Features, Uncategorized

Fashion Activism, Now More Important than Ever

At this point, you may be starting to feel like Donald Trump has been reported on, analyzed, and debated ad nauseum; don't worry, you're not alone. It's hard to scroll through Twitter or even engage in casual banter at a party without mentioning POTUS and his latest slew of divisive acts. As much as we would love to slink away, curl into a ball, and shutout all the political brouhaha for the next 4 years, we can't. The safety and well-being of our fellow man and woman behooves us to stay vigilant and fight back. The beautiful thing about resistance is that no act is too big or too small. As long as your intention is pure and your resilience heartfelt, your voice will matter. With this ethos in mind, the fashion industry is using the upcoming New York Fashion Week to denounce Trump's hateful rhetoric in favour of inclusivity and togetherness. One of the most talked-about initiatives is a partnership between the CFDA and Planned Parenthood. Throughout Fashion Week, showgoers will be treated to pink pins that bear the words "Fashion Stands with Planned Parenthood", which they will ideally affix to their clothing while bustling back and forth between shows. "Fashion has a global reach [...] and is a great platform to show our support for Planned Parenthood," said Steven Kolb, the president of the CFDA in a comment given to Refinery29. The coolest part? The pins are magnetic, which means attendees can proudly declare show their support while keeping their undoubtably expensive clothing hole-free. Business of Fashion is taking a similar approach, but with white bandanas instead of pins. They are urging designers, models, showgoers, and media to don the cheap, accessible accessory "in support of human unity and inclusiveness amidst growing uncertainty and a dangerous political narrative." The movement is  fittingly dubbed #TiedTogether. Designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Phillip Lim, and Thakoon have already jumped on board, promising to feature white bandanas on their respective runways.  Likewise, models have been snapped with bandanas tied around their wrist at various castings and on the streets. Imran Khan, the editor-in-chief of Business of Fashion, penned a passioned letter on the publication's website, providing links to where you can purchase bandanas and other ways to demonstrate your support (i.e using the hashtag #TiedTogether on social media). Both these initiatives are in keeping with fashion's long, rich tradition of political activism. However, it's worth noting that these efforts are considerably more overt than ones past, which were typically subtle and part of a larger artistic performance. Perhaps this is a nod to the gravity of today's political climate; that we live in a society so precarious and divided, it necessitates a brazen response. And fashion, in particular, has a responsibility to chime in on this brazen response. After all, the personal is political-- and I can think of few things more personal than the clothes we choose to wear everyday. by Imaiya Ravichandran

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