The Politics of Fashion – NYFW 2017

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It has become somewhat easier, if not altogether necessary, to take a stand, make a comment and re-post or share something political. It’s so easy to participate in digital socio-political activism. Since no campaign looks like and there is no particular method about it – although there exist common strategies and logistics – anything you do is better than not doing anything. Apathy sucks. It confirms you don’t value your voice. So I, for one, value when anyone takes a public stance on finding resolutions to the injustices happening all around us.

This week, I applaud those that chose to use their platform on the runways at New York Fashion Week, which just ended, to share and strut political statements.

Belgian designer Raf Simmon’s new collection for Calvin Klein debuted on the runway with Bowie’s “This is Not America,” and he explained to Jocelyn Noveck of MClatchyDC that the clothes represented inclusivity, “It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals – just like America itself.”

Invitations to the show included patterned bandanas with a note that said: “Unity, inclusion, hope, and acceptance. […] #tiedtogether”

Milly co-founder, Michelle Smith, found solace away from the recent US election – which she said left her “feeling defeated, especially as a woman” –  in the brand’s 2017 ready-to-wear collection, “Fractured.” The fall designs are bold with pieces coming together as beautiful ‘fractures.” It feels as if they expose and enhance the nuances of human strength and frailty, especially through its many phases. Check out a full gallery of the Milly Fall 2017 Fashion Show here.

Jeremy Scott shines on the runway and he speaks about his passion with in-your-face visuals like religious and pop icons. Scott explained to Vogue, “My country is in the toilet. And when my country is in the toilet, the world is in the toilet. We have to fight for everything we believe in. That’s the expression I wanted to use.”

Another form of resistance came pummeling through via the fierce fashionista and designer extraordinaire, Diane Von Furstenburg who wore a large pink button that read, “Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood.” #applause

Despite the fact that many people complain that celebrities, musicians and the like shouldn’t take a stance on things especially politics, because they just are who they are, it is a confirmation – to those who find themselves as part of a resistance to current political situations – that others care. This is empowering. This provides, at least, a sense of hope and without hope, there is nothing.

About Sandra Trevino

Sandra Trevino is a Chicago journalist and the founder of Enchufate, a website dedicated to all things Latin alternative. You can listen to her radio broadcasts every Friday morning on 91.1FM and the 2nd/4th Monday of the month via Lumpen Radio on 105.5FM. When she’s not writing or on the radio, you can find her playing music at different venues across the city as part of DJ duo The Ponderers.