Trading in Couture for Cotton

Posted by Prabal Gurung | @prabalgurung

Whether you get up every morning and dress to the nines, or you throw on a pair of yoga pants and start your day, fashion affects everyone. Everyday we make the decision of what to wear. Of course, how we decide to dress is a result of many factors: weather, comfort, a specific event, and so on, but in the end we like to think that our outfit is a personal choice. However, the reality is, is that the designs from New York Fashion Week — and the like — are the real masterminds behind our everyday outfit decisions.

I know you’re asking how this makes sense because the clothing on runways is over-the-top and borderline ridiculous, but bear with us. Designs that are shown on the runways at fashion week trickle down to fast-fashion stores and are adapted for everyday wear.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see that designers impact how our society views what is “right” and “wrong” in terms of clothing. This year however, designers have been stepping out of their bubble of fashion and expanding into a new terrain: politics.

The 2016 presidential election caused a wave of conflicted emotions and reactions. In spite of the claims that our nation is divided, there have been tremendous acts of solidarity that have risen from such a chaotic time in our nation’s history.

This year at New York Fashion Week, designers traded couture for cotton t-shirts. There were numerous designers that dressed their models in t-shirts that read “THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE” and “THE FUTURE IS FEMALE” (as seen on Prabal Gurung and Bella Hadid).

Jonathan Simkhai gave his front row attendees a parting gift of a t-shirt that said “Feminist AF” and Alice + Olivia also debuted a graphic t-shirt with the message “BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.”

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) partnered up with Planned Parenthood and created a pink pin that read “Fashion stands with Planned Parenthood” which many models, designers, and attendees were sporting throughout the week.

The behind the scenes role that designers used to play in our everyday lives is slowly fading away. These political statements displayed at New York Fashion Week has taken them beyond the realm of fashion and instead, into our social consciousness.