Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Let's talk about Equality

Now is a good a time as ever to talk about equality. Following his Inauguration in January Trump has signed orders to reinstate the 'global gag rule' and to restrict immigration through building a wall between Mexico and America, and restricting refugees from entering the country (See here for more info.)
The world was quick to respond to the US's new presidency. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau made a statement against the refugee restriction saying "Canada will take you" and the Women's march took place all over the world, with over two million people marching for women's rights and equality. Because feminism has never meant women over men, it's always meant He for She, complete equality, opportunities and freedom of choice. 
The art and fashion world have also stood up in response, with designer Ashish leading the way with beautiful collections and garments celebrating the diversity of the Human race. Fashion is a very powerful art form and as a creative outlet it is a completely viable media for the designer to express their opinions and beliefs in. 
^(Ashish AW17: Image Sources)
Ashish has been a one of my favourite designers for a long time. I love his aesthetic, use of glitter and the fact that his collections all have a meaning or a story. His AW17 show however was completely outstanding. Models of various race, size and gender adorned the shining yellow brick road style catwalk, some of which had their face painted like Mexican wrestlers. The clothes were covered in sequins, struck with powerful statements such as 'Love see's no colour', 'Why be blue when you can be gay', 'as often as possible be more kind' and in ode do Trumps own words referencing women: 'Nasty Women' and 'Pussy grabs back'. Not only was this collection so relevant to current situations, but you can see how much this all means to Ashish. You believe the messages he puts across. Through this collection Ashish has managed to celebrate the differences in us all. The differences in race, gender, sexuality etc and he continues to strive for equality in a way that inspires and uplifts many. Ashish closed the show with a top which summarised everything. It read:
'This is a Statement Peace! Everyone is Welcome. No person is illegal. Diversity is strength. Knowledge is power. Be excellent to eachover. Read more books. Love see's no colour. Thank You'.
^(Ashish AW17: Image Sources)
^(Ashish AW17: Image Sources)
^(Ashish AW17: Image Source T'aint by Ashish Immigrant top: Source/Purchase ).
This is certainly not the first time Ashish has made a statement. His SS17 post Brexit show was like an Indian wedding. When talking about this collection he stated: 'I wanted to celebrate Indian culture in this country. I was absolutely horrified by Brexit. It broke my heart. I just wanted to make a statement about it and celebrate this culture which is so beautiful and an integral part of life in this country" (source). 
When taking his bow at his SS17 show, Ashish wore the Immigrant top featured right, in an aim to end the negative connotations surrounded by the word. The Top became so influential and popular that it became part of his capsule collection: 'T'aint by Ashish' before being stocked in Browns.

More examples of Fashion being used to make current and political statements include:
^(Planned parenthood pins: Image Source/Info source)
Planned Parenthood pins: For NYFW, the CFDA (council of fashion designers of America) showed their support for 'Planned Parenthood' by creating the pins above which were then distributed participating designers, models, locations and agencies involved with Fashion week. Each pin was then accompanied with an information card explaining Planned Parenthood's services and the ways that you can stand with them. The pins can be noticed in many photographs from NYFW on everyone from the FROW to the models on the catwalk. The pins show clear support to Planned parenthood after the reinsertion of the global gag rule, and promotes that women always, should have a choice. 
^(Prabel Gurang AW17 statement tops: Image Source)
Prabel Gurung AW17: A like Ashish and last seasons Dior, Gurung has also used statement tee's to express political statements. To close his show models wore t-shirts which read: 'Yes, we should all be feminists', 'Revolution has no borders' and 'I am an Immigrant'. The T-shirt Gurung himself wore read: 'This is what a feminist looks like', showing that you don't have to be a women to be a feminist as feminism affects men too. 
^(Louboutin Solasofia flats: Image Source/Purchase)
Christian Louboutin: Last year Christian Louboutin brought out the Solasofia flats. By doing this, Louboutin expanded the shades put under the 'nude' category (never before has there been so much nude choice) and enabled women to find their perfect colour match when it came to nude flats. They received praise not just for this but for the diverse use of models, which is how it always should be. 
^(Hourglass Girl Lip Style: Image Source/Purchase)
Hourglass Girl lip Stylo: This month Hourglass cosmetics introduced the 'Girl' Lip stylo collection, 'Girl for Good'. The 20 shades in the collection have been given inspirational and uplifting names such as 'leader', 'activist, 'achiever' in attempt to remind women that we are all catalysts for good and to recognise the good in others and yourself. I was very impressed with the concept of this range however, I feel that it would be a lot more impressive if some of the proceeds were going to organisations such as Planned Parenthood, which as far as I know, they're not yet doing. 
The Frankie Shop: Designed by Brianna Lance, the 'Pussy Power' T-shirt was created for The Frankie shop to raise awareness and with this product ALL proceeds go to Planned Parenthood which is incredibly impressive. 

Birdsong: Birdsong is another active, political and feminist brand. With the rule of 'No Sweatshops' and 'No Photoshop' Birdsong find talented seamstresses from Women's groups to sew and create their garments before they're photographed on diverse, real and unedited models. They also state that the majority of earnings go straight back to the working women. Fashion has never been so ethical.

I feel that it's important to actively stand up in what you believe in, and for me equality, diversity and freedom is it; which is why I've created this post. In a world with so much going on we need to look and strive for freedom, unity, creativity and love. 

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