NY Fashion Week doesn’t always get looked at with the most female-positive set of eyes. In actuality, the broader issues of sexualization, starvation and capitalization are obvious topics that loom about the fashion and beauty industries. But in every public platform with avenues of presentation, there are opportunities for artists, celebrities and personalities to make statements with a positive, even progressive, message. The runway can be a place to share the collective mind of a brand or individual designer in more than just what chic color this spring will bring, or whether belts of fringe are the new ankle boot.
As we continue to see more and more, there are amazing exhibition opportunities for larger agendas. And this season, this year, was no exception. Here are some of the men and women who took NYFW2014 to a new level, both in their work and their ability to make a difference…
SALUT THE RUNWAY
“This was created to assist military servicewomen re-imagine their style of dressing once “fatigues” and combat boots are no longer required. Basically, once the uniform comes off the benefit guides them in dressing for everyday civilian life. Other Salute the Runway shows have taken place at various military bases throughout the country. And the industry itself is totally on-board with the benefit’s effort to raise awareness about the struggles of servicewomen transitioning back into civilian settings.” –The Fashionlish
“Before the show, the veteran models (and no, we’re not talking Naomi or Christy) received tips and encouragement from supermodel Hilary Rhoda, who reminded them to “have fun and enjoy the moment.” Makeup artist Bobbi Brown, who chose this event as the only one she’ll participate in at NYFW, transformed the women from combat to catwalk with a few strokes of her brush.” –Ruelala, The (Style) Guide
WHIT: ”Girls to the Front”
“New York-based designer Whitney Pozgay used that rallying cry from the girl power movement of the 1990s to name her Spring 2015 presentation for WHIT, the label she launched five years ago… Freedom of movement ruled the WHIT line of clothes and shoes for spring and summer: No fashion victims here. In a break from the monotone of most runway casting, Pozgay showed her collection on an unusually diverse cast of about a dozen models… It was among the few that broke with the norms of New York fashion collections by showing that some designers and retailers realize that real women need clothes – and not just the model-thin waifs of the world.” –WomensENews.org
BETSEY JOHNSON: “Love and Marriage”
NEW YORK (AP) — “Drag queens and a transgender bride romped down Betsey Johnson’s runway Wednesday with same-sex couples, a few “Real Housewives” and the 72-year-old designer’s TV dance partner in a fashion show that screamed JUST MARRIED! …And, of course, Johnson did her traditional cartwheel and splits at the end, this time with one of her two adorable granddaughters.
Backstage, Johnson called the show a celebration of freedom in marriage. It’s ‘trendy and transgendy,’ she bubbled. ‘Pre nup is a part of the whole world of straight brides, gay brides, transgender marriages, everybody getting married. Finally, freedom.’” –Chron.com