Women, not just from America, but from all over the world were outraged with the new President’s stance on women’s rights and how he acted and perceived women in general. The Women’s March that followed this past January gathered millions of women (and men) together to fight for women’s rights; the fashion industry included. Brands and designers either marched in D.C or contributed to the cause in another way, pushing the feminist cause further into greater progress.
More recently, fashion photographer, Tim Walker, did a photoshoot with UN Women’s feminist ambassador herself, Emma Watson, for the Vanity Fair cover story. As a respectfully well-known fashion photographer, Tim Walker works with individuals to convey their inner personality through a photograph. Emma Watson was shot representing her British side and wearing a beautiful Burberry outfit. The photo ended up becoming quite controversial as Ms. Watson is shown with a top that shows much of her breasts which many thought was “non-feminist.” This really seemed to confuse her.
In an interview with BBC News, Emma Watson spoke up against the controversy by explaining that,
“Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism isn’t about giving women a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom. It’s about liberation. It’s about equality!
I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it?…”
In fact, Watson has a point. She is allowed to be a feminist and do what she wants without the world backlashing on her for showing parts of a body that she has no control over. If it made her feel bold and beautiful, all the power to her!
As you can see, fashion has such an influence on today’s society. With the rise of feminism, more and more women are empowering themselves to take a stand and achieve equality with their male counterparts. With fashion being such an influence, we may see more feminists being born and stand up for women’s causes.
Let us come together today and celebrate what current women, past women, and future women have all fought the good fight for. Happy International Women’s Day, everyone!
If you would like to know more about International Women’s Day, you can check out their website here. #BeBoldForChange
By Ehryl O’Rourke