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The Political Influence on Fashion Week

Designers want you to get serious about politics

Twice a year we are given a refresh in the form of fashion week. We use this event as an excuse to change up our wardrobe and beauty routine. But this year, designers also added another facet to this occasion: a political message.

Fashion has always been more than just clothes. It’s a message for so many different things. In today’s political climate, that message is much more important. For the past two years, designers have capitalized on consumer’s willingness to buy merchandise reflecting their political views.

Most notably was Dior’s “We Should All Be Feminist’s” t-shirt released in 2016. The ready wear shows for 2018/2019 had its own batch of stars conveying important political messages.

Christian Siriano

Siriano is known for his beautifully structured, insanely colorful dresses. Over the last year he’s put on shows that rivaled the diversity that had only previously been seen in Chromat.

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This year he used his platform to endorse Cynthia Nixon, who’s currently running for New York Governor. One model, and Siriano himself, wore a plain black t-shirt with the words ‘Vote for Cynthia”. With Siriano’s large reach, it would be no surprise if his endorsement helps influence this election.

Badgley Mischka

It’s no surprise that the color white was a prominent choice throughout many collections. A bulk of designers are showcasing Spring 2019 lines, which are supposed to be a breath of fresh air. Yet I couldn’t help notice the frequency with which white pantsuits were used.

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White pantsuits were a staple in Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe. The color is also synonymous with the suffragists and modern women’s movements.

Badgley Mischka took a more extravagant approach to their white pantsuit by embroidering it with floral detailing. Maybe it’s the sharp shoulders or the model’s attitude as she walks down the runway, but there’s a Rockstar attitude to this outfit. Imagine if Hillary had worn that on the campaign trail.

Jeremy Scott

Between Moschino and his namesake collection, Jeremy Scott knows how to leave an impression. That’s probably why celebrities like Cardi B and Miley Cyrus seemed forever tied to the designer.

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Instead of making one of  his models  wear the message, Scott did it himself. At the end of the show, he walked down the runway in a white tank top, urging everyone to “Tell Your Senator NO on Kavanaugh”.

Many are worried if Kavanaugh is confirmed into the Supreme Court, landmark cases like Roe v. Wade would be overturned. If you have any second thoughts on Kavanaugh, it’s time you called your senator.

Di$count Universe

Many elements made this show extra special. To start, it was the brands debut show at New York Fashion Week. Designers Cami James and Nadia Napreychikov channeled womanhood and feminism into the entire collection.

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One dress, and probably my favorite, featured words like hysteria, irrational, emotional and more in a heavy metal-esque type face. Other garments proximately displayed “NOT FOR SALE”, a nod at the age-old fight of body ownership women have faced.

Outside of Badgley Mischka, subtlety was nowhere to be seen in these messages. Those in entertainment, an industry that seemed to long support President Trump prior to his election, used their platforms to share their batch of political messages. It’s time fashion did the same.

All images courtesy of Vogue

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Also published on Medium.

Davyn is a journalism student at Arizona State University. During her free...