Always a little late on the uptake because I can’t keep pace with the flurry of haphazardly curated clips of clothes and shows streaming from all my devices I always need to go back. With some of the more innovative designers I always have to return and spend time with their shows, I need time to have them settle into my imagination. I finally take notice that there seems to be a focus on the feminist. Not in any literal or overt sense like last year’s Chanel show but more diffuse almost like the invisible presence of perfume. I find myself hard pressed to come up with a conceptual definition of feminist for 2017 because like so many other boundaries in fashion the one that used to signify gender is blurring as well. The good news is that you can be anyone you want.
I think what I have been writing about lately is different and feminism does not quite describe it. I have been alluding to a circle of relationships, a world where women and girls are giving other women and girls (and men) the confidence to go out there and do things. It is women encouraging other women to be the stars of their own shows. Women who respect the past and collectivity yet want to be modern and allow for individuality. To not just be designers but to be businesswomen as well, to strive to understand commerciality and creativity as things not in opposition to each other. I am in the throes of holding these tensions and trying to work out the best way to move forward. I am having to hold both pleasure and pragmatism in the palm of my hand because there is a reality to accept if I want to achieve my desire.
In this world the female is the protagonist not the system. It is about women being in motion which is why I have probably been obsessed with the last two Prada collections because they seem to be about travelling women. Although Prada is innovative in their design, they have struggles with their business being late to the on-line game and not diversifying when it comes to accessibility. Art and intellectualism have prevailed but one still has to be viable in order to have an amplified voice. Another tension to be explored. Notice you can now get Prada bags on-line. But on the same platform you can also be treated to plays and stories, films and beautiful photography of details. It has been an interesting case study.
This world is about dressing brave and heroically and looking strong even when we feel vulnerable. It is about dressing how we feel, following our instincts and taking risks. It is using clothes to tell our personal stories. I think it could be very interesting to explore where in the world are creative spaces for women. Where are these tensions being explored? I recently posted an article about London being the best city for women designers. What makes it so?
What would make a great space for you to be a female protagonist in and why?