The recent Christian Dior collection ss17 – with the newly appointed Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri – were not only beautiful looks from one of the world’s most renowned fashion brands; there was also an important message among of fashionable feminism.
While the word ‘feminism’ was first coined some 150 years ago, the battle has continues since then, but with women having achieved, if not all then at least many of the same rights as men, at least in the modern Western world, the word has somehow lost its appeal. While it essentially means ‘equal rights’ (and who can not agree to that?), it’s almost as there’s something too hippie and carnal about the word that doesn’t go well with our polished world, where things look best when having been given a filter and are being observed on the latest smart phone at a safe distance.
The bra says it all. We all wear it; young girls to elderly women regardless of nationality, age and social status – everywhere. It’s a reaction to the more free-spirited 60s and 70s, when women all over the world deliberately took the bra off. Needless to say, the next thing will of course be to take it off again. History repeats itself. I’m not blaming the bra for anything – just saying that it’s indicative of why we don’t like the freer word ‘feminism’.
But what is quite cool to remember in our body-conscious, self-absorbed moment of digital appearance is that feminism isn’t about wildly burning your bra while claiming your right over your own sexuality. It’s about equal rights (and that sounds pretty sober, right?), and that’s a concept worth cherishing. It will be the power design houses to make the message relevant to the younger generation and give it a modern appeal, as well as influential celebrities. Remember Beyonce’s tour in 2014 there the exact words ‘Feminist’ appeared behind her in capital letters? Pretty powerful. And it isn’t because fashion and pop stars are the only thing that the new generation can relate to today; it’s simply their ability of making something relevant by re-interpreting things. And as long as it’s for a good cause – hey, what’s not to like?
As Oliver Theyskens points out below, influential people can choose to have some say about the current dialogue and development. Personally, I think, it’s quite cool when they do, and I really appreciate the attention on fashionable feminism.