On The Runway: Protest and Power

Themes on the 2017 Fall/Winter runways were plentiful, but one feeling ran through all of them: power. Whether it was power suiting, red, the 80s trend, various protest t-shirts, pink pussy hats at Missoni, or the diverse individuality-focused makeup, women’s strength and how, in these times, they present themselves, was a topic present at NYFW, MFW, LFW, and PFW.

From the Suffragettes to the Black Power movement, clothing has always been important in movements and revolutions. But for women, a group whose choice of clothes have always been fraught with blame, opinions, and rules, dressing “powerfully”, whatever that may be for each individual, is important. When Donald Trump says women should “dress like women”, what does that mean? I can imagine. Often, when men say “like a women”, especially when it comes to office dress codes, power is not on their minds.

Fashion designers, this season at least, tried to combat that. Red, the color of the Women’s Strike, was everywhere. I love this, because power shouldn’t just mean pantsuits. I am a strong believer in the power of color, and red is a strong color. It’s urgent. It says “listen to me.” I could go on and on. Just look up the psychology of colors. It’ll blow your mind.

P.S. This photo is from the Givenchy collection, where EVERY look was monochromatic red. Swoon.

Suiting really does make a women look in charge, however, and designers bought into it big. And why not? Women fought for the ability to wear pants, damn it. With the top half of the body, some designers went with a double-breasted jacket, for those who truly want to look like a Victorian gentleman. By that I mean an Ellery-dressed Victorian gentleman, like the picture below. Yes please.

**Peep the white shoes, which were big on the street style scene.**

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Will power dressing be the protest uniform of the Trump era? Or is this just the industry trying to capitalize on a movement? It’s hard to tell, sometimes, but it’s nice to know where fashion stands.

 

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