New York Fashion Week fall 2019 is not just being talked about for its many trends. This season, designer and brands used the runway to take a stand on social issues. Many were blatant while others went the subtle route. If you haven’t been following the shows so far, here’s a quick rundown of what you missed.
Fashion knows no gender or race
Designer Pierre Davis became the first transgender woman to showcase a collection at NYFW. Her brand, No Sesso (Italian for “no sex”), is meant to target people of all genders, ethnicities, and sexualities. This was also reflected on the runway which featured a diverse group of models. As Papernoted, she broke the glass ceiling with this milestone.
Speaking of diversity, many fashion brands and designers made sure to show off their inclusive size range on the runway. Christopher Kane, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, and Roland Mouret all made pieces had UK sizes 14 to 24. Meanwhile, Chromat featured plus-sized models wearing neon swimwear
Clothes don’t cause sexual harassment and/or assault
Imi by Imogen Evans also debuted this season with a collection named “Places I’ve Been Touched.” In an interview with Nylon, Imogen said that she gathered stories from survivors of sexual assault and incorporated them in silhouettes on her pieces. The collection had a mix of oversized, cutout, and layered elements, which shows how clothing is never to blame for such misconduct to happen.
First up, Collina Strada’s “Low Carbon Diet” is said to be a commentary on how to do better for the planet. Designer and founder Hillary Taymour wrote in the brand’s show notes, “I will be the first to admit that I buy a plastic water bottle at the airport when I travel… But this year I am vowing to stop. I want to make choices with an environmentally conscious mindset and realize that every purchase we make affects our future.”
According to i-D, Collina Strada’s pieces were made from “75 percent deadstock fabrics, recycled ocean plastic beads, and good intentions.”
For Chromat, “Climatic” was inspired by the climate change situation in Miami “with rising water and increased flooding.” Designer Becca McCharen-Tran also opened up about how the brand has been using sustainable Lycra made from discarded fishing nets for their swimwear. They also recycle and upcycle deadstock fabrics for their other pieces.
Fashionista detailed the show and described it as an accurate representation of how climate change is affecting the world. The first half showed models wearing bright, tropical clothing that looked like vegetation, to pieces accessorized with plastic flowers and fishnet dress trains. “The transition was subtle, but the message about where we’re headed–from a world filled with greenery to one filled with trash—was clear,” the outlet noted.
Segregation isn’t the answer
Tom Ford’s show was scheduled a day after Pres. Trump’s state of the union address, so it was only right that he emphasized his disapproval of building a wall along the Mexican border. The designer told Voguethat his latest collection “was a response to the culture of negativity in the world around us.” He added, “I’ve never really been a designer who’s talked about a moment in time, how that’s influenced what I design, but you can’t escape the news.”
Although the pieces were described as understated and mostly consisted of basics, AOL noted that Tom Ford’s message can be heard in the show’s song, which was “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” The line “They come, they come / To build a wall between us / We know they won’t win” was a standout, for sure.