2017 was an important year for woman advocacy and rights. More than any other year that comes to mind, this past year was both a horrific display of truth, and a remarkable step towards growth. However, by the end we saw a widespread inspiring and empowering women across the world to stand up for themselves and combat the sexual harassment that tragically occurred in their own lives. As woman after woman stood up and said #MeToo, we saw immediate and swift industry response, from Hollywood all the way to small European towns. It was literally everywhere. Even Paris and even at one of the most celebrated and ritzy times of the year—the couture shows.
Once a year the most expensive and high-end designers from all over the world come together to showcase their new designs and forthcoming releases. And this year is no different, expect for the fact that there is a constant talk and buzz leading up to these shows directly addressing how style empowers women and supports the #MeToo movement.
In a recent New York Times Article, entitled Designs on Female Empowerment at Chanel and Dior, the writer highlights the unbelievable new and exciting trends and designs that are supporting this powerful shift in a woman’s place in society.
For example, Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of Dior, sent out a T-shirt with the message “We Should All Be Feminists” emblazoned across it. And Dior’s designs are supporting this movement as well. They are celebrating sexuality by empowering women to choose how they actually display it. There is a rewriting of the dress code naturally and thoughtfully occurring within these fashion lines, and we are seeing it with each design. Designers are creating clothes to support the woman, not attract the man.
This movement to empower women with the clothes they choose to wear is nothing new. But style-first and trendsetting designers like Chanel and Dior doing it actually is. Then there are the industry disrupters completely changing the game. Fashion designer Iris van Herpern is using laser-cutting, 3-D printing and heat bonding, very non-traditional production choices, to create a new texture and fall on the body. As the author of this article wrote, “bringing it into a real somewhere between the digital and the divine.”
Women seek empowerment in many different ways. From the profession they choose, to the man or woman they marry, to the family they build, to the home they live in, to the car they drive, and maybe as important as anything else, to the clothes they wear, woman have a unique opportunity to align empowerment with expression. It is wonderful to see the trend-setting designers that have literally shaped fashion recognizing the important role they play in joining and supporting the #MeToo movement.