[D]ear women, are you a tad sick of hearing the tired tagline “feminist fashion”, as if there’s a special sartorial ingredient to Dressing Like A Feminist. An advertising move that’s subtext is surely you’re a bad feminist if it’s not written in bold type across your t-shirt – and of course swiftly posted on Instagram. Promoting feminism can sometimes be problematic: all brand, zero substance (in many cases profiting labels, rather than the causes it’s supposedly endorsing). Fuck the patriarchy is great – go for it! – but not if you’ve just handed over your hard earned cash to a corporation selling girl power. In an age movements like Me Too and Time’s Up, initiatives which launched on social media, what we (read, women) choose to wear seems to be more scrutinized than ever. So, can fashion and feminism ever really enjoy a fuss-free partnership?
The overriding trend to take from the autumn / winter ’18 catwalk wasn’t an era (a mixed bag of late 60s, 70s and 80s), a colour or even silhouette, but an attitude – an army of women in revolt rebelling against the system. Brands want you to buy into their new vision of femininity. Is it anti-feminist to sell sexiness as a concept now? NO. Of course not. “A clever woman can also be super-sexy, super naked, she can be whatever she wants,” Miuccia Prada told Vogue. “I don’t think there is a look for a militant woman.”