New York Fashion Week:
Resistance on the Runway
February 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Resistance was a big theme at New York Fashion Week (February 9-16)—including many expressions of protest against Trump. Some snapshots:
The presentation from Collina Strada designer Hillary Taymour included models from countries on Trump’s immigration ban list and others. Taymour said, “I first tried to cast only models from Trump-banned countries. It was surprisingly difficult, however, from there we started with selecting a wide range of models with different ethnic backgrounds, beliefs, ideologies, [all of whom] are fearful of the consequences during this presidential term…. As a second-generation Middle Eastern immigrant woman, who has had two abortions, and is known to date both genders, the Trump administration has opened my eyes to take action.” [Vogue.com, February 17, 2017]
Designer Raul Solis had his new underwear on display—with the words “Fuck your wall,” “No ban, no wall” written on the back of them. Solis said, “My family is first generation Mexican and some had to migrate to the U.S., [so] this issue is something extremely personal to me… I believe we all have a huge responsibility to speak up and take actions [with] whatever affects us directly. The fashion industry has always been a driving force in culture, changing the way we live and look.”
White bandannas printed with the hashtag #TiedTogether appeared on the arms and around the necks of some models—meant as a sign of inclusivity and acceptance. The Creatures of Comfort collection included a graphic sweatshirt with the message, “We are all human beings.”
The creative director of Milly, Michelle Smith, explained in a note the thinking behind her collection, which she called “Fractured”: “During the time I was designing this collection, the world changed dramatically. The elections left me feeling defeated, especially as a woman. I now feel like I have to fight hard for all sorts of rights I once took for granted…I struggled for a while to find the right mood and look for this collection—all while it was right in front of me. Fractured.”
The Council of Fashion Designers of America, which organizes New York Fashion Week, had launched a campaign with Planned Parenthood to raise awareness and support in the fashion industry for the organization which is under attack, and thousands of pink “Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood” pins were passed out.
Designer Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport began his show by saying, “The fall/winter ’17 collection was inspired honestly by people who live on the street and just don't have much fashion in their life or any of the luxuries that we take for granted. ... I don't want anyone who is gay, or Muslim, or disabled, or mentally ill, or a veteran, or a drug addict, or a runaway to have to live on the street just because someone's not willing to give them a chance.”
Public School had models of different nationalities taking the runway in hats that said, “Make America New York.” Fashion designer Dao-Yi Chow explained, “We wish the rest of the States were like New York from an inclusivity standpoint, from a diversity standpoint, from an action standpoint… We just started talking about these man-made constructs to keep people from each other, at the same time envisioning this world where if you’re a human being, you are a citizen of the world.”
Designer Prabal Gurung closed his show with models wearing shirts that read: “The Future is Female,” “I am an immigrant,” “We will not be silenced,” and “Girls just want to have fundamental rights.” Gurung said he was inspired by the women’s march in New York City, which he and models in his fashion show had participated in. He said, “We're living in this day and age and time when we are questioning, and should be questioning, what is our responsibility, our part, our action…. It's the right thing to do. That's how we all feel. It is basic human decency.”
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