So recently I watched a Women of the World video on YouTube about “Ending Exploitation in Advertising”. I must admit a few years ago I would have nodded my head and agreed with everything they were saying in order to validate my feminism. However watching this video now as a amateur fashion enthusiast (still a feminist however) I can’t help but agree and critique some of the points raised.
This particular ad by Stuart Weitzman caused a stir amongst the five panelists.
This advert features three strong women; top models Joan Smalls and Lily Adridge, and model Gigi Hadid.
The Stuart Weitzman advert was compared to another ‘objectifying’ advert from a previous era. The panelists compared the two images, “here are three of the biggest models in the world right now reduced to three objects selling shoes, not all women come in that straight leg form, not all women come in that kind of perfection, me and my girlfirends don’t stand around like that!”
My main point, is that ultimately it comes down to our own perspectives of women. Do we believe that a woman can demand the same amount of respect naked, in control and owning her own vunerability and feminitnity? or do we believe in order to do just that, the only way a women worthy of respect should be presented, is fuller figured and entirely clothed?
Or do we believe that these two women are not mutually exclusive and can be the very same woman at different points of the day?
Now, I strongly agree with women being presented in many different ways, showcasing a more representitive perspective of the world we live in for example, more women bosses, more women in charge, more hard working single mothers, more ethnic diversity in casting women (NO TOKEN MODELS, WE SEE THROUGH YOUR COMPENSATION!), more muslim women, and more LGBTQ representation in the media.
My only critique of the advert itself is that I would not have thought it was a shoe advert, I think the three beautiful women completely over dominated the shot and left no attention to the shoes. Maybe the shoes could have been more striking, or have three different pairs of shoes representing three different kinds of women who would wear the shoes in real life. Honestly, I don’t know, I have no idea, don’t listen to me I’m still a student after all… Also I’m biased I can also only see this advert through an aethetically critical perspective…
So what’s the deal with fashion over romanticising youth? Personally I don’t get it. All the awkwardness and naivety of being a teen… somehow does not manage to show though glamour of the runway, but that doesn’t compromise the super young ages of many of the models on high fashion runways. Now, I have no interest in trying to kill the dreams of many 13 year old aspiring models, but when an adolesent child is scared of growing older and developing naturally in result of losing “a look” and concequently losing jobs and not be able to model high fashion, When can we admit that there is a problem???
I also feel the need to call out all the modelling agencies and casting directors so “concerned” for the physical health of their models and yet at the same time completely disregard how their actions affect their mental well being.
Kudos however, to many designers in the London fashion scene who use their friends as models or street cast with consideration to these issues in mind, especially to Simone Rocha for her casting in her AW17 show. Also Gucci’s Alessandro Michele who casts “older than the latter” models and still magically creates a youthful vibe.
Ok, so Balenciaga… I can do… It has hints of Demnas irony, but all in all fairly interesting, nice collections, nice to discuss.
However part of me wants to give in and analyse Vetements Lou stoppard style and embellish some form of depth and substance to the brand. But the reality is Vetements is the internet troll of the fashion industry, and yes, in past blog posts I have superficially hyped Vetements, but that was then and now I’m over it.
Vetements = cancelled.
What is my problem with his new collection any way? The model casting was way more racially diverse than anything we’ve seen in Paris, Milan and few cases in London so far. However I’m aware that my eyes have only seen some of the intense hard work that goes into designing one collection, now I know I’m no one to try and negatively scrutinize a brand or designer I know nothing about. But lets face the truth that we were aware of this whole time: Vetements is a temporary cult brand, made with a short term expiriry date, which during this limited time aimed to make as much money as possible then die out. Good for you Demna.
After searching through the collection 3 more times…
Vetements = cancelled.
Maybe just maybe the punch line in this collection was the embracing of many different personalities on the runway, as opposed to having just one type of model on the runway. We (and by we I mean I) have compained many times on social media and on this blog about the lack of representation/ diversity on the runway. Well here, in Vetements AW17 collection we have a vastly diverse mix of personalities represented through their clothing on the runway. Is this Demnas way of saying ‘you wanted more, so here’s more, here’s everything you’ve asked for… in abundance’. It’s kinda like he took 36 random people off the streets of Paris 15 minutes before his show starts and paid them to walk his show in the clothes they were wearing… Maybe… or perhaps I’m overthinking it.
Vetements = soon to be cancelled but not over yet.
…Is not really the question if I’m being honest with you. I remember hearing somewhere that it’s easier to copy and paste a piece of text, or an image or a concept.
But you’ve already seen that before.
What makes a more interesting interpretation is when a collage is formed. When the image, or text, or concept is flipped, chopped and twisted, then merged with the latter and then stuck down with a pritt stick spray mount; when it’s explained through a red filter, a new perspective and given a personal touch so they know it’s yours, even though it’s not.
Model (and generally awesome person), Leomie Anderson is one of the main inspirations for my blog, this year she has more than enough proved 2016 to be her year and the beginning of her many successes to all her aspirations.
Only a month ago she launched site LAPP THE BRAND standing for ‘Leomie Anderson the Project the Purpose’ aimed at young women giving them the confidence to say no to many of the pressures young women may face from society.
“The first capsule collection is based around reclaiming the word ‘No’ and, as Leomie put it, “Making young girls feel cool to say no in the face of pressure”. After Leomie’s open letter to her readers discussing the issue of consent and the right to say no went viral, Leomie began working on the t-shirt collection and was inspired by phrases girls use to say no to men. The aim was to make girls feel proud and confident to say no to situations they don’t feel comfortable in and remove the negative misogyny around women denying men their bodies, something Anderson feels too many young girls fall victim to.” – about LAPP
Her post on her blog about consent has inspired me to do this post featuring one of my favourite Viktor & Rolf collections; f/w 2008 to many or as I like to call it The ‘Consent’ collection/ The ‘No means no’ collection.